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NYC jury begins deliberations at college hoops bribery trial

Christian Dawkins

FILE - In this March 5, 2019, file photo, Christian Dawkins arrives at federal court in New York. A prosecutor says greed led a fledgling manager of basketball players to bribe college coaches but defense lawyers say it was all an FBI setup. The characterizations came during opening statements Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in the second trial to result from a prosecution that has exposed a seedy side of college basketball recruitment. On trial are business manager Christian Dawkins and ex-amateur league director Merl Code. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)


NEW YORK — A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a once-aspiring business manager for NBA players and another man accused of bribing assistant college basketball coaches.

Deliberations began Monday after jurors heard closing arguments by lawyers for Christian Dawkins and youth basketball coach Merl Code. The jury ended the day without reaching a verdict.

Deliberations were to resume Tuesday.

The two men deny paying off coaches from major programs to get help landing NBA-bound players as clients. Dawkins testified that it wouldn’t make sense to bribe coaches because they have little influence over players’ decisions about agents and business managers.

Prosecutors say the men were caught in an FBI sting paying coaches thousands of dollars. Evidence included images from 2017 of Dawkins handing the coaches envelopes stuffed with cash.