University of Miami

UM waits as judge issues extension to key figures in FBI probe

University of Miami coach Jim Larrañaga and his team, which won its first exhibition game 106-79 over Newberry College Wednesday night, begins its season as FBI investigation continues.
University of Miami coach Jim Larrañaga and his team, which won its first exhibition game 106-79 over Newberry College Wednesday night, begins its season as FBI investigation continues. MIAMI HERALD

The three central figures in the FBI investigation of corruption in college basketball have been granted a two-week continuance (extension) by a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York to delay pre-trial to Nov. 9, according to documents obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

The motion for the continuance, filed Oct. 27, says Christian Dawkins, Munish Sood and Jonathan Brad Augustine “have been engaged in, and are continuing, discussions concerning a possible disposition of these cases.”

The papers reported that the three defendants were likely working on plea deals, but Dawkins’ lawyer, Steve Haney, refuted that to NBC Sports.

“Though the continuance was anticipated, the suggestion it is based on my client’s cooperation with the Federal Government is patently false,” Haney told NBC Sports. “Christian Dawkins is not talking. He has no reason to talk and will aggressively fight the allegations.”

Dawkins was a runner for a sports agent; Sood was Dawkins’ partner and a financial advisor; and Augustine helped run an AAU basketball program in Orlando.

The three men were arrested in September – along with seven others -- after a two-year FBI investigation found they allegedly schemed to bribe high school prospects and their families to attend specific colleges and later sign with Adidas and certain advisers.

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga spoke publicly about the recruiting corruption probe for the first time on Monday Oct. 23, 2017.

Although the University of Miami was not named in the report, the school and head coach Jim Larrañaga were linked to the probe because the coach’s name was mentioned in a phone conversation between defendants, and also a cell phone belonging to Larrañaga was used to make two calls to an Adidas official implicated in the investigation. Larrañaga has emphatically denied any wrongdoing by him or his staff. The Hurricanes won their opening exhibition game 106-79 over Newberry College on Wednesday night, and start the regular season Nov. 10.

Gak coping with redshirt decision: UM freshman Deng Gak, a 6-10 forward/center who was raised in Australia and finished high school at Blair Academy in New Jersey, was unhappy to hear he will be redshirted. But, he says he’ll make the best of the situation.

“At first it started as an NCAA issue, because my first two years of high school were done in a different country and they were trying to figure out if all the credits transferred and if I’d be eligible,” Gak said. “Then coaches sat down with me and told me it might be for the best anyway for me to redshirt and spend the year gaining weight and working on my game and putting myself in better position to help the team.

“It’s hard to hear that, but I have to control what I can control, so I’ll work hard and learn for next year.”

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