Report: NCAA seeking more FBI information in college basketball corruption scandal for its own investigation
photo by: Associated Press
NCAA officials are seeking unreleased information the FBI gathered for three trials for college basketball corruption cases, one of which has already prominently featured the University of Kansas basketball program, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
Donald Remy, NCAA executive vice president and chief legal officer, said the organization was seeking more information as part of its own investigation into whether programs caught in the scandal committed NCAA violations, according to the report.
The additional information the organization is seeking could include recorded phone conversations and text messages the FBI gathered in an investigation that was not used as evidence in an October trial where a jury found former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code all guilty of fraud.
So far, the NCAA has seen only what has been publicly presented in that first trial. Two more trials are scheduled for April and June.
Remy said the NCAA had begun to contact defense attorneys related to the trials to request access to the government’s unreleased information. He also said the organization may file a legal request in federal court for that information.
“We’re actively trying to get that information which we don’t presently have access to,” Remy said, according to the report.
“What we’d like to do is have [information] at our disposal to make judgments about whether or not it is relevant to our rules and whether or not those rules have been violated,” he added.
During the October trial, testimony at times focused on KU coach Bill Self’s relationship with government witness T.J. Gassnola. The former Adidas consultant testified that he paid the families of players to steer them to KU, including $90,000 to the mother of Billy Preston and $2,500 to the guardian of Silvio De Sousa. Gassnola testified that he never told Self about the payments. Prosecutors also presented text message conversations that Self and KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend had with Gassnola.
It’s not known what, if any, other text messages KU coaches exchanged with Gassnola during the recruitment of players. The Journal-World previously filed a request under the Kansas Open Records Act seeking all text messages between Self and Gassnola, but Kansas Athletics denied the open records request. Kansas Athletics cited, among other reasons, a provision in the law that allows records to be withheld if the public records contain “information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
It’s not clear if the additional information the NCAA is seeking will have any more details about KU’s involvement in the scandal.
While the information Gassnola revealed led to the NCAA ruling De Sousa ineligible to play for KU until the 2020-21 season, how it will affect the KU program as a whole, such as possible NCAA sanctions, has not yet been determined.
When the NCAA will be able to conclude investigations related to the scandal is not clear, according to the report. Remy and Jon Duncan, NCAA vice president of enforcement, said the organization’s investigation into NCAA violations has been limited because of the ongoing court cases, according to the report.
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More coverage: KU and the college basketball scandal
• July 24, 2018 — KU releases federal subpoenas in college basketball investigation
• April 27, 2018 — Reports: AAU director linked to NCAA bribery case, KU families pleads guilty
• April 13, 2018 — Former prosecutor: KU not in clear yet, but one past case provides hope
• Feb. 23, 2018 — Kansas linked to college basketball scandal in Yahoo Sports report
• Sept. 26, 2017 — NCAA basketball coaches, Adidas executive among 10 charged in bribe scheme