Lawyers for three individuals indicted in the FBI's investigation into widespread corruption in NCAA basketball have asked a judge to dismiss the charges because they don't actually violate federal law.
Attorneys for Adidas executives James Gatto and Merl Code, and onetime NBA agent Christian Dawkins say that while the infractions break NCAA rules, they are not criminal. The trio have been charged with wire fraud, something the lawyers maintain is inaccurate because by giving prospective players money, they were actually helping them financially rather than defrauding them.
"The payments purportedly made by Defendants were not themselves unlawful," the attorneys wrote in a motion to dismiss, via ESPN's Mark Schlabach. "It is not against the law to offer a financial incentive to a family to persuade them to send their son or daughter to a particular college."
At the center of the payment controversy is an alleged $100,000 given to the family of Louisville recruit Brian Bowen by Adidas. That ensuing scandal led to the downfall of longtime Cardinals coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.
Gatto is director of global sports marketing for Adidas. Code, a former Clemson basketball player, is also an executive with the apparel giant. Dawkins previously worked as an agent with ASM Sports but was reportedly fired last spring for charging Uber rides to the credit card of an unidentified NBA player.