Tuesday, September 10, 2019

College basketball recruiting fixer with ties to KU sentenced to probation in corruption case

A University of Kansas-branded Adidas basketball is pictured in March 2018.

A University of Kansas-branded Adidas basketball is pictured in March 2018.


A college basketball recruiting fixer who revealed that he had made illicit payments to University of Kansas basketball players will not spend any more time in jail for his actions in the college basketball corruption case.

Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola was sentenced Tuesday to a year of probation, including two months of home detention, according to a federal court filing. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan cited Gassnola’s cooperation with prosecutors as the reason he will avoid jail, according to a tweet from Pete Brush, a court reporter in New York City. Kaplan gave Gassnola credit for time served, but it wasn't clear how much time Gassnola had served.

Gassnola, a former Adidas consultant who was a key government witness for the college basketball corruption trial in October 2018, pleaded guilty to fraud charges and provided testimony in the case that will send three other men to prison for fraud convictions.

In March, Kaplan sentenced former Adidas executive James Gatto to nine months in prison and business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code to six months in prison for fraud convictions related to their admitted effort to channel secret payments to the families of top recruits, luring them to major basketball programs sponsored by Adidas, including KU. The three men are appealing the verdict.

During the trial, testimony focused on KU coach Bill Self’s relationship with Gassnola. Gassnola testified that he paid the families of players to steer them to KU, including $90,000 to the mother of former KU player Billy Preston and $2,500 to the guardian of current KU player Silvio De Sousa. Gassnola testified that he never told Self about the payments.


Jeff Coffman 2 years, 10 months ago

Am I missing something here:

4 People:

1 - No jail time

1 - 9 months jail

2 - 6 months jail

Are the Nike and other trials going to be similar?

Bee Bee 2 years, 10 months ago

The F B I is on the case. I ll sleep better at night knowing these mad dogs are in jail!!!! Great work.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 10 months ago

The bigger impact will be all the programs affected. Lots of schools are sweating it out wondering if the NCAA will be giving them a call, including us.

Tim Orel 2 years, 10 months ago

I just wish the NCAA had statutes of limitations. I don't know that they do, so KU will forever be on pins and needles concerning this. I'll bet the NCAA is happy not to have any deadlines hanging over them.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 9 months ago

In bigger news involving the NCAA, California is proposing a bill that will allow student-athletes to cash in on their images. I LOVE this!!! California is playing hardball with the NCAA and if it passes hopefully Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado and Utah will follow suit.

Joe Black 2 years, 10 months ago

This is an old news non-story. Dylan Lysen is just trying to make a name for himself by stirring the pot. The two KU players involved: 1) Preston never played a minute for KU. 2) DeSousa had to sit an entire year over $2,500. That in and of itself is ridiculous.

Meanwhile in other news, Duke has cleared itself of any wrongdoing in the Zion Williamson recruiting. His dad said he would go anywhere unless they paid $150,000 but Duke found no evidence that he was paid. Williamson's dad evidently got a nice bonus from work because he was suddenly about to buy some really nice things.

Barry Weiss 2 years, 9 months ago

as creepy porn lawyer said," who conducted the Duke investigation, Inspector Clouseau?"

RJ King 2 years, 9 months ago

If you think it's soooo last quarter, then don't read it.

The kid got an assignment and went about his job. It's kind of pathetic of you to chastise someone perhaps barely out of college, AND assume a motive for which you have absolutely no basis. Project much?

Robert Brock 2 years, 10 months ago

adidas is not only a sleazy company but unusually dumb. Nike isn’t as dumb as adidas...

Robert Robinson 2 years, 9 months ago

Dane Pratt, Personally I have nothing against this article, but these days, with 99% of "news" reporting being a biased, click bate business, it's easy to be wary about "journalism".

Dane Pratt 2 years, 9 months ago

99% sounds like hyperbole. Are you really that leery of the news media.

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