T.J. Brown, a former assistant coach at San Diego who acted as a middleman in a game-fixing scandal that included former USD point guard Brandon Johnson, was sentenced to 12 months in prison Thursday afternoon.
Brown’s lawyers argued that their client should only receive probation while federal prosecutors wanted him to serve 30 months behind bars.
According to prosecutors Brown acted was the connection between bookmakers, bettors and the student-athletes themselves.
“Mr. Brown was the linchpin in the whole episode,” U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia said Thursday. “If not for his relationship with Johnson, none of this would have gotten off the ground.”
Brown pleaded guilty without a formal plea agreement, admitting to introducing a current member of the USD team to bettors in 2011 in an unsuccessful attempt to fix games after Johnson’s departure.
Johnson, the school’s all-time leading scorer, would be the only player implicated in the scandal. For his role Johnson was sentenced to six months in prison on March 1.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune report there were at least nine co-conspirators involved. Brown will begin serving his sentence on June 5.
Photo credit: University of San Diego Athletics