One year and a few days after the first arrests in the FBI’s investigation of corruption in college basketball, the first trial is underway this week.
Jury selection began Monday in the government’s cases against Merl Code, Jim Gatto and Christian Dawkins, who face federal felony charges. The U.S. government alleges they had roles in funneling payments to an N.C. State coach to secure the commitment of a player believed to be Wolfpack one-and-done star Dennis Smith Jr. and were involved in the recruiting of athletes believed to be former Kansas players Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa.
There are also charges that adidas, the company that employed Gatto and Code, agreed to pay the family of Brian Bowen $100,000 to secure his commitment to Louisville.
Former adidas grassroots basketball executive T.J. Gassnola has agreed to provide evidence on the government’s behalf in exchange for pleading guilty to wire fraud charges.
Yahoo! Sports reporter Dan Wetzel reported on Twitter Monday that potential jurors were given list of names of that could come up at trial. While not all are necessarily tied to wrongdoing, the list includes Kansas coach Bill Self, Miami coach Jim Larranaga, Arizona coach Sean Miller, North Carolina freshman Nassir Little and Duke freshman Zion Williamson.
The list of schools identified to the jurors includes ACC schools N.C State, Miami and Louisville.