Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

It's been over a year since the first arrests were made in the FBI's investigation of corruption in college basketball and the trial is now underway.

One of the surprises coming out of the federal courtroom this week was a direct implication against the University of Oregon men's basketball team. On Friday, Oregon coach Dana Altman spoke to reporters for the first time since the allegations.

"The claims at our programs are all false," said Altman. "We dont pay players, we never will."

There has been no evidence to prove Oregon's alleged offer, to date. Here how the week played out in court for Oregon. 

The fraud trial is focused on Adidas exectuive Jim Gatto, former Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports agent Christian Dawkins. They have been accused of paying prep players to steer them to certain Adidas-aligned schools.

Oregon had no ties with the pay-to-play scandal until Monday when Oregon appeared on the university list given to jurors

On Tuesday, Gatto's attourney said evidence would show that Oregon offered "an astronomical amount of money" to recruit five-star prospect Brian Bowen to entice him to play for the Ducks. Adidas' $100,000 deal for Bowen to commit to Louisville was to "level the playing field."

 

On Wednesday, during a playback of a of a secret recording, Oregon was mentioned again. On the recording, Dawkins and Code both described Oregon's offer to five-star recruit Brian Bowen as "astronomical" but provided no further details. Bowen was set to go to Oregon, but Code said, "let me work the phones and get something done."

Then on Thursday, Brian Bowen Sr., the father of Bowen Jr., took the witness stand and explained the offers he received from various colleges:

-Oklahoma State would pay $150,000, plus money for a car and a house

-Creighton would pay $100,000 and provide a job for Bowen Sr. 

-Arizona would pay $50,000

When asked about Oregon specifically, Bowen Sr.'s response was "I don't recall." Bowen can't recall talking with Dawkins about a possible payment from Oregon.

It is unknown to what extent the UO men's basketball program will be included in the trial that is expected to explore the underbelly of college basketball recruiting. No one with ties to the Oregon program is listed on the potential witness list. However, former Duck Troy Brown Jr. is on the list of college players Dawkins said he was “actively involved with." 

Oregon issued a statement in response to the allegations. The university will monitor the court proceedings and did not mention any plans of internal investiagion. 

"Based on all of the information currently available, we feel confident that coach Dana Altman and members of his staff uphold the highest standards of integrity in recruiting," part of the statement said. "Coach Altman is one of the nation’s most respected men’s basketball coaches, and we are proud of his strong track record of success on and off the court."

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