adidas original zx flux Former Clemson player Merl Code Jr
A general view of a March Madness basketball prior to a game between Maryland and Xavier in the first round of the 2017 NCAA tournament at Amway Center.(Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)Two men with ties to South Carolina college basketball programs have been arrested as part of a massive FBI investigation into fraud and corruption that targeted NCAA assistant coaches and leading sports apparel companies.
New: Ex Clemson star Merl Code Jr. released on bond, could face 80 years in prison
Former Clemson University men’s basketball player Merl Code Jr., a Greenville native, was arrested and charged in connection with the scheme to funnel six figure payments to at least three high school recruits or families in return for directing them to certain universities and to sign with an agent and financial adviser who were also charged in the investigation, according to Joon H. Kim, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Joe Galbraith, Clemson’s Assistant Athletic Director for Communications.
Multiple attempts to reach Code and family members in Greenville have been unsuccessful.
Galbraith said Code is not affiliated with Clemson currently and Clemson is not involved in the investigation.
“Clemson athletics is aware of media reports concerning an investigation and arrests announced by the United States Attorney’s Office related to NCAA basketball,” Galbraith said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.”Included in those reported to be arrested was Merl Code, a Clemson basketball letter winner from 1993 97. While Mr. Code has attended Clemson games in the past as do many of our alumni, we have not been informed of and are not aware of any connection between our men’s basketball program and this investigation.”
Lamont Evans, a former assistant coach under Frank Martin at the University of South Carolina, was also charged in the scheme. Evans is currently an assistant at Oklahoma State University.
Kim announced the charges at a press conference in New York at noon on Tuesday and said the defendants had been arrested in multiple locations across the country on Tuesday morning.
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In all, four assistant coaches from prominent NCAA Division 1 programs, and six others have been charged. Coaches arrested in addition to Evans areAuburn assistantChuck Person, Southern Californiaassistant Tony Bland and Arizona assistant EmanuelRichardson, according to the FBI complaint.
Evans is accused of accepting at least $22,000 in bribes while at South Carolina and later at Oklahoma State University,
according to the FBI complaint.
Evans was an assistant at South Carolina from 2012 through April 2016 when he took the job as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at OSU. Attorney’s Office said that on March 3, 2016, while still at South Carolina, Evans met with two other defendants and a cooperating witness at a restaurant near the University of South Carolina to discuss how to direct student athletes that he coached to retain the services of agents Christian Dawkins (an NBA agent who was recently fired from ASM Sports, according to USA Today) and Munish Sood, a financial adviser, according to the complaints.
The men discussed a player at the University of South Carolina and Dawkins said “agents obviously have influence, but you gotta get the college coaches too” because “it’s almost like you skipping a step if you just deal with agents.” Dawkins said paying Evans was not only good for the unnamed player listed as Player 3 but called a potential first round draft pick in the 2017 draft but “five (Player 3s) down the line.”
Dawkins explained that Sood and the cooperating witness had “to get in bed with somebody like (Evans) now so you got complete access to a kid because if the coach says nobody can come around, can’t nobody (expletive) come around.”
Evans is accused of accepting monthly payments in exchange for access to the athletes, according to the charging documents.
The charging documents don’t name the university, calling it University 2, but Evans worked at the University of South Carolina at the time and the enrollment numbers listed in the documents match the University of South Carolina’s.
South Carolina released a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“The University is aware that former assistant men’s basketball coach Lamont Evans has been charged by federal prosecutors and learned of the charge from a press release issued by the Department of Justice. Evans coached at USC from 2012 until April 2016. These are serious accusations that are not consistent with University of South Carolina values. Behavior like this will not be tolerated in our programs. Of course, we will cooperate with investigators and we look forward to justice being done in this case. Because this is an ongoing criminal matter, we will have no further comment.”
In a news conference announcing the charges in New York, Kim said Evans, three other assistant basketball coaches at major programs, and employees of major sportswear companies “worked together to funnel money to some of the country’s top high school recruits.”
In one instance, Dawkins told Sood and the cooperating witness that doing money drops in person in South Carolina weregood because then they see an unnamed player listed in the complaint as Player 3 and Player 3’s mom more.