Sentencing for basketball recruiting fixer moved to September

A college basketball recruiting fixer who revealed that he had made illicit payments to University of Kansas basketball players will now have to wait until September for sentencing.

T.J. Gassnola, a former Adidas consultant who was a key government witness for the college basketball corruption trial in October 2018, will be sentenced on Sept. 10, the office of presiding Judge Lewis A. Kaplan told the Joural-World on Monday. The sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for March 14.

Gassnola pleaded guilty to fraud charges and provided testimony in the case that will send three other men to prison for fraud convictions.

Earlier this month, Kaplan sentenced former Adidas executive James Gatto to nine months in prison and business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code to six months in prison for fraud convictions related to their admitted effort to channel secret payments to the families of top recruits, luring them to major basketball programs sponsored by Adidas, including KU.

During the trial, testimony focused on KU coach Bill Self’s relationship with Gassnola. Gassnola testified that he paid the families of players to steer them to KU, including $90,000 to the mother of former KU player Billy Preston and $2,500 to the guardian of current KU player Silvio De Sousa. Gassnola testified that he never told Self about the payments.

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