Adidas was charged with criminal offenses for bribing college basketball assistant coaches and high school students.
After a year-long FBI investigation with undercover agents and wired phones, Adidas employees were taken into custody.
James Getto, an Adidas executive, and other employees bribed the assistant coaches of University of Arizona, Oklahoma State University, the University of Southern California and the University of South Carolina’s basketball teams. They additionally paid six digit figures to high school players to attend and play for colleges with Adidas sponsors. The goal was to secure the players’ spots in the NBA with Adidas as the sponsor after graduation.
The college assistant coaches were arrested for accepting the cash bribes. The Adidas employees refrained from interacting with the head coaches who made millions of dollars because they said it was “too risky.”
One example of the bribes occurred in July of this year. An undercover FBI agent handed a third party $25,000 cash, who would give the money to the high school player’s family in exchange for attending a college of Adidas’ choice.
The Adidas board was unaware of the scandal and responded that the company does not tolerate nor support the illegal doings. A spokeswoman said, “We are learning more about the situation. We’re unaware of any misconduct and will fully cooperate with authorities to understand more.”
Likewise, the National Collegiate Athletic Association had no knowledge of the dealings and are trying to maintain a positive reputation.
President of the NCAA, Mark Emmert remarked, “Coaches hold a unique position of trust with student-athletes and their families and these bribery allegations, if true, suggest an extraordinary and despicable breach of that trust.” The organization will pursue the investigation further.