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Former SU hoops guard & USC assistant pleads guilty in Federal court to bribery charge

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that Anthony Bland, a/k/a “Tony,” a former men’s basketball coach at the University of Southern California (“USC”), and a former player on the Syracuse University men’s basketball team (1999-2000), pled guilty in Manhattan federal court today to taking a cash bribe from athlete advisers in exchange for using his influence over USC college basketball players to retain the services of the advisers paying the bribes. BLAND pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. Munish Sood, a financial adviser, previously pled guilty, pursuant to a cooperation agreement with the Government, in connection with this scheme.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As he admitted in court today, Tony Bland, a former USC men’s basketball coach, abused his position as a mentor and coach to student-athletes and aspiring professionals. He treated his players not as young men to counsel and  guide, but as opportunities to enrich himself.  Now Tony Bland awaits sentencing for his crime.”

Tony Bland’s time at Syracuse

Tony Bland was a shooting guard for Syracuse basketball for two seasons. Bland was a big guard with a decent mid range shooting touch.

Bland would be the top reserve player as a freshman, playing more minutes off the bench than any other play. He would often rotate in to replace Allen Griffin, to provide the Orangemen with more size on the court and a stronger perimeter presence.

Bland had earned a starting position on the team his sophomore season. He would start every game that season, and would score a Syracuse career high 22 points in a 76-63 win over West Virginia. However, Syracuse had a lot of talent at the guard position, with classmate Preston Shumpert, freshman DeShaun Willliams and junior Allen Griffin all vying for playing time, and senior Jason Hart a fixture at the point. Bland did start every game, but he averaged only 20 minutes a game. Unhappy with his playing time, and being across the country from his home, Bland left the team after his sophomore year. (OrangeHoops.org)

Bland would ultimately transfer to San Diego State and following college would play in the USBL, Europe and NBDL. He became an assistant basketball coach for the University of Southern California from 2013 until the summer of 2018 when he was fired following an FBI investigation.

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