A former TCU assistant men’s basketball coach accused of accepting a bribe quickly returned the money, and the payment was part of a plan pushed by an undercover FBI agent, a former sports agent testified Wednesday in a New York court room.
Former Frogs assistant Corey Barker was fired after his name surfaced in the FBI college basketball corruption case in March, as Barker reportedly received a $6,000 “bribe” to steer certain players to former agent Christian Dawkins’ sports agency.
The money exchange involving Barker and Dawkins was secretly recorded at a Las Vegas hotel in July 2017, but Dawkins testified that Barker returned the money to him shortly afterward. The transaction is reflected in bank statements of cash deposits made in Las Vegas ATMs within days of the meeting.
Barker was never charged with a crime.
The meeting took place with an undercover FBI agent going by the name of Jeff DeAngelo, who was posing as an investor in Dawkins’ agency, and former financial adviser Marty Blazer, an informant working for the government. Dawkins thought DeAngelo was his business partner and didn’t realize he was working undercover until Dawkins’ arrest.
In court, Dawkins alleged that DeAngelo pushed for the “bribe” payments to coaches, something Dawkins felt was a bad business model.
“From a business perspective, it doesn’t make sense,” Dawkins told jurors, according to coverage of the college basketball corruption trial from Law 360.
An exchange between Dawkins and DeAngelo played in court showed the two differing on the direction of the company.
DeAngelo felt bribing college coaches would help them land players, while Dawkins wanted to attract players by paying them and their families through high school and college.
“I was trying to slowly but surely get him off of it,” Dawkins told the jury of D’Angelo’s plan.
DeAngelo was so insistent on paying coaches that Dawkins and Creighton assistant Preston Murphy even made up a ficticious player, Marcus Phillips, to steer toward the agency with a “bribe” payment to Murphy. Murphy, like Barker, returned the money shortly afterward.
“A random person who we made up,” Dawkins told the jurors. “He never played for Creighton.”
Dawkins went on to say: “I never paid a coach with the intent to influence or have him do anything for me.”
TCU fired Barker on March 11 after he refused to cooperate with the university’s internal investigation. The university was still conducting its investigation as of last week.
Barker had been part of Jamie Dixon’s staff for the last three seasons.