Ex-NBA star Chuck “The Rifleman” Connors Person, a former assistant basketball coach at Auburn, pled guilty Tuesday
Ex-NBA star Chuck “The Rifleman” Connors Person, a former assistant basketball coach at Auburn, pled guilty on Tuesday to a conspiracy charge for his role in a kickback scheme in which NCAA coaches took payment for student athletes to agents, apparel companies and others.
Person pled guilty to accepting $91,500 in bribes during his time as an assistant coach of the men’s basketball program at Auburn for sending players to an investment adviser.
“Yes, ma’am,” replied Person when Manhattan federal Judge Loretta Preska asked him if he is “in fact guilty” of the charge and she accepted the plea.
Under the conditions of the plea deal, Person will face anywhere from 24 to 30 months in prison. He will also have to forfeit his ill-gotten gains and will not be able to appeal.
His sentencing is set for July 9.
Chuck Person, one of the coaches caught up in one of the largest corruption scandals to hit college basketball, reached a plea agreement on a conspiracy charge for his role in a scheme to steer players to agents and advisers in exchange for bribes.
Person, who was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1986, was indicted in 2017 on six counts, including conspiracy and solicitation of bribes.
At the time his attorneys said “Chuck Person did not commit a crime and we’re confident he will be vindicated at trial after a jury hears all the evidence,” his lawyer, Theresa Trzaskoma, said in a statement.
He was facing up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
According to a letter that federal prosecutors filed a few days to the beginning of March Madness, Person agreed to change his plea.
The other four coaches indicted as part of the scandal are Emanuel “Book” Richardson, assistant coach at Arizona; Tony Bland, University of Southern California assistant coach; and Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State University.
Also indicted were James Gatto, former director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas; Merl Code, a sports consultant; and Christian Dawkins, a former sports agent.