Ex-Auburn Coach Chuck Person to Plead Guilty in NCAA Corruption Scandal

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, Chuck Person leaves Manhattan federal court in New York. Auburn has fired associate head basketball coach Chuck Person, who has been indicted on federal bribery, conspiracy and fraud charges. The university announced the move Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, a day after Person and seven others were indicted by a federal grand jury in New York City. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister, File)
Larry Neumeister/Associated Press

Former Auburn Tigers basketball assistant coach Chuck Person changed his mind and will plead guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for leading players to sign with certain business partners when they turned pro, according to ESPN's Mark Schlabach.

Person had previously pleaded not guilty to six felony charges that included bribery, solicitation of bribes, wire fraud and travel act conspiracy.

Person will reportedly plead guilty to one count of conspiracy, with a plea deal expected to be similar to other assistant coaches caught up in college basketball corruption scandals. Schlabach notes that the recommended sentence for Person is expected to be 24 to 30 months in prison.

The 54-year-old, who served as an Auburn assistant from 2014 to 2017, is alleged to have accepted at least $91,500 from a financial adviser who was a cooperating witness for the FBI. He also allegedly helped funnel money to multiple players' families, with totals of $11,000 and $7,500 involved.

According to the Orlando Sentinel's Larry Neumeister, Person was quoted by prosecutors as telling one player, "The most important part is that you...don't say nothing to anybody...don't share with your sisters, don't share with any of the teammates, that's very important 'cause this is a violation...of rules. But this is how the NBA players get it done."

Person was scheduled to go to trial in June. He will instead have a hearing on Tuesday in New York.

Person spent 14 years in the NBA as a player and spent more than a decade as an assistant coach in the Association before arriving at Auburn in 2014.