Adidas’ PR team is scrambling in the wake of what could be one of the largest scandals in college sports history.
On Tuesday, federal investigators announced that 10 people involved with four NCAA basketball programs would be charged with fraud.
Among those arrested were Adidas employees and affiliates, including James Gatto, the company’s global sports marketing director. Four college basketball coaches were also indicted for their roles in accepting bribes in exchange for steering college athletes toward specific financial advisors.
The Adidas reps stand accused of conspiring to pay prospective student athletes’ families up to $150,000 if the player committed to Adidas-sponsored schools (reportedly Louisville and Miami) and subsequently signed endorsement deals with Adidas when they turned pro.
After the news broke, NCAA’s president, Mark Emmert, issued a statement: