Judge Edgardo Ramos for the Southern District of New York ruled that that actions of University of Arizona men’s basketball coach, Sean Miller, and Louisiana State University men’s basketball coach, Will Wade, are irrelevant to the upcoming college basketball bribery trial and will thus not have to testify. An audio from a wiretap of Wade allegedly discussing an offer to a recruit, believed to be LSU player Javonte Smart, will also not be permitted during the trial.
The coaches were subpoenaed for a trial involving sports agent Christian Dawkins and Adidas representative Merl Code over federal bribery and conspiracy charges. Federal prosecutors say Dawkins and Code paid college assistant coaches to direct their players towards them for professional representation.
Defense attorneys argued that testimony from Miller and Wade, in addition to audio evidence and recovered text messages, was necessary to show the state of mind Dawkins was operating under when he was accused of bribing assistant coaches. In regards to Miller, they argued that because of his alleged willingness to pay his players, he has more influence over players than his assistants.
The prosecutors argued, though, that a lot of people may be influencing players. While Judge Ramos agreed to grant the prosecutors’ motion to keep both coaches from testifying, he said the motions “are subject to being revisited depending on how the evidence at the trial plays out.”
Andrew Distell is a Sports Highlight Contributor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current first year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2021).
Image: Jeff Turner, USAirwaysCenter-2008NCAAWestRegional, CC BY 2.0
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