TCU

TCU places embattled assistant Corey Barker on administrative leave

TCU assistant coach Corey Barker on the bench in the second half of a NCAA college basketball game at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, Monday, Mar. 04, 2019. Kansas State Wildcats defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 64-52. (Star-Telegram Bob Booth)
TCU assistant coach Corey Barker on the bench in the second half of a NCAA college basketball game at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, Monday, Mar. 04, 2019. Kansas State Wildcats defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 64-52. (Star-Telegram Bob Booth) Bob Booth

TCU men’s basketball assistant coach Corey Barker has been placed on administrative leave, athletics director Jeremiah Donati said in a statement.

Barker has been linked to the FBI college basketball corruption case, allegedly receiving a bribery payment to steer TCU players to a specific sports agency.

The federal government made the accusation in a superseding indictment filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York. Barker has not been charged with a crime, and reports suggest it’s unlikely he will be.

TCU acknowledged a subpoena for employment records, and Donati on Thursday said the department is conducting an “internal review.” On Friday, he issued an additional statement that Barker had been placed on administrative leave.

“While TCU conducts an internal review, assistant men’s basketball coach Corey Barker has been placed on administrative leave,” Donati said in a statement. “In light of the ongoing judicial process and our institutional practice of not discussing personnel matters, we will have no further comment.”

Barker allegedly received a $6,000 bribery payment from Christian Dawkins, who was sentenced to six months in prison and found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for funneling illegal payments to families of recruits earlier this week.

Barker received the money to steer TCU players toward Dawkins’ sports management agency.

Condoleezza Rice and the Commission on College Basketball is advocating for an NCAA program that certifies agents. Only those agents would be permitted to be in contact with student athletes.

In an alleged phone conversation, Barker and Dawkins discussed arranging a meeting between a TCU player likely to be drafted in the NBA Draft and Dawkins in the summer of 2017.

Barker allegedly told Dawkins that signing the player as a client would be a “layup.”

The TCU player has not been identified.

Barker has been on Jamie Dixon’s staff since he took over the head coaching job for the 2016-17 season. Barker joined TCU after serving one season as an assistant at Louisiana Tech.

Every assistant coach who has been linked to this FBI case has lost his job. The Justice Department announced it had indicted and arrested 10 people in September 2017, including four college basketball assistant coaches.

Auburn’s Chuck Person, Arizona’s Emanuel “Book” Richardson, Southern Cal’s Tony Bland and Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans were all accused of accepting bribes, and each were fired by their respective universities.

But, as stated, those assistants were charged with crimes. Barker is not expected to be, something that isn’t sitting well with Dawkins’ attorney, Steve Haney.

“What is truly offensive is the selective prosecution,” Haney told Yahoo Sports on Thursday, questioning the government’s decision to indict the four coaches in September 2017 but not Barker or Creighton assistant Preston Murphy this week.

“There are lives and careers on the line here. Why were those men prosecuted and these two aren’t? Prosecutors are being selective, flipping a coin on who to charge today and who to charge tomorrow and who not to charge at all.”

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, declined comment when asked about the “selective prosecution” accusation levied by Haney.

TCU closes the regular-season at Texas on Saturday. Tip off is set for 11 a.m.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, part of the independent Commission on College Basketball, said players should be allowed to test the professional market after a college season and still be able to return if they aren't drafted by the NBA.

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Drew Davison is the TCU and Big 12 sports writer for the Star-Telegram. He’s covered everything in DFW from Rangers to Cowboys to motor sports.

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