NCAA 'aggressively' seeking information in federal hoops corruption case

The NCAA is hoping to get access to more of the information from the U.S. Attorney's college basketball investigation. (AP)
The NCAA is hoping to get access to more of the information from the U.S. Attorney's college basketball investigation. (AP)

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA is weighing whether to submit a legal filing asking the federal government for access to more of the information that has been gathered in the U.S. Attorney's investigation into corruption in college basketball, NCAA executive vice president and chief legal officer Donald Remy told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

Remy confirmed that, at present, NCAA enforcement representatives have not been privy to prosecutors' information beyond what was publicly presented last October in the first of three scheduled federal trials. That documentation, testimony and electronic surveillance, which was part of the federal prosecution of Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas consultant Merl Code Jr. and agent-runner Christian Dawkins, represented just a fraction of the evidence collected by the government. Remy said the NCAA will seek some of the additional information via federal court as part of the association's follow-up inquiry into the sprawling scandal exposed by federal authorities in September 2017.

"We're actively trying to get that information which we don't presently have access to," Remy said. "We're contemplating asking the court to give us access to additional information that hasn't yet been presented publicly, the documents and the exhibits [that] haven't been presented in the courtroom in a way that would provide us or the public with access to that information.

"There's two more trials coming up where there will be information, presumably assuming those trials occur. What we'd like to do is have [information] at our disposal to make judgments about whether or not it is relevant to our rules and whether or not those rules have been violated."

Remy and vice president of enforcement Jon Duncan stressed that while the NCAA has been limited in its ability to dive into full-bore investigative mode due to the ongoing federal investigation — the second trial is scheduled to start in April, and the third in June — they are ready and willing to do so when verdicts have been reached and sentences handed down.

"We're not sitting on our hands," Remy said. "We've been aggressively asking for data and information that might be useful to our process. Since the beginning. I say all that, but then I want to reiterate that we don't want to do anything that interferes with their ability to prosecute those cases. That's the position we've taken from the beginning as well."

There's a trove of information that's been under protective order since the initial charges were issued in September of 2017. Those include 4,000 intercepted phone calls from 330 days of monitoring, many of them from Dawkins. (He, Gatto and Code were found guilty of felony fraud charges in the October trial and are awaiting sentencing.)

The general feeling has been that the information that didn't arise publicly in court would be sealed in perpetuity, and Duncan underscored that the information would not be easily accessed. "The FBI is not going to back up to the loading dock and unload their stuff," Duncan said.

Remy added that the NCAA also has begun reaching out to the defense attorneys in the case to see if they could access relevant information that way.

"One of the things we've recently done is to reach out to the defendants' counsel," he said. "Again, demonstrating that we're aggressively trying to gather information that might be relevant to our work, to see whether or not they could provide some information that would be helpful."

The NCAA wouldn't estimate a timeframe for the investigation. But they are operating with the understanding that they can't fully begin their process, which customarily is lengthy, until the federal process ends.

"I don't know what inning we're in, I don't know what quarter we're in," Remy said. "To your point, we've got a couple of trials coming up this spring. Maybe that's the fourth quarter in the end of this."

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