Lawyers seek dismissal in college basketball corruption scandal

By Scooby Axson
December 23, 2017

A dismissal is sought in the case against several college basketball coaches and executives who the FBI said was part of a corruption scheme meant to funnel recruits to certain programs, reports ESPN.com.

The lawyers for Adidas executives James Gatto and Merl Code and former AAU coach Christian Dawkins say want the charges dropped because what they did doesn't break federal law. The motion were sent to U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Friday.

In September, the FBI charged the three men, plus former Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans, Auburn assistant Chuck Person, Emanuel "Book" Richardson of Arizona and USC assistant Tony Bland and three others in a corruption and fraud scheme.

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"The payments purportedly made by Defendants were not themselves unlawful," the defendants' lawyers wrote in a motion to dismiss. "It is not against the law to offer a financial incentive to a family to persuade them to send their son or daughter to a particular college. Such payments might, however, violate the rules of the NCAA. After expending enormous resources, the Government has strained to find any legal theory -- ultimately resorting to one that was directly rejected by a Federal Court of Appeals -- in order to transform NCAA rule violations into a conspiracy to commit federal wire fraud."

The goverment alleges that Gatto, Code and Dawkins schemed to a sign five–star prospect to Louisville and that Adidas sent $100,000 to an unknown high school player's family.

That player was later identified as Brian Bowen, who signed with Louisville this summer. The FBI says Bowen's father accepted the bribe, but the younger Bowen says he knew nothing of the payment.

Louisville announced last month that Bowen would not play for the university and can transfer to another school if he wants.

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