As men’s college basketball struggles to handle the ripple effects of the FBI investigation into the coaches, corporate executives and “runners” who worked to pay players, a new HBO documentary called The Scheme, which debuts March 31 at 9 p.m. ET, looks at the scandal from one key individual’s point of view.
Christian Dawkins, a runner and blossoming sports agent whom New York Times columnist Michael Powell called “the most honest man in college basketball” when writing about Dawkins’ 2019 criminal trial, takes center stage in The Scheme. From the looks of the new trailer, Dawkins is finally able to discuss how the FBI used a mole to catch Dawkins taking a bribe on behalf of NCAA coaches and players.
There’s more to the story.
Documenting @christiandawk’s involvement in the biggest criminal case in collegiate sports history, #TheSchemeHBO premieres March 31 on @HBO. pic.twitter.com/JsIp9E3aw8
— HBO Documentaries (@HBODocs) March 12, 2020
All along, Dawkins has maintained that players were in fact being paid. “The idea that it’s an amateur world is not real,” he said at his trial. As a result, Dawkins was sentenced to separate prison sentences of six months (for wire fraud) and one year (for bribery). The Scheme, directed by Pat Kondelis, features Dawkins’ first on-camera interview since the world learned his name.
The trailer finishes with the interviewer asking Dawkins if he believes he did anything wrong. Dawkins thinks it over, draws in a breath, and pauses. Maybe the film won’t change anyone’s mind about Dawkins’ role in all this, but as we await further details from the NCAA through its internal investigations, Dawkins’ side of the story will surely uncover new stories from inside the underbelly of college basketball.