Rashan Michel exits the Federal Courthouse in Manhattan on October 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

College basketball scandal has an Atlanta connection

An Atlanta clothier pleaded guilty in a college basketball scandal Tuesday in New York, admitting to teaming up with ex-Auburn basketball assistant coach Chuck Person in a bribery scheme.

Rashan Michel, 44, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy, acknowledging a role in a bribery scheme in which coaches accepted bribes to steer NBA-bound athletes to certain financial advisers and even an upscale tailor like Michel.

Michel, also a former NBA referee,  was scheduled to go to trial in June along with Person. Person recently pleaded guilty to the same charge and is awaiting sentencing.

Michel was the founder and operator of a clothing store that catered to professional athletes when prosecutors say he unwittingly told a law enforcement informant that he knew several college basketball coaches who would be willing to accept bribes to influence athletes.

Michel told U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska that he joined the conspiracy in 2016.

"I knew what I was doing was wrong and I apologize to the court," Michel told her.

Preska scheduled sentencing for Sept. 18. A plea agreement Michel signed with prosecutors recommends a sentence of 12 months to 18 months in prison. It also calls for Michel to pay a $24,000 fine, equal to the amount prosecutors say Michel accepted in bribes.

Person was among four assistant coaches at major schools to plead guilty in the case. Prosecutors said Person received over $91,500 in bribes.

Michel had a fight with retired Hawks great Dominique Wilkins in Philips Arena after a game in 2011, over an alleged debt for clothing.

The incident took place near the court once Wilkins finished his broadcasting duties after the Hawks' game against the Orlando Magic.

Police said Michel made his way to the arena floor and confronted Wilkins along press row. 

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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