21 September 2021 - Article
The federal trial concerning the NCAA men's basketball scandal began Monday, October 1, 2018. While the original indictment was only against Kansas, Louisville, Miami and NC State, as the case is proceeding additional schools and individuals are being dragged in it. On Wednesday October 3, NBA players Kyle Kuzma and Markelle Fultz were mentioned as being involved in the scandal. Munish Sood, former financial adviser, testified that he gave a $30,000 loan to someone connected to Fultz and paid an undisclosed amount to one of Kuzma's associates. Fultz played one season for the University of Washington Huskies and was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Kuzma played three seasons for the University of Utah and was a first-round choice of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017. Sood's testimony comes as part of his plea agreement, where he agreed to testify against Adidas executive Jim Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, a former runner for NBA agent Andy Miller. The lawsuit stems from individuals making payments to athletes to attend Adidas affiliated colleges and universities. Adidas is accused of funneling top talents to their affiliated schools in an attempt to help those schools win, thereby promoting their brand. And then, eventually signing the athletes as pros. The scandal is part of what has been dubbed the “sneaker war” between Adidas and Nike for control of the lucrative market.
This article was written with contributions from Tim Piscatelli.