UTEP Assistant Lamont Smith Resigns After Being Named in NCAA Bribery Scandal

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 21, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 03:  Head coach Lamont Smith of the San Diego Toreros looks on during a first-round game of the West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament against the Portland Pilots at the Orleans Arena on March 3, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Portland won 60-55.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

UTEP men's basketball assistant coach Lamont Smith, who led the University of San Diego's men's hoops program from 2015 to 2018, has resigned from his post after USD said he was the coach implicated in the wide-ranging college admissions bribery scandal.

Alex Nicolas of Talk Town Sports El Paso provided an official statement from UTEP:

Alex Nicolas @NicolasAlex915

#UTEP assistant coach Lamont Smith has resigned @minermaniac @mid_madness https://t.co/wDA0IF9YXU

Allison Horn of ABC 10 News of San Diego provided more information:

"The initial indictment, released earlier in March, alleged real estate developer Robert Flaxman paid about $100,000 to get his son in the 'side door' with the help of a USD coach. Federal documents claim an FBI witness and Smith worked to accept Flaxman's son, an Industrial Systems Engineer Major, as an athletic recruit, although he did not play basketball."

Per the Associated Press (h/t Washington Post), USD "said it was able to publicly identify Smith on Wednesday only after the U.S. Department of Justice modified a confidentiality order."

According to Rebecca Halleck of the New York Times, "federal authorities charged 50 people on [Tuesday, March 12] with taking part in a nationwide scheme to game the admissions process at highly competitive schools." The list includes actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

Smith resigned from USD after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury and false imprisonment, per Don Norcross and Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Charges were not filed, but Smith stepped down on March 7.