A New York jury has officially reached a verdict in regards to recent pay-for-play accusations involving adidas employee James Gatto, former adidas consultant Merol Code and former agent Christian Dawkins. All names involved have been found guilty following a trial which spanned three weeks. The trio was accused of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by using money from adidas to convince top basketball prospects to sign with adidas-sponsored programs (Louisville, NC State and Kansas). These deals also included promises such as sneaker company deals and additional financial gains once players eventually hit a professional level. In addition, former Louisville head-coach Rick Pitino was completely aware of these payments which would ultimately lead to him parting ways with the organization.
According to ESPN, between $20,000 to $100,000 USD has been used as luring tactics to parents and legal guardians. Gatto has been found guilty on all three of his individual counts with Dawkins and Code being held guilty on two counts. The trials sentencing date has been set for March 5 with the defendants potentially facing two-to-four years in federal prison.
Stay tuned for additional developments regarding this story and let us know your thoughts on brands working under the table to secure top basketball prospects.
In more sports-related news, the NFL is reportedly looking to secure Jeff Bezos as next Seattle Seahawks owner.