Maryland men’s basketball has once again come up in relation to the ongoing federal probe into college basketball. Adidas executive Jim Gatto’s trial began Monday and his attorneys alleged Tuesday morning that Under Armour offered Kansas’ Silvio De Sousa $20,000 to play for the Terps.
Gatto’s trial is the first to result from the probe, and it was first alleged in April that he paid De Sousa that same amount on behalf of Adidas. Maryland has already been subpoenaed twice for the probe, with the second directly looking for information into De Sousa’s recruitment.
Gatto's atty also said Under Armor paid $20,000 to recruit Silvio De Sousa to sign with Maryland and Arizona offered $150,000 for Nassir Little. De Sousa is at Kansas, Little at UNC now. Goal is to make all of college hoops look corrupt.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 2, 2018
Gatto’s attorneys have also alleged Tuesday that North Carolina’s Nassir Little was offered $150,000 by Arizona to sign and Brian Bowen Jr.—currently playing in Australia—was offered an “astronomical amount of money” to sign with Oregon, according to Jeff Goodman. He’d sign with Louisville, an Adidas school, before it was later alleged his father was offered $100,000 for him to sign. Bowen’s father will testify in the trial, in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
During De Sousa’s recruitment, he seemed to be trending towards the Terps before signing with Kansas. He’d enroll a semester early and go on to play in the second half of the season for the Jayhawks. An investigation into De Sousa’s amateurism took place before he was cleared to play last season, and head coach Bill Self claimed over the summer that he wasn’t worried about De Sousa’s eligibility at the time.
Gatto’s current argument is that he was playing by the rules of status quo and helping the schools, while the NCAA paints his involvement as defrauding the schools. Whether the trial brings out information that will make the NCAA re-evaluate its amateurism rules is yet to be seen, but plenty of schools will likely be named in the the trials of Gatto, fellow Adidas executive Merl Code and agent Christian Dawkins. Maryland’s first subpoena mentioned Dawkins as well as a redacted player, widely believed to be Diamond Stone.
The trial was less eventful when it kicked off Monday, and while Under Armour was named, the Terps were not, according to Goodman. Maryland has previously stated that it has complied fully with both subpoenas, and while the newest allegations don’t look great for Maryland, they don’t necessarily allege complicity on the school’s behalf. No evidence has thus been introduced to corroborate the statement.
Nevertheless, the trial is just starting and worth keeping an eye on. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.