NEW YORK (AP) — A former consultant for Adidas has testified he arranged cash payments to the families of top college basketball prospects in a scheme to steer them to major programs.
Thomas "T.J." Gassnola told a jury at a New York City trial on Wednesday that he helped broker the deals involving players including Deandre Ayton of Arizona and Brian Bowen Jr. of Louisville. He also named Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa of Kansas and Dennis Smith Jr. of North Carolina State.
He testified that the covert payments to youth league players and college prospects were known as "black ops" among a team of fixers.
On trial are a former Adidas executive, an amateur league director and an aspiring sports agent. They're charged with defrauding major colleges by concealing the payments.