Prior to being implicated in a federal bribery investigation a little more than a year ago, the Arizona Wildcats seemed to be on the short list of nearly every top prospect in the 2018 recruiting class. That included Nassir Little, a 5-star forward who in August 2017 had Arizona among his final five choices.
If the attorney for one of three men currently on trial in a federal basketball corruption trial is to be believed, Arizona was willing to pay a pretty penny to have Little come to Tucson. Literally.
“The University of Arizona was going to pay, or offered to pay, $150,000 for Nassir Little to go to Arizona,” Casey Donnelly, the attorney representing former Adidas executive Jim Gatto, said Tuesday during his opening statement.
Little, who ended up signing with North Carolina, was one of several current or former college basketball players whose names have already been mentioned in the trial of Gatto, fellow Adidas employee Merl Code and business manager Christian Dawkins.
Per Yahoo Sports, the three men are charged “with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud” related to the recruitment of Brian Bowen, who signed to Louisville but never played there. Gatto also has a second wire-fraud charge related to actions involving players at Kansas.
Former Arizona assistant Emanuel ‘Book’ Richardson was one of five college basketball coaches arrested last September by the FBI in relation to its investigation. Richardson, who is facing bribery and conspiracy charges, is set to go to trial in April.