Cleveland State University (CSU) has fired Lou Dawkins, the father of aspiring sports agent and convicted NCAA bribery conspirator Christian Dawkins, from his assistant basketball coach position for soliciting $25,000 from a student-athlete.
As we previously reported, Christian Dawkins and Adidas consultant, Merl Code, were convicted by a federal jury in October 2018 on fraud charges. Then, in May 2019, Dawkins and Code were convicted by another federal jury on conspiracy to bribe assistant college basketball coaches.
Dawkins is currently arguing for leniency in the sentencing process. The pre-sentence report initially calculated a sentence of three-to-four years, but it ultimately recommended that Dawkins spend one year in prison.
In his sentencing memorandum, Dawkins argued, among other things, that his conviction caused his family to suffer. Dawkins named his father’s firing from CSU as an example, and further argued that his father struggles to find employment due to the scandal.
CSU, however, countered the younger Dawkins’ account of his father’s firing. A spokesman from the school stated to Law360 that “Lou Dawkins was fired for cause, for soliciting $25,000 from a student-athlete.” The spokesman also noted that this information was included in a termination letter.
Lou Dawkins, however, countered the university’s characterization of the events that led to his firing. The elder Dawkins admitted that, while on a trip to Italy in August 2018, the father of a student-athlete offered Dawkins financial help. He claims that the father made this offer considering Christian Dawkins’ legal issues. Further, Lou Dawkins argued that CSU was looking for reasons to dismiss its entire coaching staff, and that this interaction was an excuse.
In addition to arguing that his family has suffered enough, Christian Dawkins minimized his role in the NCAA bribery scandal. He argued that he was not at the top of the decision-making tree, that similar schemes happen at many other schools, and that other coaches who engaged in similar conduct avoided prison time.
In his memorandum, Dawkins noted that former Auburn University assistant basketball coach Chuck Person took nearly twice as much money and avoided jail. As we reported in June, ex-University of Southern California assistant basketball coach Anthony “Tony” Bland got two years of probation instead of prison time. And just last week, we reported that New Jersey financial adviser Munish Sood avoided prison time and will only have to pay restitution.
We will continue to monitor this situation.