AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File

First Of 4 Ex-College Basketball Coaches To Be Sentenced

June 05, 2019 - 6:35 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors want a former assistant basketball coach for the University of Southern California to serve up to a year in prison for his role in a scandal that steered top high school recruits to favored schools and career professionals.

His lawyer says there's no need for imprisonment for Tony Bland at Wednesday's sentencing.

Bland was the first of four ex-coaches charged with crimes to plead guilty to bribery conspiracy.

He did so on Jan. 2, admitting accepting a $4,100 bribe, the least of any coaches.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman says in court papers his client is the lease culpable.

Prosecutors say Bland disregarded his students' own well-being by accepting the bribe to steer them to an inexperienced and under-qualified athlete-adviser.

Bland is from Los Angeles.