First an anonymous former college coach told the Houston Chronicle on Monday Salinas "hinted he could steer players my way" in return for "a significant sum of money." Then former Houston coach Tom Penders made a similar accusation on the record, telling The Daily that Salinas requested a $100,000 investment in their first meeting and "made a strong, strong implication" that it would help gain access to prospects
"He talked about all these coaches that he had investing with him," Penders told The Daily. "I told him because he was an AAU guy, I couldn't possibly get involved in that. I said, 'I think that's kind of a rules violation, or could be.'"
That Penders would make such a strong on-the-record statement about Salinas' motives will make it far more difficult for other coaches who invested with him to claim that it was unrelated to basketball. CBSSports.com reported Sunday night that a handful of prominent coaches have financial ties to Salinas including Baylor's Scott Drew, former Arizona coach Lute Olson Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie and Nebraska coach Doc Sadler.
If the NCAA hadn't already planned to investigate the coaches who invested with Salinas, the accusation from Penders surely will make the story impossible to ignore. Houston Select has produced standouts such as Jawann McClellan (Arizona), Demetri Goodson (Gonzaga), Joseph Jones (Texas A&M), Dexter Pittman (Texas) and Cartier Martin (Kansas State).
In the initial CBS report, several coaches appeared to be more concerned about the money they lost to Salinas' ponzi scheme than the possibility of an NCAA investigation. If coaches are forced to produce documents detailing their financial ties to Salinas and reveal why they invested with the founder of an AAU program, they may have to worry about keeping their jobs too.