Book Richardson's life went from being caught in an NCAA scandal to positively impacting the lives of youth in the Bronx.

In 2017, a FBI raid caused a major shift in Book Richardson's life, transitioning him from coaching in the NCAA to training potential players in the Bronx.

April 3rd 2024.

Book Richardson's life went from being caught in an NCAA scandal to positively impacting the lives of youth in the Bronx.
The sun has yet to rise, but for Book Richardson, the memories of a fateful FBI raid that shattered his world seven years ago linger in his mind. As a former assistant coach at the esteemed University of Arizona, Richardson now finds comfort and fulfillment in the gymnasiums of the Bronx, far from the flashy lights of college basketball, as reported by The Associated Press.

In 2017, a federal investigation was launched to root out corruption in college basketball, but it ended up ensnaring Richardson and three other Black assistant coaches as scapegoats, exposing the underlying racial disparities within the sport. Looking back on the ordeal, Richardson expressed frustration, stating, "They went for the easy targets... Who do you always see out there? Black assistants."

Despite the increasing number of Black assistant coaches, opportunities for advancement remain scarce, with the majority of head coaching positions held by white individuals. From once earning a high salary as a coach, Richardson now makes a modest living by mentoring and guiding aspiring athletes in the New York Gauchos program.

Monique Hibbert, a parent of one of Richardson's players, attests to his unwavering dedication, recalling a candid conversation he had with her about his past. "He said, 'Take it or leave it,' and I said, 'I'll take it. Every day,'" shares Hibbert, highlighting Richardson's resilience and unwavering commitment to mentorship.

Richardson's journey reflects the complex web of relationships that underlie college recruiting, where shady deals and under-the-table payments were once commonplace. While Richardson faced consequences for his involvement, many wonder about the lasting impact of the FBI's crackdown and the enduring inequalities within the sport.

In a turn of events, Richardson has been given a second chance to coach college basketball. As of April 2, he has accepted a head coaching position at PDI in Urbana, Ohio. The news was announced by Fresh Focus Sports, with the team set to start its first season on the former campus of Urbana University.

As Richardson looks towards the future and grapples with the aftermath of the investigation, his story serves as a reminder of the systemic challenges Black coaches face in college basketball. Yet, despite the adversity, Richardson finds purpose in shaping the next generation of athletes, embodying resilience in the face of adversity.

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