Ten individuals working in the highest ranks of college basketball, including four assistant coaches and an official from Adidas, are facing federal bribery, fraud, and other corruption charges, Manhattan prosecutors announced Tuesday.

NCAA Basketball bribery scandal news

The New York Times was among the first to report the news.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York revealed in a statement that since 2015, federal prosecutors and the FBI have been investigating “the criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the N.C.A.A.”

The probe has revealed several cases of bribes paid by athlete advisers, among others, to assistant coaches and in some instances directly to student-athletes at NCAA Division I universities, according to the complaint.

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The payoffs were intended to force college players to work with specific agents and companies after they went professional, or to pressure highly-touted high school players to attend certain colleges.

Among the individuals charged was Chuck Person, an assistant coach at Auburn, where he was also a star player. Person played in the NBA for 13 years, a carer that included a stint with the Indiana Pacers. Coaches at Arizona, Oklahoma State and Southern California also received charges.

One of the three indictments charges five people with wire fraud and money laundering in a plot to bribe high school athletes to enroll in certain universities. Those indicted included Adidas senior executive James Gatto.

The indictment reveals that around $100,000 was paid to the family of “Player-10,” a heavily recruited high school all-American. The player’s college decision, which was announced in June, reportedly came as a surprise. Payments were also made to other players’ families, according to the indictment.

Adidas said in a statement: “Today, we became aware that federal investigators arrested an Adidas employee. We are learning more about the situation. We’re unaware of any misconduct and will fully cooperate with authorities to understand more.”

Another complaint claims that Person solicited bribes from a financial adviser and business manager for professional athletes, in exchange for his consent to direct some of the school’s players to the adviser when they joined the NBA.

The complaint states Person accepted a total of $91,500 in the case, and gave approximately $18,500 to the families of two athletes.

The third indictment charged assistant coaches with receiving bribe to direct athletes to certain agents. Among those charged are Lamont Evans, an assistant at Oklahoma State and a former assistant at South Carolina; Emanuel Richardson, an assistant at Arizona; and Tony Bland, an assistant at USC.

Oklahoma State said in a statement: “We were surprised to learn this morning of potential actions against one of our assistant basketball coaches by federal officials. We are reviewing and investigating the allegations. We are cooperating fully with officials.”

USC said: “We will cooperate fully with the investigation and will assist authorities as needed, and if these allegations are true, will take the needed actions.”

The investigation follows another major scandal that recently rocked NCAA basketball. In June, Louisville was sanctioned and head coach Rick Pitino was suspended for five games after it was revealed several of the university’s coaches and athletic department staff members solicited escorts and strippers for recruits. The Cardinals were forced to forfeit several games, possibly including their 2013 national championship victory.

Longtime Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun lamented the findings.

“The shoe companies have always, through grass roots, A.A.U., tried to get the young great players to stay with their sneakers,” said Calhoun. I remember kids getting swag, trips. But I don’t remember kids getting money.”

“I shouldn’t say it’s beyond belief, but to give money is the wrong thing. Stuff like this is obviously disturbing.”

GLENDALE, AZ – APRIL 03: Przemek Karnowski #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs handles the ball against Kennedy Meeks #3 and Isaiah Hicks #4 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second half during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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