USC says Tony Bland ‘caused significant harm’ in college basketball corruption case

Los Angeles Times

Former USC associate head coach Tony Bland “caused significant harm to USC and its student-athletes” in connection with the federal probe into college basketball corruption, according to a letter from a senior school official filed in U.S. District Court in New York.

Michael Blanton, USC’s vice president for professionalism and ethics, sent the three-paragraph victim impact statement to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos last month in advance of Bland’s sentencing Wednesday.

“The actions of Mr. Bland and his co-conspirators have significantly damaged the reputation of USC as an institution, the USC athletic department, and its men’s basketball program,” Blanton wrote.

“Further, their actions have prompted an NCAA investigation that may result in penalties. Lastly, USC was forced to expend significant amounts of money to investigate Mr. Bland’s conduct and to cooperate with the government as it has prosecuted this case.”

Bland pleaded guilty in January to a felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery as part of a deal with prosecutors. He admitted to accepting a $4,100 bribe in July 2017 in exchange for directing USC players to use a sports management company when they turned professional.

#basketball, #college

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