NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor says three men hatched a scheme to exploit blue-chip college basketball recruits for profit by showering their families with cash.
The accusations came on Tuesday in opening arguments at the federal trial of former sports business manager Christian Dawkins, former amateur league coach Merl Code and former Adidas executive James Gatto. All have pleaded not guilty.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli Mark accused the men of funneling money provided by Gatto to the families of the top recruits to steer them to Adidas-sponsored schools. He said those players included Brian Bowman Jr., whose family was offered $100,000 to commit to Louisville.
Defense attorney Casey Donnelly admitted NCAA rules were broken, but argued that was because the schools were so “desperate” land them.