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Author Topic: Why the FBI is finally getting involved in NCAA sports  (Read 90 times)

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Why the FBI is finally getting involved in NCAA sports
« on: September 29, 2017, 05:07:03 am »

The world of college athletics was blindsided this week when the FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday went public with a previously covert investigation into the corruption of NCAA basketball

While the news came as a surprise to everyone, including the NCAA, which was not made aware of the investigation until Tuesday, one of the larger questions to come from scandal is why would the FBI involve itself in college athletics to begin with? At least one legal expert believes the FBI's involvement in NCAA sports "isn't a big leap" from what the agency has already been doing

"It is groundbreaking in that it is the first time that we've seen an investigation like this in NCAA college basketball, but if you look at FIFA and professional soccer, and to a lesser extent Major League Baseball, this is not the first federal prosecution into big-time sports," said Barry Pollack, a Washington D.C.-based criminal defense lawyer. "It's just the first federal prosecution into NCAA basketball. To me, it is a different flavor of what we've seen before as opposed to something completely new."

Pollack explained how the college basketball scandal fell into the crosshairs of the federal government. It can ultimately be traced back to 1952, when Congress enacted the wire fraud statute. That statute expanded upon the mail fraud statute of 1872 that gave the federal authorities jurisdiction in a "very narrow" category of cases involving interstate commerce and the use of telegraphs and the U.S. Postal Service.

Person and the other coaches are alleged to have defrauded the universities for which they work by denying the schools of their "intangible rights" to those coaches' honest services due to the undisclosed kickbacks and bribes they received from financial advisers.

The travel act conspiracy leveled against Person is because he allegedly partook in these illegal activities while crossing state lines. According to the complaint filed against him, one meeting with the FBI's cooperating witness took place in New York, with $15,000 in bribes allegedly changing hands. In that same complaint, another meeting is alleged to have taken place between the cooperating witness, Person's co-defendant Rashan Michel, an unnamed "Staff Member 1" -- who AL.com reports is former Alabama basketball administrator Kobie Baker --
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