Former Underwood assistant charged with corruption

By Will Gerard, Staff writer

Lamont Evans, a former assistant of Illinois head basketball coach Brad Underwood, was charged in an FBI investigation for taking cash bribes in return for influencing student-athletes. The investigation found that Evans allegedly steered athletes toward certain agents and advisers.

Along with Evans, assistant coach Emanuel Richardson (Arizona), assistant coach Tony Bland (USC) and associate head coach Chuck Person (Auburn) face a combined 11 charges.

Evans has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud conspiracy, solicitation of bribes and gratuities by an agent of a federally funded organization, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and travel act conspiracy.

The investigation has been ongoing since 2015.

It is unclear whether Underwood has any ties to these charges or if he had any knowledge of the allegations happening during his five-year coaching tenure with Evans, dating back to their previous coaching positions at South Carolina and Kansas State.

The investigation reports that the alleged illegal acts began when Evans was at South Carolina and allegedly continued after he went on to work at other universities.

Oklahoma State released a formal statement regarding Evans on Monday.

“We were surprised to learn this morning of potential actions against one of our assistant basketball coaches by federal officials. We are reviewing and investigating the allegations,” the statement said. “We are cooperating fully with officials. Let it be clear we take very seriously the high standards of conduct expected in our athletic department. We will not tolerate any deviation from those standards.”

Evans was an assistant coach and the recruiting director at Oklahoma State for then head basketball coach Underwood during the 2016-2017 season. Before serving under Underwood, Evans was an assistant coach at South Carolina from 2012 to 2016.

Following Underwood’s departure, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton named Evans assistant head coach.

The U.S. Department of Justice held a formal press conference to announce charges of fraud and corruption in college basketball on Tuesday.

Federal criminal charges were brought against 10 people in total, including four coaches and six representatives from a major international sportswear company. The sportswear company was not identified by name.

Oklahoma State released an updated statement Tuesday afternoon.

“Based on the serious and troubling allegations in the complaint, Oklahoma State University has suspended assistant coach Lamont Evans. We are cooperating with federal officials,” the statement said. “We have been in contact with the NCAA and will provide additional information as it becomes available. OSU takes seriously the high standards of conduct expected in our athletic department and does not tolerate any deviation from those standards.”

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