Former Auburn basketball assistant coach Chuck Person was sentenced on Wednesday for his role in the massive bribery scandal that implicated some high profile programs.
ESPN reports that Person got off relatively lightly, being sentenced to 200 hours of community service with two years of probation, despite sentencing guidelines that called for two years in prison. The other coaches who were caught up in the scandal and pleaded guilty also received lighter sentences.
Person took $91,500 in bribes from a financial adviser in exchange for steering players he coached toward working with him. The adviser, however, was working as a cooperator with the government, and provided evidence in the case implicating Person.
Judge Loretta A. Preska, in announcing her decision, said that she disagreed with prosecutors claims that Person was motivated to accept the bribes by greed, saying that “he is charitable literally to a fault.”
Person, a former NBA player, was facing financial difficulties at the time he accepted the bribes. During his 13 year career, he bought homes and cars for friends and family, and used his new wealth to support them on a continuing basis. When his playing career ended, Person began earning substantially less money, causing his financial situation to worsen.
“Chuck’s singular focus on basketball, his failure to plan for his financial future, and his unbounded generosity ultimately had catastrophic consequences,” lawyers for Person wrote.
“I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway,” Person said of his crime at the sentencing hearing.