Youth basketball coach Merl Code was found guilty on conspiracy to commit bribery in addition to Christian Dawkins' guilty verdict on Wednesday. 

By Michael Shapiro
May 08, 2019

A federal jury in the Southern District in New York found aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins guilty on counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery on Wednesday. Youth coach Merl Code was also found guilty on a conspiracy charge in the two-week trial regarding corruption in college basketball.

The defense argued that the men were led astray by an informant and undercover agents working for the FBI who posed as investors in Dawkins’s management company. Dawkins testified that he pushed back on the fake investors’ interest in paying coaches, telling the jury it made no sense because the coaches had little influence about player decisions on who to hire as agents and business managers.

The prosecution in the case claimed Dawkins and Code conspired to bribe a string of assistant basketball coaches, including coaches at Oklahoma State, Arizona, USC, Creighton and TCU. The most inflammatory accusation involved Arizona head coach Sean Miller, who allegedly discussed paying Dawkins to secure the commitment of center Deandre Ayton in June 2017. 

Dawkins received his sentence from the first trial on May 5. He and Code will be in prison for six months.

Details from the Associated Press were used in this report.

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