Brandon Johnson pleads guilty
Brandon Johnson, a former player at the University of San Diego, where he is the all-time leading scorer, pleaded guilty Thursday in a sports bribery case, according to U-T San Diego.
The newspaper reported that in Johnson's plea, he admitted that after his playing career, he "solicited" a current player "to influence the outcome of a USD basketball game by monetary bribe."
Johnson, 26, denied that he personally threw any games, according to the report.
The federal indictment alleged that Johnson took a bribe to influence a USD game in February 2010 and solicited someone else in January 2011 to affect the outcome of USD basketball games, after Johnson had moved on to play for the Dakota Wizards, an NBA D-League team.
"His plea today does not change the fact that Brandon Johnson never point-shaved," his attorney, Oliver Cleary, told U-T San Diego. "He always played like the competitor he is -- to win. Brandon apologizes for his naive involvement in the conspiracy, but what's clear today is that he never threw a game."
Johnson is one of 10 defendants in the marijuana distribution and sports gambling case. Each faced five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Johnson was the eighth defendant to plead guilty, and the two final defendants (including former USD player Brandon Dowdy) had their cases continued to Feb. 22, according to the newspaper.
Former USD assistant coach T.J. Brown also pleaded guilty Tuesday, the newspaper reported. In his plea, he admitted to meeting in February 2011 with a USD player "for the purpose of affecting the outcome of a USD men's basketball (game)," according to the report. Brown was an assistant coach at the school in the 2006-07 season. He was accused of being the intermediary between the gamblers and the players, the newspaper said.
Johnson and Brown will be sentenced Feb. 8, U-T San Diego reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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