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October 06, 2018

Former Penn coach Jerome Allen pleads guilty to accepting bribe while coaching Quakers

Allen's Celtics open the NBA season against the Sixers later this month

Investigations Bribery
Jerome Allen, Penn Jim Brown/USA Today Sports Images

Jerome Allen, who played basketball at Penn from 1992 to 1995 and coached the Quakers from 2009 to 2015, allegedly took bribes as coach, but he is not charged with a crime.

Former Penn men’s basketball head coach Jerome Allen plead guilty this week to accepting a bribe of $18,000 from the parent of a prospective student in 2014.

Allen, who is currently an assistant with the Boston Celtics, will reportedly repay the bribe and be fined $200,000, and could also face a suspension when the NBA season begins.

Allegations of Allen’s misconduct first surfaced in mid-July, via a report by Bloomberg

“I failed on so many levels,” Allen said this week in a statement to the Boston Globe. “Primarily, I had a failure of character. I did not live up to the high standards I set for myself, or were expected of me in the position that I held. I am sorry.”

The bribe reportedly involved businessman Philip Esformes, who allegedly paid Allen to help his son gain admission to Penn by making him a “listed recruit” to admissions officers. (Penn, like other Ivy League schools, doesn’t award traditional scholarships to athletes.)

According to Bloomberg, the school’s athletics website doesn’t list Esformes’ son as a player for the Penn varsity team under Allen’s successor, Steve Donahue.

The Celtics open their regular season in Boston against the Sixers on Oct. 16.

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