Jim Gatto, the former head of basketball marketing at Adidas, was sentenced to nine months in federal prison following allegations that he committed wire fraud to lure amateur basketball players to Adidas-sponsored programs at numerous universities. Also sentenced were co-defendants, Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, who both must serve six months in federal prison for their participation in the scheme.
The conviction took place in October after it was found that Gatto, Code, and Dawkins, sent payments to amateur basketball players and their families to push them to enroll in Adidas-sponsored programs around the country, including at the University of Kansas, University of Miami, and University of Louisville. Code was a former Adidas consultant, while Dawkins was an aspiring sports agent. In driving amateur players to these universities, it was alleged that the defendants hoped to one day secure their services upon entry into the NBA.
During the trial, the families of each of the defendants were present in the courtroom as the defense presented Gatto, Code, and Dawkins as “family men”.