Ten people involved with the highest level of college basketball are facing federal bribery, fraud and other corruption charges, according to The New York Times.
The Times on Tuesday reported that the charges impact four assistant coaches involved in major National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball programs across the U.S.
The United States attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement that the charges stemmed from a probe the FBI and federal prosecutors began in 2015.
“[It investigated] the criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the N.C.A.A.,” the statement said.
The complaint added that the probe found “numerous instances” of bribes paid by athlete advisers, among others, to assistant coaches.
The statement added that the money sometimes went directly to student-athletes at NCAA Division I universities.
Some Twitter users on Tuesday criticized the NCAA following the charges, which also targeted a senior executive at Adidas and other people linked to the organization’s basketball programs.
NCAA Professional sports is becoming more corrupt and more political. Let's watch less and be more active.— InterbayMicheal (@InterbayMicheal) September 26, 2017
One of the people charged was Chuck Person, an assistant coach at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
Person was a star player at Auburn, and he ultimately played 13 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) following his tenure there.
The indictment also named Lamont Evans, an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Next up were Emmanuel Richardson at the University of Arizona in Tucson and Tony Bland of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
The indictment charged the assistant coaches with accepting payments to direct players to specific agents.
The alleged bribes for all the charges were offered to get commitments from college stars to partner with certain companies and agents if they become professional basketball players.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan added that the funds were also used to sway desirable high school athletes to attend specific universities.