Former University of Southern California assistant men's basketball coach Tony Bland pleaded guilty Wednesday in Manhattan federal court to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Among four assistant coaches charged in the September 2017 crackdown on college basketball recruiting corruption, Bland is the first to have accepted a plea deal. He was scheduled to go to trial in April.

As reported by the Associated Press, prosecutors say the coaches teamed up with a top Adidas executive and others to trade hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes' choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents and even tailors.

 

Paul Steinbach is Senior Editor of Athletic Business.