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Witness at NCAA Corruption Trial Says He Paid Father of Penn State Football Player in 2009

by on April 23, 2019 3:15 PM

The second NCAA basketball fraud trial took a turn into Penn State football's neck of the woods on Tuesday, according to Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel and other reporters in the courtroom.

Wetzel was among a handful of reporters to mention that former financial adviser Marty Blazer, a cooperating witness for the federal government, testified that in 2009 an unnamed  assistant coach at Penn State asked him to pay a Nittany Lion player’s father $10,000 so the player the would stay at Penn State and not enter the NFL Draft.

Blazer reportedly testified that he did pay that player's father, but that the player entered the NFL Draft anyway and was selected No. 11 overall. The father reportedly returned the money afterwards.

Neither the player nor the assistant coach in question were specifically named by Blazer. However, Penn State linebacker Aaron Maybin was selected No. 11 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft following his redshirt sophomore season. Additionally, the assistant coach was described as the father of an NFL player who was a client of Blazer's at the time. Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. was the only assistant coach on the Penn State staff at the time with a son, Larry Johnson Jr., in the NFL. Yahoo Sports reached the elder Johnson on Tuesday.

"That is not accurate at all," Johnson said. "That is absolutely false. I would never, ever ask anybody to do that. That is not me. Why is it that something like that comes out and nobody says anything to me? This is the first call I've gotten. All of a sudden this Marty Blazer guy can just say whatever he wants? That is absolutely amazing. Wow."

As for the university, Penn State says it found out the news the same time as everyone else, and for now, has no real comment on the matter.

"Penn State has just been made aware of this concerning allegation," an athletic department spokesman said on Tuesday afternoon. "The university will thoroughly examine this matter. Until we know more, we can’t comment further."

Blazer also reportedly testified that between 2000-2013 he had paid football players at Penn State, Pitt, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama and North Carolina in hopes that he would become their financial advisor. Blazer did not mention specific names.

As of this writing, Blazer has not been cross-examined but will reportedly take the stand again tomorrow. He is the FBI's main informant in an ongoing investigation into NCAA basketball and potential fraud and corruption.

"Blazer previously pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of lying to the SEC and one count of aggravated identify theft," CBS Sports' Matt Norlander wrote. "In exchange for this, he helped spark the government's investigation into college basketball."



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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