Prosecutors call for jail time for men convicted in Adidas college basketball trial | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / September 23.
  • Prosecutors call for jail time for men convicted in Adidas college basketball trial

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Federal prosecutors on Tuesday called for jail time for the three men convicted in the Adidas basketball trial last October.

    In October, a jury in New York found that  former Adidas consultant Merl Code, Adidas executive Jim Gatto and would-be sports agent Christian Dawkins committed wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by paying families of coveted basketball prospects to get them to commit to programs sponsored by the shoe company. The sentencing date is set for March 5. Each federal charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

    “A sentence that includes a term of incarceration is necessary to reflect, among other things, the seriousness of the defendants’ conduct and the need to promote deterrence, and is thus sufficient but not greater than necessary to further the legitimate purposes of sentencing,” U.S. Attorney Robert S. Khuzami wrote.

    The probation department recommended one year for Gatto and eight months for Code and Dawkins. But the prosecutors disagreed with that because it did not reflect a sophisticated means enhancement.

    “I’d still say 12-24 months for [Gatto], 12-18 for Dawkins and Code,” a legal source familiar with the case said of expected jail time. “[Judge Lewis] Kaplan is not a light sentencing judge.”

    Dawkins, meantime, is due to go back to trial on April 22 on bribery charges. Arizona coach Sean Miller and LSU coach Will Wade have been notified that they will be subpoenaed for that trial. Both are Nike schools.

    Also on Tuesday, the three Adidas schools in the fall trial asked for restitution, with Kansas asking for $1,136,424, N.C. State seeking $258,585 and Louisville looking for $31,922.

    Kansas’ breakdown looks like this via the K.C. Star:

    • $112,731.52 for the athletic scholarship and financial aid KU paid for Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa made under false pretenses

    • $289,886 for fees related to responding to the U.S. Justice Department subpoenas sent to the school

    • $78,942 for preparing KU senior director of compliance Jeff Smith in his role as a witness at the federal trial, and also for the school having outside counsel present during select portions of the three-week proceedings in New York

    • $308,472 for investigating Gatto’s misconduct as it related to KU

    • $346,393 for legal fees incurred by outside counsel to respond to the NCAA’s investigation of Preston and De Sousa

    “The damage done by Mr. Gatto’s and his co-conspirators’ greed cannot be overstated,” Kansas attorney William Sullivan Jr. wrote. “Their actions impaired the University of Kansas’ ability to continue to fully use those resources for both the benefit and welfare for its student-athletes, as well as for its ongoing mission of educational and community development and enrichment.”

    All three Adidas schools also face possible additional punishment from the NCAA — but that won’t happen until after the Final Four.

    “While the implications of the defendants’ scheme in the context of the NCAA’s infractions process remains unknown at this time, each of these schools also faces the possibility of serious additional consequences in the form of penalties and fines from the defendants’ actions,” Khuzami wrote. “This is particularly daunting for the University of Louisville, which was already serving probation for a prior infractions case, and could face even greater potential additional negative consequences as a result.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.