The widespread and ongoing federal investigation into bribery and fraud in college basketball, which led to an Adidas executive's arrest Tuesday, apparently is now spreading to Nike. Adidas was the first major sports apparel company to get tied up in this mess, but the case was always about the general influence that big shoe companies have in in the recruiting game.
In a formal complaint released Tuesday before a press conference in NY, the Federal Bureau of Investigation alleges Gatto, Adidas employee Merl Code, former agent Christian Dawkins and financial adviser Munish Sood aligned to pay $100,000 to the family of a highly touted recruit.
The FBI's NY field office and the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of NY declined to comment on their ongoing investigation.
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Jim Gatto, the director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas, was also among the defendants.
Three of the four coaches who were indicted in the scandal that has rocked the college basketball world - USC's Tony Bland, Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans and Arizona's Emmanuel Richardson - are from Nike-sponsored schools.
The allegations in the various complaints alleged represent significant violations of the NCAA's rules and likely will result in heavy penalties for the schools and coaches involved (if not outright termination for some, such as Pitino), but acting Kim said Tuesday he did not believe the governing body was aware of the investigation until Tuesday. Sources say Under Armour is not involved with the investigation at this time.
One of those players, Brian Bowen, who allegedly received $100,000 to sign with Louisville, has been suspended indefinitely.