More fireworks at NCAA Basketball trial

More fireworks at NCAA Basketball trial

10 Oct, 2018

 

More fireworks emerged in the trial of former Adidas basketball executives and the college basketball bribery scandal that has rocked the industry.

Former Adidas executive Thomas "T.J." Gassnola rattled off a list of names of players to which he funneled money including DeAndre Ayton, who attended Arizona last year for his freshman season before becoming the top pick in the NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. Gassnola also implicated and Brian Bowen Jr. who committed to Louisville but never played a game there due to the scandal. Kanasas' Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa and Dennis Smith Jr. of North Carolina State as the others.

Gassnola is a government witness who' detailed out the underworld of college basketball.  He refered to his and other associates' dealings as "black ops." He elaborated, "It's dark. Underground. You don't want anyone to know about it."

The trial is focused on aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins, former amateur coach Merl Code and former Adidas executive James Gatto. All have pleaded not guilty to charges that they defrauded basketball programs that passed out scholarships by concealing how they directed funds from Adidas to prospects considering schools sponsored by the sportswear company. Gassnola has pleaded guilty and agreed to testified for the government in this trial.

Earlier, the jury heard college administrators in charge of making sure Kansas and North Carolina State complied with NCAA rules say that they were unaware of payments that would have made some of their biggest players ineligible. "I didn't know anything about that," said Kansas compliance director Jeff Smith. Carrie Doyle of North Carolina State denied knowledge of a $40,000 payment made to Smith's father.