Home / Sports / A trial for bribery in college basketball: wiretapping shows that payments wanted to recruit Zion Williamson, Marvin Bagley

A trial for bribery in college basketball: wiretapping shows that payments wanted to recruit Zion Williamson, Marvin Bagley



NEW YORK – The most explosive day of the second university trial against corruption in basketball has resulted in additional charges, in larger schools and in coaches of the sport and, again, Zion Williamson.

Federal prosecutors continued to post video tapes, with some conversations including multiple / separate meetings with assistant coaches in a Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas suite at the end of July 2017. Assistant basketball coaches of USC (Tony Bland), Creighton (Preston Murphy) and Texas Christian (Corey Barker) – all dressed in crews not knowing what they were being caught – were shown to accept cash payments of $ 13,000, $ 6,000 and $ 6,000 respectively. The video was supported by the testimony of Marty Blazer, the government's witness-witness who was working with the government, who was in the suite when the money was exchanged.

In Bland's video, he discusses the importance of recruiting then-No. 1 prospect Marvin Bagley III, which USC was trying to attract on campus.

"Tony (Bland) needed money to get to Marvin (Bagley III)," said Blazer at the helm.

Blazer has been cooperating with the government for years after pleading guilty to siphoning over $ 2.3 million worth of clients, many of whom were professional athletes.

"He was not going to go to UCLA or Duke," Blazer said about the Bagley recruiting discussion at that time. "Tony was confident that he had locked Marvin Bagley to USC." When Marvin Bagley signs with USC, I need you on campus as soon as he signs it, be ready to send it to him as soon as he possible."

The video shows Bland talking about Bagley's hiring and his possible working relationship with Dawkins and Blazer: "They're not going anywhere. … If he's at USC, you'll meet him the first day on the campus.It's the type of Get it, everyone will follow. "

In spite of contrary thoughts, Bagley finally signed with Duke, reclassifying a year in advance and signing up for 2017-18, he played one season before leaving for the NBA draft in 2018. He was the second choice and is now part of the Kings Sacramento.

Another secret video capture of this same sequel in Las Vegas in 2017 was aired, showing Steve Smith, Clemson's assistant coach, in discussion with Christian Dawkins, Marty Blazer and an undercover agent of the FBI, about recruiting and potential payouts to pay to Zion Williamson's family.

Smith mentions how familiar he was with Williamson and where he was at the point where he knew exactly how long it took to go from the Clemson Arena to Williamson's House – 1 hour and 4 minutes – and even laughing when he remembers a story of pretending not to do it. knows where he was heading the first time Smith and Clemson head coach Brad Brownell had visited. As Smith discusses recruitment, Dawkins intervenes: "Duke is going to have his resources, UNC is UNC Kentucky is going to have his resources."

The three schools recruited Williamson, who at the time had just reached a new level of notoriety. The then 17-year-old was two days away from a high-profile game and attended Adidas' stand-alone / feature-length game against LaMelo Ball. LeBron James was told that it was better if he did not show up for fear of crowds control.

Under oath, Blazer said he understood that Dawkins was saying, "Duke, UNC and Kentucky will have people in place to pay for everything Zion Williamson needs, whatever the needs of Zion Williamson's family, we will be able to intervene and [help with money] if it was close. "

In the first corruption trial in university basketball, in October, Williamson's recruitment was questioned after his testimony gave rise to allegations that Kansas was willing to engage in discussions centered on the payment of Williamson's family. Williamson, of course, has moved on to Duke and has become perhaps the greatest university basketball star ever seen in decades.

Since then, he has been declared for the draft NBA and is considered the first choice. But the fact that Williamson and Bagley's hires were discussed in such gloomy terms, only to see these two players land at Duke, well, it became one of the noisiest days of basketball university, it will be the dead season.

The questions and skepticism of each team, coach, sports director and university president attached to the schools mentioned Thursday were only increasing.

This includes the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Kentucky and Oregon.

For example, at a separate meeting on June 20, 2017 in New York, when Code was introduced to Blazer and undercover agents (whom he did not realize that he was working for the FBI, but that he thought instead to be investors in Dawkins' company), Code discussed the power and influence of some of the larger sports schools.

And it comes largely from the big four-letter business.

"Nike schools also pay," says the code on wiretapping. "In one way or another, Duke, NC, Syracuse, Kentucky and all these schools are doing something to help their children.

Code adds later, "it's a mess because there is so much money involved."

This is not the explosion of a young man: Code played at Clemson, has spent more than a decade, and Nike, and took such a position where he was responsible for the basketball operation on the most coveted and most profitable field of the company. Although what Code was surprised to say on the video is still considered technically as hearsay – and not as evidence under oath – it nevertheless comes from a man who knows what he is talking about.

And at that time, in New York in June 2017, before Code accepts $ 2,000 from an undercover agent, he discusses the realities of what a job looks like at all three levels of basketball ( high school, college and professional).

"So, if I let my kid go to Kentucky, I promise you I will not get it back," Code explains in this video. "If I let him, Brian Bowen was going to Oregon and I was like he was not going to Oregon, do not get him back."

Code says that Bowen 's offer to go to Oregon "was astronomical, I said it was not going away".

Bowen was found in Louisville. The code was correct. The lawsuit hopes that this is absolutely the case here. All coaches and all college basketball schools are committed to the contrary.

CBS Sports will update this story shortly


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