Witness in NCAA basketball corruption trial says he paid Pitt, Penn State players | TribLIVE.com
Pitt

Witness in NCAA basketball corruption trial says he paid Pitt, Penn State players

Doug Gulasy
1064082_web1_gtr-maybin2-042419
Getty Images
Penn State’s Aaron Maybin plays against Ohio State on Oct. 25, 2008, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

A continuing trial into corruption in NCAA basketball took a turn into college football Tuesday, when a former Pittsburgh financial adviser said he paid players from several major football programs, including Pitt and Penn State.

Marty Blazer, an informant for federal investigators into their probe of payments made to college basketball players, testified that between 2010 and 2014 he paid anywhere between several hundred to several thousand dollars to football players from Pitt, Penn State, Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina and Northwestern, according to reports from the trial from the New York Times’ Adam Zagoria and Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel.

Blazer’s testimony for the government implicated former Penn State football star Aaron Maybin. Per reports from Wetzel, Blazer said a Penn State football assistant asked him to pay a player’s father $10,000 so his son wouldn’t enter the 2009 NFL Draft. The son entered the draft anyway and was selected 11th overall by the Buffalo Bills, with his father later repaying the $10,000.

Maybin, selected 11th by the Bills in 2009, played two seasons for Buffalo and two for the New York Jets.

No players were referenced by name and former Penn State assistant Larry Johnson Sr. denied the accusations, Wetzel reported.

Blazer is testifying for the government in the trial of Merl Code, a former shoe company consultant, and Christian Dawkins, an aspiring agent. The trial is looking into alleged bribes paid to NCAA basketball assistant coaches for steering top players to Dawkins’ company.

Code and Dawkins previously were convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for their roles in funneling money to top recruits and their families to play for Adidas-sponsored basketball schools. Adidas executive James Gatto also was convicted in the case.

Assistant basketball coaches at several schools, including Arizona, Auburn, Creighton, Louisville, Oklahoma State, TCU and USC were fired in the wake of the ongoing investigation, as was former Louisville coach Rick Pitino.

Arizona coach Sean Miller, a Blackhawk native and former Pitt basketball star, was accused of paying players and was expected to testify in the trial, but judge Edgardo Ramos ruled last week he wouldn’t have to take the witness stand.

Blazer faces 67 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one each of aggravated identity theft, securities fraud and lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to a Ponzi scheme in which he was accused of taking millions of dollars from clients to invest in two movies.

Former Pitt offensive lineman Jason Pinkston, a Baldwin graduate who played for the Panthers from 2007-10, called Blazer a “clown” on Twitter.

Categories: Sports | Penn State | Pitt | Top Stories
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.