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2 convicted in college basketball corruption trial

Gavel shot
Posted at 12:36 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 15:49:39-04

NEW YORK (AP) - An aspiring sports business manager and an amateur basketball coach have been convicted of bribery conspiracy at a trial that showed top college coaches were paid off to steer NBA-bound athletes to favored handlers.

The verdict Wednesday capped a two-week trial of Christian Dawkins and youth basketball coach Merl Code in a case that forced the NCAA to confront corruption affecting basketball players at elite universities.

The University of Arizona was mentioned several times during the trial. The jury heard a wiretapped phone call between former Wildcat assistant coach Book Richardson and Dawkins in which Richardson was saying that current coach Sean Miller was paying Wildcat player Deandre Ayton.

The pair were convicted on a single conspiracy count, but acquitted of some other charges.

Dawkins testified during the trial that he didn't bribe anyone.

Prosecutors say video and audio evidence was overwhelming.