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NCAA sanctions TCU basketball after former coach received $6,000 payment to influence student-athletes

Former assistant Corey Barker spent three seasons with the Horned Frogs, from 2016-2019
Credit: AP
TCU's arena is viewed prior to an NCAA college basketball game against Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Misconduct by a former TCU men's basketball assistant coach has led to a three-year probation and a $5,000 fine, plus a self-imposed penalty from the university, of 1% of the men's basketball budget, according to the NCAA.

According to the NCAA's official public infractions decision, Corey Barker accepted a $6,000 payment from a business management company, in exchange for influencing student-athletes to use the company's services. In addition, Barker then "provided false or misleading information about his actions and failed to cooperate with [TCU's] investigation."

Barker was an assistant under head coach Jamie Dixon from 2016-2019.

In July of 2017, Barker was at a meeting in Las Vegas, with "an agent associate and representatives of the agent associate's management company."  During the meeting, Barker "touted his relationships with certain student-athletes, and prospects that had NBA potential," the NCAA said. According to a government recording, Barker gave the agent associate the impression that he could "steer those players to the management company." In return, Barker was given $6,000.

Following the meeting, Barker then contacted a student-athlete's father, and facilitated a discussion between the agent associate and that father. He also facilitated another meeting, per the NCAA release. 

The agent was arrested before meetings could take place, but Barker had already engaged in illicit activity by organizing the meetings, and telling the student-athlete that the meeting "would be 'a layup for you,'" the NCAA said.

In October of 2017, TCU began an internal review. During that review, Barker denied his involvement. The TCU athletics department also issued a questionnaire during that investigation, asking whether men's basketball staff had accepted anything of value from an agent or financial advisor in exchange for access to student-athletes. Barker left both those questions blank, according to the NCAA.

Following the NCAA's announcement on the discipline, TCU issued a statement, in response to the sanctions:

“We are proud of our culture of ethical leadership and the way we immediately responded to the federal basketball probe and promptly addressed the issues once we learned of possible involvement by a former coach. That employee only worked at TCU briefly, and we are grateful to close this chapter with the support of the NCAA enforcement staff and the Committee on Infractions. The NCAA accepted our self-imposed penalties and commended TCU for its history of self-reporting as well as its exemplary cooperation in this case, which speak to the integrity and accountability of our athletics programs. TCU remains focused on the educational experience of our students who work diligently to achieve in their academic and athletics pursuits.” 

Barker's conduct was part of the larger scandal affecting several programs across the country, initially involving Adidas and several programs that were affiliated with Adidas. The scandal has now reached farther and wider than just Adidas, however. The FBI has been investigating bribery, money laundering, fraud, and more.  

The NCAA's release notes that no TCU employees were arrested or prosecuted. Several individuals at other schools, with more egregious behavior, were.