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James Gatto, ex-Adidas executive, among 3 sentenced in recruiting scandal


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For months there has been an ongoing case into the pay-to-play scandal involving men’s basketball. Three individuals, James Gatto, Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, were convicted for steering high-profile recruits to specific college teams that were sponsored by Adidas.

Gatto, a former Adidas executive, was sentenced to nine months in federal prison. Ex-Adidas consultant, Code was sentenced to six months, while Dawkins, an aspiring sports business manager, was also sentenced to six months.

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan was the one who sentenced all three men.

In a release by Yahoo Financial, Gatto received a longer sentence “due to additional convictions from his role as the boss of what prosecutors called an orchestrated effort to defraud college basketball teams.”

In one release, all three men admitted to their wrong-doing:

“I deeply regret my actions,” Gatto said in a shaky voice.

Dawkins referenced “social dysfunction” in college basketball and said his actions were “clouded” by a “system that takes advantage of kids.”

“I realize now more than ever none of this was worth it,” Dawkins said.

Code said he also regretted his actions but added, “Some things really got to be changed about college basketball.”

This may not be the end of sentencing for Dawkins and Code, however. The two have a second trial date next month at U.S. District Court in Manhattan on April 22 in a separate case. This case also involves alleged college basketball corruption.

Both Code and Dawkins have been accused of bribing assistant coaches to direct their players to Dawkin’s sports agency and financial planner once they turned pro. The assistant coaches involved – who have all reached plea agreements with federal prosecutors — are Emanuel Richardson (Arizona), Tony Bland (Southern California) and Lamont Evans (Oklahoma State).

According to Dawkin’s attorney, Sean Miller (Arizona) and Will Wade (LSU) have been notified of his intentions to have them subpoenaed to testify in next month’s trial.

Rene' Kennedy
Rene' Kennedyhttps://theballout.com
Managing Editor of The Ball Out.

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