Evidence submitted by Adidas exec claims Kansas head coach knew of illegal payments


The most recent turn in the federal trial concerning the NCAA men’s basketball corruption scandal involves Kansas coach Bill Self. The attorney for Adidas executive James Gatto alleged in his closing statement, “The evidence, I submit, shows that Kansas’ head coach knew of and asked for a payment to be made to Silvio De Sousa’s handler.” Gatto approved a $20,000 payment to Fenny Falmagne, De Sousa’s guardian, but only after Self requested the payment. In addition to the De Sousa payment, Gatto is accused of working with another Adidas consultant to facilitate a $90,000 payment from Adidas to former Kansas player Billy Preston’s mother. Gatto is facing felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He is the only defendant charged in a pay-for-play scheme involving Kansas recruits. In September 2017, Kansas announced a 12-year contract extension with Adidas worth $191 million. To date, the contract has still yet to be signed.

This article was written with contributions from Tim Piscatelli.

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