NEW YORK (WAFB) - Christian Dawkins, an aspiring sports business manager at the center of a wiretap scandal involving LSU basketball head coach Will Wade, and another man have been convicted of bribery conspiracy Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
The report stated top college coaches were paid off to put NBA-bound athletes on a path toward handlers who were favored.
According to a report by Yahoo.com, the FBI recorded a conversation between Wade and Dawkins, a “recruiting middleman,” in which Wade was frustrated with Dawkins because a recruit had yet to accept an “offer." Many believe the recruit was guard Ja’Vonte Smart.
Wade was suspended in March, the day after the report surfaced, because he declined to meet with university officials regarding his involvement in the investigation. He was reinstated on April 14, just two days after meeting with LSU and NCAA officials. The university stated Wade answered all questions and denied any wrongdoing. A federal judge ruled a few days later that Wade would not have to testify in the trial.
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The verdict against Dawkins and youth basketball coach Merl Code was handed down “in a case that forced the NCAA to confront corruption affecting basketball players at elite universities.”
According to the report, Dawkins testified that he didn’t bribe anyone. It added prosecutors said the video and audio evidence was overwhelming.
According to the AP, four former assistant basketball coaches have pleaded guilty in connection with the scandal and await sentencing.