NCAA Moves Forward with Internal Investigations Into Alleged Men’s Basketball Corruption

NCAA Moves Forward with Internal Investigations Into Alleged Men's Basketball Corruption

One of the FBI’s cases regarding the NCAA Division I men’s basketball corruption scandal went to trial back in October, 2018. In U.S. v. Gatto et al. the jury returned a guilty verdict on all counts against Jim Gatto, Merl Code, and Christian Dawkins. (District Court, S.D. New York, 1:17-cr-00686).

The investigation involves several college basketball programs, including the University of Arizona. In February, 2018 an FBI wiretap allegedly revealed a conversation between Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, reportedly discussing a $100,000 payment to then freshman center DeAndre Ayton as part of his recruitment into the class of 2017. However, no charges have been brought against Sean Miller. No evidence was produced at the recent trial confirming that Miller knew about or was directly involved in bribes, fraud, or any nefarious behavior.

The Basketball Corruption Scandal Cases Continue

Though, not all basketball corruption scandal cases have been resolved. The criminal trial for Miller’s longtime former Assistant Coach, Book Richardson, is set to begin in April, 2019.

The government alleges that Dawkins paid Richardson bribe money in exchange for steering Arizona players to Dawkins’ management company. Richardson has been charged with fraud, for soliciting bribes, and for travel act conspiracy. Among other allegations, the government alleges that he accepted $20,000 in bribes.

The NCAA to Begin Investigating Schools in College Basketball Scandal

The federal government has given the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) approval to begin its own investigations into potential NCAA violations tied to certain Universities implicated in the federal investigation into men’s college basketball.

NCAA Investigations

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization that regulates college athletes and athletic programs of member schools. The Association has its own investigation process that it and member schools are required to follow when determining if the NCAA Constitution, bylaws, or rules have been violated.

The NCAA’s enforcement investigations group is entrusted with investigating information that involves potential violations of NCAA legislation. The enforcement investigations group is committed to finding facts in a fair, accurate, collaborative and timely manner.

Each NCAA school has obligations to:

  • Monitor and control its athletics programs, representatives, and student-athletes to assure compliance with the NCAA Constitution and bylaws.
  • Report all instances of noncompliance to the Association in a timely manner.

The following manual is available to help guide member schools in their internal investigation process: NCAA Member Resource Guide, Investigating and Reporting Bylaw Infractions to the NCAA Enforcement Staff.

Failure to cooperate by a member school with the NCAA enforcement staff, Committee on Infractions, or Infractions Appeals Committee may result in further allegations against the member school and can be considered an aggravating factor when determining any penalties.

It is a violation of NCAA rules for college-bound and current student-athletes to be paid for endorsements, or as part of recruitment, based on his or her athletic ability.

If this NCAA rule is found to be broken, punishment may include student-athlete ineligibility, meaning that outcomes in games that athlete played in may be vacated, and the NCAA could ask the school to return any revenue earned during the games the student-athlete played in.

Further, athletic coaches may be suspended. As of 2013, a NCAA rule went into effect that states head coaches can be held responsible for major NCAA violations committed by assistant coaches. Under this rule it may be possible for head coach Miller to be held responsible for any major NCAA violations allegedly committed by former assistant coach Richardson.

If you believe you may be under investigation as part of the men’s basketball corruption scandal, whether by the FBI, other government agency, or the NCAA, we urge you to consult with a white collar criminal defense attorney immediately. The best way to protect your rights is to have an experienced attorney on your side.

The white collar criminal defense attorneys of Ashley D. Adams, PLC are prepared to defend your rights and combat aggressive prosecutors.

Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.


The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.