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FBI College Basketball Investigation: The Purdue Effects

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Purdue’s marquee home non-conference game just got a lot more interesting.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Corruption seems like it has always been part of college basketball. It seems like every team that gets busted for having a bagman hides 10 more that have secret money behind the scenes. While at times it feels like everyone is dirty, there are some schools and coaches that have a “reputation” for skirting the legalities of the NCAA.

Today it was federal law that took a larger stand against school, as a few assistant coaches were actually arrested on corruption charges:

Investigators have been looking at whether coaches at these schools have been paid by outside entities—such as financial advisers, agents, and apparel companies—in exchange for pressuring players to associate with those entities, people familiar with the investigation said. Executives at at least one apparel company are expected to be among those arrested, a person familiar with the matter said.

The investigation is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.

Broadly, the investigation has shed light on the highly competitive recruiting pipeline that brings elite high-school basketball players through Division I college programs and into the professional leagues, and the role played by assistant coaches in that process, the people said.

Here are those that have been arrested so far:

Lamont Evans – Oklahoma State

Chuck Person – Auburn

Emanuel Richardson – Arizona

In addition to this, Miami, South Carolina, and Louisville have been implicated along with an executive from Adidas.

The good news is that Purdue has not been named in this at all. It appears to be limited to schools that have a relationship with Adidas. It does seem to touch Louisville and Arizona, both of whom Purdue might play this coming season. Louisville comes to Mackey Arena for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in late November while Purdue could play Arizona in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Things are looking really bad at Louisville, too:

This could have some pretty large effects on that game with Louisville in November. It is still very early in the investigative process, so we will see what happens.