NCAA fine in bribery case over Yahoo men’s basketball

A NCAA disciplinary committee on Thursday put the University of Southern California men’s basketball program on two years of probation and fined $ 5,000 on the action of a former associate head coach, plus 1 percent of the program’s budget, which is a game. The company accepted a bribe from management for players with NBA potential.

Tony Bland, the former associate head coach, was fired by the university in January 2018 and pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe in US District Court in 2019, admitting that he in exchange for promising direct players A $ 4,100 bribe from a sports agent was accepted. For a Las Vegas management company. The NCAA committee decision prohibits Block from working in college athletics for three years without NCAA approval, which could be the harshest punishment for a coach.

“The Associate Head Coach demonstrated a recurring lack of judgment that resulted in violations for both themselves and USC for unethical conduct and representation.” 24-page decision Issued by NCAA committee. “While his behavior may have originated from a friendship with an agent associate, it turned into fake moral waters and eventually became intertwined with the agent associate’s corruption scheme within college basketball.”

Bland, who joined the Trojans’ program under coach Andy Enfield in 2013, admitted that he had taken a bribe in a July 2017 meeting with representatives of a sports management agency in Las Vegas. Recordings of the meeting used as evidence in the case revealed that Bland claimed he could convince student-athletes to become customers of the company. A month later at a meeting near the Trojan’s basketball field, Bland reiterated that he “can definitely get the players and put them in the lap of you guys,” according to the official recording of the meeting.

He was arrested in September 2017 along with coaches from several athletic programs linked to the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigation.

“I knew that my conduct was wrong,” said Bland, entering his guilty plea in January 2019. He was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

The leader of sports management, Christian Dawkins, an aspiring agent, and Merle Code Jr., a former Adidas employee, were found Convicted of conspiring to take bribe in 2019 Trying to convince players to sign with their running agency regarding payments made to Bland and other coaches. In a separate trial in 2018, he was found guilty, along with another former Adidas employee, James Gatto, Wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy Funding money for a family of college basketball recruits.

More than a dozen programs were implicated in the investigation, some of which are still unresolved. Alabama and South Carolina received the same penalties as USC. Oklahoma State was handed a one-year postseason ban in June 2020 in addition to fines and scholarship losses; The program appealed the decision and played in the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

USC’s probation remains until April 14, 2023, and with a $ 5,000 fine, the school must also pay 1 percent of the basketball program’s budget. University officials imposed a self-imposed penalty in the 2019 academic year to limit the program’s scholarships, official visits and recruitment days.

Bland operates on his own without the knowledge of any other university or athletics personnel, the NCAA committee said, adding that university officials and Bland cooperated with the penalty.

“We are thrilled that this is behind us,” University of Athletic Director Mike Bohn said in a statement on Thursday.

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