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Adidas Scandal Erupts, Could Affect Louisville And Miami

This is a very big deal. DOJ Presser at noon.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan vs Louisville
Mar 19, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino reacts against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. 
Thomas Joseph-USA TODAY Sports

The feds have indicted a number of people from at least primarily Adidas schools (this will become more clear later) on bribery charges and it looks as if the ACC’s Louisville and Miami may be affected.

One of the defendants, Jim Gatto, is an Adidas executive.

One name you may recognize among the coaches: Chuck Person, who played for Auburn and who is now an assistant there.

If it does affect Louisville, it’s hard to see, at least from here, how Rick Pitino survives. He’s had two major scandals already and while this one doesn’t involve sex for a change, he’s still the head coach who is responsible for his program’s integrity.

It’s also worth noting that while recently Miami expected star freshman Lonnie Walker to be ready for the start of practice (he had a serious knee injury over the summer), according to coach Jim Larranaga, he’s now several weeks away.

Coincidence? Time will tell.

According to Business Insider, “The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that college basketball coaches at University of Arizona, Auburn, University of Southern California, and Oklahoma State University had been arrested, as well as managers, financial advisors, and representatives of a major international sportswear company. “

More concerning is this passage: “In one instance, Gatto and the other defendants reportedly funneled $100,000 to the family of a high school basketball player to convince the player to sign with a ‘public research university’ in Kentucky. The complaint doesn't name the university. Based on details provided, it is likely the University of Louisville, which signed a $160 million sponsorship deal with Adidas in August.

In another case, Gatto and other defendants allegedly agreed to make payments of up to $150,000 from Adidas to convince the player to join another team sponsored by the apparel company, according to filings. The university is not named, but based on the information provided, it’s likely the University of Miami, which entered into a 12-year partnership with Adidas in 2015.“

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