The ongoing federal trial aimed at corruption in college basketball has not involved Ohio State, but on Tuesday it tangentially involved the OSU football program, specifically defensive line coach Larry Johson.
During testimony from government witness Marty Blazer, a former financial planner in Pennsylvania who has pleaded guilty to defrauding clients, it was revealed that Blazer routinely gave money to college football players in hopes that when they made it to the NFL, they would choose him to do their financial planning.
Blazer admitted to paying players at Penn State, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Alabama, North Carolina, and Michigan.
He spoke of a situation at Penn State in 2009 when an assistant coach — who had a son in the NFL — allegedly asked Blazer to provide a player with $10,000 to convince him to stay for his senior year of college.
The player was defensive end Aaron Maybin, who ended up entering the 2009 NFL Draft anyway, and the assistant coach in question was Larry Johnson, who denied the allegations completely soon after the story broke.
Speaking with Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, Johnson seemed baffled by the accusations, and categorically denied any wrongdoing.
“That is absolutely false,” he told Wetzel. “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.”
Blazer is facing a maximum of 67 years in prison for wire fraud, securities fraud, identity theft, and lying to the Securities and Exchange Committee.
The NCAA’s statute of limitations is generally four years, however, according to the NCAA, the enforcement staff may allege violations that have occurred beyond the four-year period if they involve (1) the eligibility of a current student-athlete, (2) a pattern of willful violations that began before the four-year window but continue into the four-year window or (3) a blatant disregard for certain fundamental rules (recruiting, extra benefits, academics, ethical conduct) or (4) an effort to conceal violations.
Blazer will be on the stand again on Wednesday.