Florida State basketball player mourns loss of dad after NCAA tournament win

Basketball thegrio

Following Florida State University’s NCAA win over Vermont, star Phil Cofer learned that his father Mike Cofer, a former Detroit Lions football player, had died.

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Phil was still in the basketball arena and was issued the news in the locker room after taking a call from family members. He hadn’t played on Thursday night because of a foot injury, NY Post reports.

As expected, Phil, “broke down into tears,” according to FSU spokesman Chuck Walsk.

Mike suffered from an unknown illness, that attacked his organs and tissue, according to reports.

It’s is unknown whether Phil will play in the game on Saturday against Murray State.

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Judge sends three men to prison in college basketball recruiting scandal

As March Madness gets underway, a former Adidas executive and two others who paid families to persuade top college basketball recruits to play for schools sponsored by the shoe brand were sentenced to prison earlier this month by a judge who said he wanted to send a “great big warning light to the basketball world.”

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said he had to balance the need for a stern message with the realization that others who did similar crimes were not prosecuted in a widespread college basketball recruiting scandal that has tainted two dozen schools.

Former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant, were convicted in October of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for funneling illegal payments to families of recruits to Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina State.

Gatto, 48, of Wilsonville, Oregon, got nine months in prison; Dawkins, 26, of Atlanta, and Code, 45, of Greer, South Carolina, got six months each. Code and Dawkins were each also ordered to pay $28,261 in restitution to the University of Louisville.

The judge said each can remain free until a federal appeals court decides whether to uphold their convictions.

Prosecutors say coaches teamed with Gatto and others to trade hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes’ choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents and even tailors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.