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Defendant in NCAA corruption case denies bribing hoops coach

By The News · 04 of May 2019 11:37:24
AP Photo, Christian Dawkins, No available, FILE - In this March 5, 2019, file photo, Christian Dawkins arrives at federal court in New York. A prosecutor says greed led a fledgling manager of basketball players to bribe college coaches but defense lawyers say it was all an FBI setup. The characterizations came during opening statements Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in the second trial to result from a prosecution that has exposed a seedy side of college basketball recruitment. On trial are business manager Christian Dawkins and ex-amateur league director Merl Code. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A former recruiter for a professional sports agent has taken the witness stand at his New York City trial, where he’s accused of bribing a college basketball coach.

Christian Dawkins denied on Wednesday allegations that he paid a $2,500 bribe to then-University of South Carolina assistant Lamont Evans. He told a federal jury that the money was meant to pay expenses for the family of South Carolina basketball player P.J. Dozier, a top NBA prospect at the time.

Prosecutors say that in exchange for the bribe, Evans was expected to encourage players to sign with the agency where Dawkins worked. Dawkins insisted it wouldn’t make sense to bribe coaches because they don’t have enough influence over players’ business decisions.

Evans has pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy charges and awaits sentencing.