The attorney for former Adidas executive Jim Gatto said in court Tuesday that Arizona had offered — or was prepared to offer — $150,000 to land recruit Nassir Little.
Star correspondent Adam Zagoria is covering the trial, which is taking place at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in New York. Tuesday's news follows what attorney Michael Schachter said during Monday's jury selection — that Gatto was told Arizona, a Nike school, was prepared to pay Little and that Adidas was asked to match the money. Arizona's reported offer to Little was first alleged in a federal complaint released a year ago.
Gatto’s defense attorney says Gatto ‘was told Arizona was going to pay or had offered to pay (Nassir Little) $150K if he went to Arizona. ‘Jim was asked to level the playing field so Nassar could go to Miami, an Adidas school.’Little is now at UNC, a Nike/Jordan school.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 2, 2018
Jim Gatto’s defense attorney also alleges Under Armour paid $20K for Silvio de Sousa to go to Maryland and that Gatto was asked if Adidas could match. De Sousa is now at Kansas , an Adidas school— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 2, 2018
Gatto's attorney also said Tuesday that Pac-12 rival Oregon was prepared to spend "an astronomical amount of money" to land recruit Brian Bowen. Bowen took both official and unofficial visits to Arizona before choosing Louisville. A federal complaint says Louisville wired $100,000 to Brian Bowen Sr. shortly before his son committed. The scandal cost longtime Cardinals coach Rick Pitino his job.
Bowen's father has cut a deal with prosecutors and is expected to testify in the trial.
College hoops trial update: Defense attorney for Jim Gatto claims in opening statement the evidence will show that Oregon offered an “astronomical amount of money” if Brian Bowen went to Oregon. She was illustrating that Gatto was leveling the playing field.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) October 2, 2018
Arizona coach Sean Miller, former assistant Book Richardson and former star Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA Draft, are all likely to be mentioned during the three-to-four-week trial, prosecutors say. When asked Monday about the attorneys' mention of his name in court, Miller referred reporters to a statement he made a year ago about his commitment to compliance. Former Arizona associate head coach Joe Pasternack's name was added to the "other relevant individuals" list presented by prosecutors on Tuesday. Pasternack, now the head coach at UC Santa Barbara, was with Richardson when the coaches first met co-defendant Christian Dawkins, according to the federal complaint.
The day he returned to the UA program in March, Miller declared he "never arranged or directed payment or improper benefits to a recruit or prospect or family or representative and I never will." Miller said he was approached about paying a player once, and "I did not agree to it. It never happened and that player did not come to the University of Arizona."
It's unclear which recruit Miller was referring to.