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Oregon dragged into fray in college hoops corruption trial

Dan Wetzel – Columnist - Yahoo Sports

NEW YORK – It didn’t take long for college basketball’s dirty laundry – or at least accusations of it – to begin getting aired out at the sport’s federal corruption trial here in Lower Manhattan.

During opening statements Tuesday morning, a defense attorney for Adidas executive Jim Gatto acknowledged that her client had committed numerous NCAA violations, specifically in agreeing to send $100,000 to the family of top recruit Brian Bowen in exchange for him attending the University of Louisville.

However, Gatto only did it, she argued, because he was asked by Louisville assistant coaches to “level the playing field” in a recruiting battle for the Saginaw, Michigan forward with the Nike-supported University of Oregon.

“Oregon, a Nike school, offered [Bowen] an astronomical amount of money if he’d go to Oregon,” attorney Casey Donnelly said.

That allegation was backed up by the attorney for Adidas consultant Merl Code.

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