Auburn basketball’s associate head coach Chuck Person was arrested on Tuesday among ten coaches charged with fraud and bribery following a two-year FBI investigation. AL.com reported that all season ticket holders who no longer wish to hold season tickets will receive a full refund upon request.
According to federal documents, Person and the other coaches involved were accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to steer their players toward certain sports agents and financial advisors. His specific charges are: bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes and gratuities, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and travel act conspiracy. Person was arrested in Alabama and later released from custody after a hearing. He faces up to 80 years in prison.
Following the announcement, Auburn University suspended the coach without pay, effective immediately, stating that they were “saddened, angry and disappointed” at the news and promised their commitment to the rules, saying they intend to work closely with law enforcement and help the investigation in any way possible.
NCAA president Mark Emmert responded to the charges on Tuesday with the following statement:
“The nature of the charges brought by the federal government are deeply disturbing. We have no tolerance whatsoever for this alleged behavior. Coaches hold a unique position of trust with student-athletes and their families and these bribery allegations, if true, suggest an extraordinary and despicable breach of that trust. We learned of these charges this morning and, of course, will support the ongoing criminal federal investigation.”
Just days before the arrest, Auburn announced it sold out of its season ticket allotment for the fourth year in a row. A spokesperson from the school said it “had a few people request refunds and those were granted” as of Wednesday morning, but that an estimated 30 wanted refunds by the afternoon.
Those season ticket holders who wish to receive a refund should contact the Auburn University ticket office.