Evans Sentenced to Three Months for Bribes

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos sentenced former South Carolina and Oklahoma State assistant men’s basketball coach Lamont Evans to three months in prison on June 7, 2019. Evans has been charged with accepting bribes to direct players to a government informant whom he thought was a financial adviser. Last week, Judge Ramos also sentenced former University of Southern California coach Tony Bland with two years’ probation, while former Arizona coach Emanuel Richardson received three months in prison.

In January, Evans pled guilty to accepting $22,000 in bribes over the course of many months. In doing so, he threatened the eligibility of multiple former college basketball players and, from the standpoint of the NCAA, the well-being of the schools that employed him.

Evans acknowledged that what he had done was wrong., his attorney suggested that this mistake likely costs Evans millions of dollars, seeing as he was likely on track for a top-tier coaching job in the NCAA.

Evans’ sentence was much lower than the 18-24 months prosecutors Robert L. Boone, Eli J. Mark, and Noah D. Solowiejczyk were seeking. It is likely that Judge Ramos showed Evans leniency because he was well regarded in his community and helped many disadvantaged children. Evans will forfeit the $22,000 of bribe money he accepted in 2016 and 2017 as well as surrender himself for custody on July 26.

However, this may just be the start of Evans’ legal issues. Evans is a citizen of Barbados, and though he has lived in the United States since he was two years old, he could face deportation upon his release in the fall.

Additionally, ex-Auburn assistant coach, Chuck Person, will be sentenced later this year. Person pleaded guilty to accepting $90,000 worth of bribe money and was involved in fraud, bribery and deception to such a point that prosecutors severed his offenses to a separate case from Evans, Bland and Richardson.

Since the federal government’s investigation into bribery and fraud in college basketball recruiting, university athletics are treading lightly. University NCAA Compliance staff must remain vigilant; this has become a constant topic of concern since Bland, Richardson, Evans and Person — along with Christian Dawkins, Merl Code, and others — were arrested in late September 2017. These rulings are a clear indication that individuals will be found guilty of federal crimes for engaging in activities that violate NCAA rules.

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