The Dagger - NCAAB

Financial adviser’s scheme could cost coaches more than money

The death of an investment adviser who founded a prominent Houston-area summer basketball program has led to the revelation of some financial details a handful of college coaches probably would rather have kept secret.

David Salinas' apparent suicide on Sunday came not long after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating him for defrauding clients out of millions of dollars, according to a report. Among the 10 coaches the report confirmed invested with the 60-year-old Salinas were former Arizona coach Lute Olson, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie and former Utah coach and current Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti.

What makes this a potential blockbuster story is that any coach proven to have invested with Salinas may lose more than just money. The NCAA surely will be interested in the financial connection between college coaches and the founder of a summer program that has produced standouts such as Jawann McClellan (Arizona), Demetri Goodson (Gonzaga), Joseph Jones (Texas A&M), Dexter Pittman (Texas) and Cartier Martin (Kansas State).

It's unclear whether the NCAA will view these coaches' investments as a rules violations, but this story demonstrates how advanced the methods are that programs are using to gain influence over recruits.

Handing a recruit a brief case full of cash is now as archaic as peach baskets or the four corners offense. Why do that when you can fund an AAU coach's non-profit organization that specializes in bringing top African players to the United States? Or hire a recruit's dad as an assistant coach? Or form a relationship with an agent or financial adviser willing to pay a player?

The coaches with financial ties to Salinas appear to be most concerned with how much money they've lost for right now. Once more details emerge and the NCAA launches an inevitable investigation, however, they may have to start worrying about their job security as well.

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