FOOTBALL

Notre Dame football linked to college basketball bribery trial

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

Marty Blazer largely didn’t name names Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, but the 49-year-old Pittsburgh-based financial adviser did testify that he paid players from seven college football programs, including Notre Dame.

Blazer’s testimony came during the first day of the second college basketball bribery trial. The other football programs implicated were North Carolina, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Alabama, Northwestern and Michigan. According to reporters present at the trial, Blazer only provided specifics regarding North Carolina and Penn State.

According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, Blazer testified that from 2000-13, he routinely paid college football players, in violation of NCAA rules, in hopes they would hire him as their financial adviser and invest their money with him when they reached the NFL.

A CBS report said Blazer testified he would give $100 to $3,000 per month to players’ family, friends or girlfriends.

“Notre Dame is unaware of the misconduct Blazer alleged today,” Notre Dame vice president of public affairs and communications Paul J. Browne responded to the Tribune in an email. “We highly prize ethical conduct, and will seek to determine if Blazer or anyone else sought to compromise any of our students in that regard.”

According to SI.com, Blazer has previously pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of lying to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission and one count of aggravated identify theft.

He faces 67 years in prison and is now cooperating with the government’s investigation into college basketball recruiting and bribery practices in hopes of reducing his sentence.

Blazer’s testimony is expected to continue on Wednesday.

Fans cheer during a flyover as the Notre Dame band performs the National Anthem during the Notre Dame-Stanford NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.