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Ex-USC coach Tony Bland to plead guilty in corruption case

January 2, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Former University of Southern California assistant basketball coach Tony Bland is expected to plead guilty in a criminal case in which prosecutors said bribes were paid to steer top athletes to certain schools.

Bland’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, says Bland is set to enter the plea to a single conspiracy count on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

Bland was among four assistant coaches charged in the September 2017 crackdown on college basketball recruiting corruption.

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.

Bland was scheduled to go to trial in April. He had previously pleaded not guilty.

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