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Fixer says he made cash payment in college hoops scheme

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NEW YORK (AP) — A government witness at a college basketball corruption trial claims he made a secret $40,000 payment to the inner circle of a North Carolina State recruit.

Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola told a jury on Thursday that he delivered the cash to an assistant coach at the school in 2015. He said the coach was to give it to a personal trainer for the recruit, Dennis Smith Jr.

Gassnola has pleaded guilty in an alleged scheme to pay off top prospects’ families to get them to sign with programs sponsored by Adidas.

A former Adidas executive, a former amateur league director and a business manager are on trial in a Manhattan federal court.

Smith spent one year at North Carolina State and now plays for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

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