Former assistant basketball coach for the University of Southern California Tony Bland leaves federal court in New York, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Bland was the first of four ex-coaches charged with crimes to plead guilty to bribery conspiracy. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and two years of probation. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Emotional ex-USC basketball coach avoids prison after plea

June 05, 2019 - 1:58 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge says a former assistant basketball coach for the University of Southern California won't be going to prison for accepting a bribe to steer young athletes to a manager.

Tony Bland dropped his head in relief Wednesday when he was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and two years' probation.

Bland was the first of four assistant basketball coaches who pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy to learn his fate. U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos will sentence two others later this week.

Bland's plea deal recommended up to a year in prison. In January, the 38-year-old Bland admitted accepting a $4,100 bribe.

The judge said universities, students and players were victimized by a scandal that showed that bribes were exchanged to manipulate young athletes.

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