Jerome Allen’s most prominent moment as a Celtics assistant coach was arguing with Marcus Smart on the bench during a 2017 loss to the Wizards, which Smart followed by punching a hole in the wall of the visiting locker room.
Now, Allen is involved in a more serious situation.
A former University of Pennsylvania basketball coach who is now with the Boston Celtics has been swept up in a criminal case alleging that he took bribes from a businessman who wanted to help his son gain admission to the school.
The coach is Jerome Allen, one of the biggest basketball stars in Penn history and its coach for six seasons, according to a person familiar with the matter. Neither the coach nor the school is identified in an indictment filed against the businessman late Thursday in Miami, but the filing contains descriptions of a Philadelphia school and its head coach that match Allen’s tenure at Penn.
Allen, whom the government refers to as Coach 2, isn’t charged with a crime. But prosecutors say the businessman, Philip Esformes of Miami Beach, illicitly gave him more than $74,000 in the form of cash, a recruiting trip to Miami and a separate ride on a private jet in 2013 and 2014. Esformes, who was initially charged two years ago, is accused of health-care fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and bribery.
The bribes were intended to help Esformes’s son, Morris, who was a high school basketball player, gain admission to Penn, the person familiar with the matter said. The son began attending Penn in 2015 and is now a rising senior, according to his social media accounts.
Considering he faces no charges, this might be something Allen can just leave behind him. But the Celtics have yet to comment.