Auburn basketball coach among 10 charged with fraud and corruption

Local News


1:45 p.m. — Auburn University announces Tuesday afternoon Associate Head Basketball Coach Chuck Person has been suspended without pay effective immediately.

Associate Athletics Director for Communications Kirk Sampson released the following statement:

“This morning’s news is shocking. We are saddened, angry and disappointed. We have suspended Coach Person without pay effective immediately. We are committed to playing by the rules, and that’s what we expect from our coaches. In the meantime, Auburn is working closely with law enforcement, and we will help them in their investigation in any way we can.”

11:10 a.m. (AP) — The director of global sports marketing for Adidas is among those charged in a bribe-paying scheme that federal authorities say was designed to match agents and advisers to players before they became NBA stars.

James Gatto was arrested Tuesday along with nine others, including four assistant basketball coaches from Arizona, Auburn, the University of Southern California and Oklahoma State. It was not immediately clear who will represent him in court.

In criminal complaints, authorities said agents and financial advisers paid bribes to assistant coaches to get them to introduce them to star college players and their parents before the students turned professional.

Authorities said the coaches received thousands of dollars in bribes, enabling the agents and others to get a slice of the millions of dollars the athletes could eventually make in the NBA.


NEW YORK (WRBL) — Federal prosecutors announce Tuesday an Auburn University basketball coach is among 10 defendants charged with fraud and corruption.

The press release says Assistant Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chuck Person faces charges of bribery, solicitation of bribes, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, among several others.

Person was among other coaches and affiliates of a major international athletic wear company being investigated by the FBI since 2015.


The New York prosecutors’ statement says Person is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for using his position on the team to divert players towards the briber’s services. The charges say Person accepted more than $50,000 in exchange for influencing certain players once they moved up into the NBA.

A news conference on the charges and investigation is set to begin in New York at 12 p.m. ET. Stay with WRBL News 3 for full coverage.

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