Not everything dredged up in the big FBI investigation of recruiting violations in college basketball is worth the attention of federal law enforcement. An apparel company funneling actual money to elite players so they’ll play for elite basketball programs, for example, is a function of a blackmarket created by the NCAA’s vastly more morally corrupt forced amateurism. On that one, at least, the FBI can more-or-less go fuck itself.
But this one is worth following: Munish Sood, a financial adviser and the CEO and chief investment officer of Princeton Advisory Group, reportedly pled guilty last week to felony bribery and fraud charges in U.S. District Court in New York. Sood’s scam wasn’t paying the athletes who make the whole grotesque sports business churn; instead he was reportedly bribing coaches to steer athletes his way for financial advisement when they turned pro:
Sood admitted to working with others in “paying bribes to the NCAA men’s college basketball coaches, in exchange for which these coaches agreed to and did exercise their influence as coaches for their respective universities to persuade and pressure student-athletes to retain the services of Sood, among others,” according to the plea agreement.
According to a Louisville Courier-Journal report, Sood worked with agent Christian Dawkins to bribe assistant coaches at South Carolina, Arizona, and USC, via “telephone and email communications, and wire transfers of funds.” The three assistant coaches—Lamont Evans, Emanuel “Book” Richardson, and Tony Bland—were reportedly arrested and charged with “conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and solicitation of bribes.” All three have been fired by their most recent programs, as a result of these indictments.
ESPN says Sood is expected to testify against other defendants in the FBI’s sprawling and interconnected corruption cases. Probably it would be better if the feds could work out plea deals with people who put money in players’ hands in exchange for testimony against exactly the kind of sleazy shitbag who pays assistant coaches to pressure athletes into giving an unscrupulous third party access to their future earnings, but the big sexy catch for the FBI would obviously be someone more widely known than a shady financial adviser. At any rate, this is the world athletic prospects are expected to navigate as fucking teenagers, and is a pretty good example of why the NCAA needs to die in a cleansing fire.