The first round of criminal sentences were handed out in the FBI college basketball scandal on Tuesday. Jim Gatto was given nine months in prison, while both Merle Code and Christian Dawkins were given six months. Appeals are already underway for all involved.
Perhaps bigger news than the actual sentence was the banter that took place in the courtroom. According to a Yahoo! report, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan and multiple attorneys thoroughly discussed the scandalous history of the Louisville Cardinals during the sentencing hearing.
You see, the technical “victims” in this scandal have been the universities involved that took in student athletes that were ineligible. So the universities that have also been implicated in being involved in the scandal have also doubled as fraud victims, because of course they have.
As victims, they were all given the opportunity to provide input for sentencing.
“Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina State all offered victim-impact statements prior to sentencing,” Dan Wetzel wrote. “Louisville even claimed the case had demoralized alumni and defeated the fanbase. But as Moore noted, two of Louisville’s own assistant coaches were involved in possible NCAA violations, ‘yet they have not yet been prosecuted.’”
U.S. Attorney Ted Diskant noted that Louisville was allegedly trying to rebuild its reputation from previous scandals, “Yet it became involved in a basketball scandal.”
Judge Kaplan acknowledged that, “They were involved in some problems before.” That comment led into a discussion of those problems, including the prostitution scandal and Rick Pitino’s pursuit of “plausible deniability.”
Merle Code’s attorney, Mark Moore, pointed out that, “You have not seen Louisville or any of the other schools try to get out of its contract with Adidas.” You would think that any institution involved as a victim of a particular company would seek to cut ties with that company, no? Well, it does not seem that any of these schools are in a hurry to give up that Adidas money.
The grand finale of Louisville comments came from Steven Haney, the attorney for Christian Dawkins. He called Louisville “one of the most non-compliant and dirtiest basketball programs in the history of the NCAA.”
Given the actions of the program over the last several years, it would be difficult to argue that point. There have been reports that the NCAA is clamoring for more evidence from these cases in order levy their own sanctions. Considering the fact that Louisville was a large topic of conversation during sentencing Tuesday, you would have to think they will end up in the NCAA’s cross hairs one again.
Read the entire Yahoo! article here.