What We Know About Each School Implicated in the FBI’s College Hoops Investigation – Sports Illustrated

The college basketball world was turned upside down on Tuesday when the the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York laid out findings from an F.B.I. investigation that uncovered mass corruption, bribery and wire fraud involving some of the sport’s top programs. 

Four assistant coaches were charged with varying violations: Tony Bland of USC, Emanuel “Book” Richardson of Arizona, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State and Chuck Person of Auburn. No universities nor head coaches have been charged, but the investigation is ongoing, and multiple schools (most notably, Louisville) have been implicated even if no individual from the program has been charged…yet.

It’s a massive story. The U.S. House’s Energy and Commerce Committee has even requested a briefing on the matter

First, let’s outline who the notable non-coaches named in the various suits are. Each of the following men are facing federal charges relating to bribery. 

James “Jim” Gatto — Adidas’ global sports marketing director for basketball. 

Merl Code — a former player for Clemson who is now affiliated with Adidas. 

Munish Sood — the founder of Princeton Capital, an investment services firm that, among other ventures, manages professional athletes’ money. 

Christian Dawkins — Former agent for ASM Sports

Jonathan Brad Augustine — Program director for the Orlando-based (and Adidas-sponsored) 1Family AAU team.

Rashan Michel — Founder and owner of Thompson Bespoke Clothing, a high-end manufacturer based in Atlanta. 

Also important to note is the fact that there are three different criminal complaints.

United States of America v. Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson, Anthony Bland, Christian Dawkins, and Munish Sood

United States of America v. Chuck Connors Person and Rashan Michel

United States of America v. James Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Jonathan Brad Augustine, and Munish Sood

​The scandal has received an overwhelming amount of coverage, with every piece focusing on a different aspect of the investigation. The legal documents outlining the situation are filled with legal jargon. This is an attempt to compile the most important information pertaining to each university and present it in a digestible way. 


Louisville finds itself engulfed in yet another embarrassing scandal—this one so salacious that even noted escape artist Rick Pitino couldn’t pull another Houdini—but no coach from the university has been charged yet. 

Louisville is referred to in the U.S. vs. James Gatto complaint, though no individual working at Louisville is named.

What the complaint says

“In or around May of 2017, at the request of at least one coach from University-6, DAWKINS, James Gatto, a/k/a “Jim,” MERL CODE, MUNISH SOOD, the defendants and other agreed to funnel $100,000 (payable in four installments) from Company-1 to the family of Player-10. Shortly after the agreement with the family of Player-10 was reached in late May and early June, Player-10 publicly committed to University-6.”

What it alleges

Gatto, Code and Sood paid $100,000 at the request of Louisville assistant to Bowen to get him to commit to Louisville, have Sood manage his money and sign with Adidas upon entering the NBA. Bowen committed to Louisville and has been suspended indefinitely. 

University-6 is Louisville. We know this because it’s described in the suit as a public research university in Kentucky with approximately 22,640 students and 21 varsity sports teams; Louisville’s official enrollment is 22,640 and it fields, you guessed it, 21 varsity sports teams. Player-10 appears to be Brian Bowen, as he’s the only guy to commit to Louisville in that late-May, early-June time frame (plus, he’s the type of five star who could cost $100,000). Plus, the school has indefinitely suspended him from basketball activities.

Coach’s response

Rick Pitino put out the following statement, which essentially denied any wrongdoing: “These allegations come as a complete shock to me. I agree with the U.S. Attorneys (sic) Office that these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and their basketball programs, including the University of Louisville. Our fans and supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable.” 

Pitino is also accused of calling Gatto after being told Bowen needed more money. The third of three calls between Pitino and Gatto came two days before Bowen’s commitment. He was effectively fired on Wednesday.

Two five-star recruits—Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey—have decommitted from Louisville as a result of the scandal


What the complaint says

“(Undercover Agent)-1, working with CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, paid and/or facilitated the payment of $20,000 in bribes to Emanuel Richardson, a/k/a ‘Book,’ the defendant, some of which RICHARDSON appears to have kept for himself and some of which he appears to have provided to at least one prospective high school basketball player (‘Player-5’) in order to recruit Player-5 to play for University-4. In exchange for the bribe payments, RICHARDSON agreed to use his influence over the student-athletes he coached to pressure them to retain DAWKINS and SOOD as a manager and financial advisor, respectively.” 

What it alleges

A government agent, in conjunction with Dawkins and Sood, paid Arizona assistant Book Richardson $20,000 so he’d use his clout with Arizona players to sway them toward Dawkins’ and Soot’s respective businesses. Richardson kept some of the money and gave some to a recruit, believed to be incoming freshman Jahvon Quinerly

It’s also important to note the Adidas officials—Gatto and Code—aren’t implicated in this part of the scheme, as Arizona is a Nike school.

But that’s not the only nefarious action Arizona is accused of participating in. There’s something really nasty hidden in a part of a complaint that addresses allegations about Miami (we’ll get to them later).

What the complaint says

“CODE discussed with GATTO… the involvement of CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendants, in the scheme to facilitate payments to Player-12 in order to secure Player12’s commitment to attend University-7. CODE explained that another Division I university (‘University-4’) was offering Player-12 $150,000 ‘and we’re trying to keep him from going to one of their schools.'” 

What it alleges

Code is trying to get Gatto to agree to pay “Player-12” $150,000 to commit to Miami instead of Arizona. 

We know “University-4” is Arizona because it’s described in a separate complaint as the school that employs Book Richardson. We also know what Miami is University-7 because the school has confirmed it is being investigated and University-7 is the only school named in the case that fits Miami’s description. 

Player-12 is believed to be five-star recruit Nassir Little, who plays for Augustine’s AAU team—Augustine is accused of funneling Player-12 the money— and is being targeted by Arizona and Miami

Little has yet to announce his commitment, but he mysteriously tweeted that he’s reopening his recruitment (when was it closed?). He has since deleted the tweet.

Little’s family denies asking for or being offered any money for his commitment

As of Thursday, Arizona is “initiating the dismissal process against” Richardson. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribes by an agent of a federally funded organization, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and travel act conspiracy. He’s currently out on $50,000 bail.

Coach’s response

Sean Miller hasn’t said anything publicly. Arizona’s Athletics Compliance unit has launched an internal investigation.  


Like Louisville, no individual at Miami has been charged, but the school is referenced in the complaint against Gatto, Code, Dawkins and Augustine. 

What the complaint says

“JAMES GATTO, a/k/a “Jim,” MERL CODE, CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, and JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendants, and other known and unknown, conspired to illicitly funnel approximately $150,000 from Company-1 to Player-12, another top high school basketball player expected to graduate in 2018, to assist one or more coaches at University-7 in securing Player-12’s commitment to play at University-7, and to further ensure that Player-12 ultimately signed with DAWKINS and with Company-1 upon entering a professional league.”

What it alleges

Gatto, Code, Dawkins and Augustine funneled $150,000 to a player, likely Nassir Little, to get him to commit to Miami, then sign with Adidas and Dawkins’ agency once turning pro. This is the scheme described above involving Miami and Arizona. 

We know University-7 is Miami because it’s described as a private D-I university in Florida with 16,000 students, and Miami is the only school that fits that description. 

Coach’s response 

Larranaga’s attorney released the following statement, which claims Larranaga does not know of any wrongdoing nor whom the Miami coach referenced is. “Please be assured that our beloved coach is unaware of any impropriety on the part of UM basketball and does not know the identity of [the] unnamed, unidentified ‘Coach-3.’ He looks forward to leading the Hurricanes to continued success.”


What the complaint says

“CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, and MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, working with (Undercover Agent)-1, paid and/or facilitated the payment of at least $13,000 in bribes to ANTHONY BLAND, a/k/a “Tony,” the defendant, in exchange for BLAND’s agreement to exert his official influence over certain student-athletes that BLAND coached to retain DAWKINS and SOOD’s business management and/or financial advisory services once those players entered the NBA. In addition, and as part of the scheme, DAWKINS and SOOD paid and/or facilitated the payment of an additional $9,000 directly to the families of two student-athletes at University-5 at BLAND’s direction. 

What it alleges

Dawkins and Sood paid Bland $13,000 to get him to nudge USC players to their respective businesses. The $9,000 went to two families—one incoming freshman and one rising junior—for similar reasons. Bland was arrested and subsequently released on $100,000 bail.

We know “University-5” is USC because it’s described as a private D-I university with over 40,000 students, and it’s the school Bland is recruiting for. 

Coach’s response

Andy Enfield has not made a statement yet.

Oklahoma State

What the complaint says

“MUNISH SOOD, the defendant, and (Cooperating Witness)-1 — having learned from CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, the defendant, that DAWKINS prevoiusly had paid bribes to LAMONT EVANS, the defendant, in order to obtain access to student-athletes coached by EVANS — paid at least $22,000 in bribes to EVANS in exchange for EVANS’ agreement to exert his official influence over certain student athletes, first at University-2 and then at University-3, to retain SOOD and (Cooperating Witness)-1’s business advisory and/or investment management services once those players entered the NBA.”

What it alleges

Before coming to Oklahoma State, Evans was an assistant to Frank Martin at South Carolina for four seasons. He received a total of at least $22,000 bribes from Sood and the cooperating witness. He was paid roughly $2,000 per month. The bribes started while he was at South Carolina and continued after he joined Brad Underwood’s staff at Oklahoma State before the 2016 season.

One Oklahoma State player is identified, “Player-4,” who Evans described as “the motherf—– that’s scoring 22 points a game.” 

We know “University-3” is Oklahoma State because its description as a public research university with 25,000 students matches Oklahoma State, and it’s where Evans was employed.

Evans, who was arrested and released on $50,000 bond, was fired on Thursday. 

Coach’s response

Underwood has since left Oklahoma State for the Illinois job. He released the following statement via the Illinois Athletic Department: “Like many in our industry, I was surprised by yesterday’s events. From our first conversation in March, athletic director Josh Whitman and I have shared a mutual commitment to Illinois men’s basketball upholding the highest standards of integrity. I appreciate his ongoing encouragement and support. I stand ready to assist as needed to protect the game of basketball, and those who play it, on our campus and elsewhere.”

Mike Boynton is now the head coach at Oklahoma State, and he has yet to comment publicly.

South Carolina

No individual from South Carolina has been charged, and the university is mentioned only in connection with Evans.


What the complaint says

“(RASHAN) MICHEL told (Cooperating Witness-1) that CHUCK CONNORS PERSON, the defendant, needed money, and exchange for such money, PERSON would agree to steer student-athletes on University-1’s Division I men’s basketball team to retain (Cooperating Witness)-1 ‘s financial advisory and business management services, as well as MICHEL’s services as a suit maker.”

What it alleges

Person received bribes from Michel, the owner of the clothing label. In exchange, Person would tell his players to use the Cooperating Witness as a financial advisor and buy suits from Michel. The document features multiple anecdotes in which Person negotiates for more money; he brags about the quality of players coming to Auburn and about his level of influence over them. In total, Person was paid $91,500 over a 10-month period.

We know “University-1” is Auburn because of its description as a public research university located in Alabama. It is also referred to as Person’s alma mater, and Person went to Auburn.

Michel was arrested on six federal charges of fraud and conspiracy. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay by Auburn. 

Coach’s response

Bruce Pearl has not yet commented publicly, but is expected to meet with reporters Friday. Auburn also lost a commitment from five-star recruit E.J. Montgomery


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