CLEVELAND — Celtic assistant coach Jerome Allen announced in a statement through his attorney that he has pleaded guilty to bribery charges in connection with acceptance of a payment from the father of a high school player who was trying to get his child admitted to Penn. Allen was the head coach at the school before taking a position with the Celtics in 2015.
According to a Celtic source, it is expected that Allen will be suspended from the club for a period believed to be in the range of approximately two weeks.
Team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had no comment on that aspect of the matter, but was pleased with how Allen has handled things since the charges were brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
"It was disappointing to hear that Jerome got himself involved in this, but it's good that he took responsibility," Ainge said. "Right away, from the very beginning, he took responsibility, and I like people that do that.
"This happened well before he was a Celtic, and he's an important member of our staff. He's been a good role model to a lot of our young players. It's a big mistake that he made, but, again, I like the fact that he took responsibility and he owned up to his mistakes and wants to move forward."
Asked if the NBA will be getting involved, Ainge said, "No, I think the league will let us handle this, and we'll handle it internally.
Again, he wouldn't discuss a potential suspension for Allen.
In his statement through attorney Ronald Sullivan, Allen said, "In 2014, before I joined the Celtics organization, and while I served as the Head Basketball Coach of the University of Pennsylvania, I accepted $18,000, as referenced in the Information, from the father of a prospective student for the purpose of using my position as coach to help his son get admitted to the school as a "listed" recruit. My plea agreement with the Government requires me to repay the $18,000 plus a $200,000 fine.
"I failed on many levels. 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. I let down my family, my friends, my alma mater, and my Celtics family. Even more important, I was not true to my faith. I let down my God.
"I will forever regret exposing my wife and children to this situation. I will spend the rest of my life living up to the ideals that we, as a family, espouse. My family means everything to me.
"Regrettably, I have earned their disappointment. While I cannot undo the past, I can be a better man in all my future interactions. That is my promise to them.
"I am heartbroken that my players — current and former — will know that I broke the law. But, I do hope that some good may come out of this. I wish to model to my young players how one accepts responsibility for wrongdoing, including the consequences that come from unlawful behavior.
"Words cannot express my love and deep appreciation for my wife. She has been my rock during this tumultuous time.
"I apologize to all impacted by my failure of character. I am deeply and profoundly sorry."
The financial penalties in Allen's agreement are significant, in that he is not among the league's higher paid assistant coaches. His salary has been estimated to be in the $300,000 range.