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Former Baylor Coach Acquitted; Assistants Guilty

Former Baylor University basketball coach Darrel Johnson was acquitted, but three assistants were convicted in connection with their recruitment of five junior college players in 1993.

A federal jury found that, although Johnson was responsible for the basketball program, he was unaware of improper help his assistants gave to enable the recruits to pass classes they needed to enroll at Baylor.

Johnson, indicted one day after Baylor fired him in November, was acquitted of all seven counts: four counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy.

His assistants, Gary Thomas, Troy Drummond and Kevin Gray, were found guilty of various charges of wire and mail fraud.

They face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each of the wire fraud and mail fraud counts.

Prosecutors had accused the Baylor coaches of helping the five junior college players make higher grades by providing them term papers written by others and changing grades.

The mail fraud and wire fraud charges were filed because the U.S. mail and fax equipment were used in the process.

The jury began deliberating the case late Monday following almost 5 hours of summations from attorneys in the case.