LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — New Mexico State men’s basketball assistant coach, Corey Barker, made national headlines on Tuesday after the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions ruled he violated ethical conduct rules while he was an assistant at TCU.
Barker’s name first surfaced in an FBI college basketball corruption case while he was an assistant with the Horned Frogs. According to the NCAA, Barker is accused of accepting a $6,000 payment from a business management company in exchange for agreeing to influence student-athletes to use his company’s services. The DI Committee on Infractions also says that Barker provided false or misleading information about his actions and failed to cooperate with the school’s investigation.
The violations occurred in July of 2017. TCU, who the NCAA says accepted responsibility for the Level I violation, fired Barker in March of 2019 after refusing to cooperate with the university’s internal investigation. He was hired at NMSU seven months later.
“The violations in this case occurred when the former assistant coach attended a July 2017 meeting in Las Vegas with an agent associate and representatives of the agent associate’s management company. Government recordings — which were evidence in federal court and included in the infractions case record — show that during that meeting, the coach touted his relationships with certain student-athletes and prospects who had NBA potential, giving the impression that he could steer those players to the management company when they turned professional,” the NCAA ruling said. “During that meeting, the agent associate discussed monthly payments for the assistant coach, and at the conclusion of the meeting, the assistant coach accepted $6,000.”
The federal government alleged Barker’s exchange was with an aspiring business manager, Christian Dawkins, who was convicted of bribery conspiracy. Dawkins testified during a federal criminal trial that Barker returned the money to him shortly after their meeting in Las Vegas. Barker was never charged with a crime.
The NCAA issued Barker a five-year show-cause order that prohibits him from “any NCAA athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.” The NMSU athletic department released a statement saying they are aware of the NCAA’s ruling and it appears, at least for now, they will stand by Barker while the process continues to play out.
“New Mexico State University is aware of the ruling handed down today by the NCAA DI Committee on Infractions regarding Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Corey Barker. We also know he has an opportunity to appeal this ruling, should he choose to do so,” the statement reads. “Since coming to our university, Coach Barker has carried himself with integrity while adhering to the policies and procedures in place at our university. Additionally, he has fostered an outstanding relationship with our student-athletes and actively works with them to help meet their athletic and academic goals. We are aware Coach Barker is exploring the options available to him at this time.”