Gonzaga Men's Basketball Head Coach Mark Few and Assistant Ray Giacoletti have been identified as investors in a fund set up by David Salinas, an investment adviser and suspected Ponzi-schemer who apparently killed himself on Sunday.
Few and Giacoletti are one of "more than a dozen" NCAA coaches identified by cbssportsline.com and si.com as having made significant investments. SI put Few's investments at $353,000 and CBS reported that Giacoletti put in $1.2 million. Giacoletti says he's been investing with Salinas for 22 years.
The coaches are the victims here, except for one tantalizing detail: Salinas was also the founder of a prestigious summer basketball program in Houston, Texas. This is raising concerns among the sports media that Salinas may have been funneling high-level basketball recruits to the clients who were investing millions of dollars with him.
Gonzaga's former point guard Demetri Goodson is a product of Salinas' program.
A 2007 Spokesman-Review article announcing Goodson's decision to play at Gonzaga noted that then-Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillespie had made trips to Goodson's high school to recruit him, but that Gonzaga had won out.
SI.com is reporting that Gillespie — who is now the head coach at Texas Tech — invested heavily in Salinas' scheme, to the tune of $2.3 million.
In fact, of the four schools outside Texas that the Spokesman said recruited Goodson, three of them — Gonzaga, Kentucky and Utah — have ties to Salinas. (Giacoletti was the head coach of Utah in 2007.)
Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth, in a statement, expressed sadness for Salinas' family, then said, "The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the matter as it is not a basketball matter."
It's not yet a basketball matter, but it may become one.
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