Washington adds four assistant coaches including Tony Bland, who was part of 2017 FBI probe

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington coach Danny Sprinkle announced the hiring of four assistant coaches on Thursday, including former Southern California assistant Tony Bland, a key figure in the 2017 FBI probe designed to clean up college basketball.

Bland was most recently the head coach at St. Bernard High School in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he served as the associate head coach at USC from 2013-17 under Andy Enfield when he became part of the FBI investigation. The FBI probe was aimed at rooting out an entrenched system of off-the-books payments to players and their families that, at the time, was against NCAA rules.

Bland was one of four Black assistant coaches and 10 total individuals who were arrested as part of the probe. As part of his plea deal with federal prosecutors, Bland acknowledged accepting a $4,100 bribe during a July 2017 meeting with financial advisers and business managers in exchange for directing players to retain their services when they entered the pro ranks. He received two years’ probation.

Bland also received a three-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA that expired last month.

“Coach Bland has tremendous basketball knowledge and a winning pedigree. He has worked with and learned from some of the greatest coaches in our game and our guys will appreciate his perspective as a former player himself,” Sprinkle said in a statement.

Along with the addition of Bland, the Huskies added Andy Hill, DeMarlo Slocum and Jerry Hobbie to the coaching staff. Hill was with Sprinkle last season at Utah State and Slocum was at Utah. Hobbie is the lone holdover from the previous Washington stuff under Mike Hopkins.


AP college basketball: and