Former ASU assistant basketball coach Lamont Smith tied to admissions scam at USD

Lamont Smith coached at ASU from 2008-12
Posted at 12:20 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-23 21:11:43-04

SAN DIEGO — The University of San Diego said former basketball coach Lamont Smith was the previously unnamed "varsity coach" alleged to have taken a kickback in what federal authorities called the largest college admissions cheating scam ever prosecuted in the United States.

Smith, the head coach at USD from 2015-18, is accused of helping to get a student admitted to the school. Smith, who served as an assistant coach at UTEP last season, resigned following the report.

"Earlier this afternoon, we were notified by the University of San Diego administration that (Smith) has been implicated in the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal," UTEP said in a statement, per ESPN. "We have accepted Mr. Smith's resignation, effective immediately, as assistant basketball coach at UTEP. The UTEP administration and athletic department will have no further comment on this matter."

Smith was an assistant coach on ASU's men's basketball team from 2008-12 under then-head coach Herb Sendek, and he helped develop Sun Devil-turned-NBA star James Harden. Smith also served as an assistant at Washington, New Mexico, St. Louis, St. Mary's and Santa Clara.

USD, a private school, said it was able to publicly identify Smith on Wednesday only after the U.S. Department of Justice modified a confidentiality order. The school said the only other people involved in the scandal who were connected to the school are a current student and one who was denied admission.

USD said falsifying or making misrepresentations on an application for admission can be grounds for disciplinary action, including expulsion. Smith resigned last March, 10 days after he was arrested for investigation of domestic violence the day after the regular-season finale in San Francisco. No charges were filed.