A Manhattan federal judge Friday meted out another prison sentence to a former NCAA Division I assistant basketball coach who copped to taking bribes to funnel college players to certain sports managers.
This time it was a three-month sentence for Lamont Evans, 41, who admitted that, during his time with the University of South Carolina and, later, Oklahoma State University, he took $22,000 in kickbacks.
But because of his crimes, Evans, a Florida resident, may be subject to the added penalty of getting deported, his lawyer told the judge. Evans immigrated to the US from Barbados when he was 2 years old and never became a full citizen.
Evans was the third former coach sentenced this week for taking part in a scheme that resulted in the 2017 arrests of four assistant coaches, three athlete advisers, an Adidas executive and two consultants to the apparel company.
On Wednesday, District Judge Edgardo Ramos sentenced former University of Southern coach Tony Bland, who admitted to taking $4,100 in bribes, to five years probation.
The next day, the judge sentenced former University of Arizona coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson, who said he was on the take for $20,000, to three months in prison.
Before Evans’ sentencing, his lawyer, William Martin, tried to convince the judge to give his client probation, arguing that the former coach’s bribe-taking was nothing compared to some of the fraudsters who have passed through Manhattan federal court.
“In the grand scheme of the fraud schemes that this court has seen, in the grand scheme of fraud schemes that happen in this country, $22,000 is not an awful lot of money,” Martin said.
Ramos agreed the figure was low “for the types of cases we see in these parts” but said Evans freely put his own financial interests over that of the student-athletes he lied to and hurt his employer’s reputation.
“No one had to be convinced to take bribes,” Ramos said. “I don’t know what that tells us about the industry generally.”
Evans must surrender to authorities by July 26.
“It’s one of the saddest days of my life,” Evans told reporters after the hearing.
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