DAYTON, Ohio (AP) A former assistant coach at small colleges in Michigan, Florida and Louisiana was paid to help secure athletic scholarships for Yugoslavian basketball players, the Dayton Daily News reported yesterday.
The newspaper said its investigation shows that families in Yugoslavia have given Vladimir Bosnjak hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.
Bosnjak has helped at least 40 Yugoslavian basketball players get scholarships.
Some coaches who recruited players through Bosnjak said they knew he was charging families for finding scholarships, the newspaper said. Others said they never asked him.
NCAA colleges are prohibited from using agents to recruit players, and athletes could be ruled ineligible for entering into such an agreement.
“They are taking advantage of our system to make money. … It”s very troubling,” said Bill Bradshaw, the DePaul athletic director and president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
The newspaper said Bosnjak worked as an assistant at Ferris State, Louisiana Tech and Central Florida Community College. He is now in Libya coaching the national team.
Louisiana Tech said he left the school owing $1,662 and withheld his last payroll check. A year later, the paper added, the state of Florida issued a warrant for his arrest after he allegedly wrote two bad checks.
Bosnjak, speaking to the newspaper in July in Belgrade, said he helps poor athletes fulfill their dreams of playing in America. He said his business doesn”t break any college rules.
“Really I”m not a money maker. … I bring good people, good humans and good citizens who can definitely do the job on the court and off the court. I never had any kind of violation over there. … I know the rules of the NCAA,” he said.
Bosnjak said he charges the families for phone bills and faxes and videotapes of the players, and he gives the money back if he doesn”t find a college for them.
The 35-year-old Bosnjak said he sends only average players to the United States, those who can”t play professionally in Yugoslavia.
The Daily News said its examination found that agents, brokers and middlemen in Yugoslavia are profiting from athletic scholarships in basketball, soccer, volleyball and swimming. Coaches are using middlemen to find players at small colleges and large universities, the newspaper said.