Feds turn more at­ten­tion to Okla. State

Tampa Bay Times - - Colleges - Times wires

OK­LA­HOMA CITY — Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors seek­ing more in­for­ma­tion about the in­volve­ment of Ok­la­homa State bas­ket­ball in a wider cor­rup­tion scan­dal have asked the school to de­tail its com­mu­ni­ca­tions with three key play­ers in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as well as play­ers and their par­ents.

A grand jury sub­poena pro­vided to the As­so­ci­ated Press on Thurs­day asks OSU to pro­duce all com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween any mem­ber of the school’s coach­ing or ath­letic staff and for­mer sports agent Chris­tian Dawkins, fi­nan­cial ad­viser Martin Blazer and in­vest­ment ad­viser Mu­n­ish Sood.

Dawkins and Sood are ac­cused of fun­nel­ing money to coaches and par­ents to con­vince play­ers to align with them if they turned pro. Blazer had par­tic­i­pated in sim­i­lar ac­tiv­i­ties and be­gan co­op­er­at­ing with au­thor­i­ties in 2014. He pleaded guilty last month to fraud and other crimes. Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaints, Blazer worked with fed­eral of­fi­cials to set up meet­ings with nu­mer­ous coaches and others in bas­ket­ball to get ev­i­dence of bribery.

The sub­poena, filed by fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors in New York, re­quests the per­son­nel file of fired as­sis­tant La­mont Evans, plus NCAA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion forms for all play­ers on the cur­rent team. It also asks for all doc­u­ments re­gard­ing ac­tual or po­ten­tial NCAA rules vi­o­la­tions and records of all com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the ath­letic depart­ment and cur­rent play­ers and par­ents of cur­rent play­ers.

Evans is ac­cused of ac­cept­ing $2,000 a month in bribes to fun­nel ath­letes to cer­tain agents.

In re­lated news, a fed­eral judge re­fused to im­pose bail for an Adi­das rep­re­sen­ta­tive em­broiled in the bribery scan­dal.

Pros­e­cu­tors in Man­hat­tan urged Judge Kather­ine Parker to make James Gatto post $100,000 bond to keep his free­dom. But she con­tin­ued the no-bail con­di­tions set for Gatto af­ter his ar­rest last month.

Michael Schachter, an at­tor­ney for Gatto, ar­gued that pros­e­cu­tors’ por­trayal of his client as a “high-level ex­ec­u­tive” at Adi­das was mis­lead­ing be­cause it sug­gested he’s wealthy. “Noth­ing can be fur­ther from the truth,” Schachter said, adding his client is a mar­ried fa­ther of two who makes $139,000 a year as a mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor.

Evans, the Ok­la­homa State as­sis­tant who was fired af­ter be­ing charged, was freed on $100,000 bond Thurs­day af­ter ap­pear­ing in the same court­room. Both men and eight others were charged last month in an al­leged scheme to bribe as­sis­tant coaches in ex­change for steer­ing top-flight NBA prospects to a par­tic­u­lar agent or fi­nan­cial ad­viser.

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