Watch HBO Trailer For ‘The Scheme,’ About Massive Pay-For-Play College Basketball Scandal

“You literally cannot make this up.”

Sure, 2017 might seem like ages ago when it’s a new and very eventful decade already, but to Christian Dawkins, a man convicted in federal court for the biggest crime to ever hit college sports, it probably feels like yesterday. Dawkins was arrested in September 2017 along with execs from Adidas and multiple assistant coaches from various college basketball teams.

That scandal is at the center of HBO Sports documentary previewed in the video above, The Scheme.


Here’s a summary of the story from HBO:

The film chronicles the extensive and unprecedented two-year undercover FBI investigation into college basketball corruption that came to a dramatic climax on September 26, 2017, when Adidas executives and assistant coaches at major college programs were arrested in a pay-for-play scheme.

While no head coaches were charged, the federal government alleged that an unassuming and unknown 25-year-old man was part of a criminal enterprise that had infiltrated college basketball and funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to steer recruits to prominent athletic programs. The man’s name was Christian Dawkins.

Now, in THE SCHEME, Christian Dawkins faces the camera for the first time and explains in fascinating detail how a kid from Saginaw, Michigan ended up in a hotel suite surrounded by FBI agents with a warrant for his arrest.

It’s good to know that no head coaches were harmed in the making of the story, but it’s clear there was nothing simple about this story or the man at the center of it all. 

Christian Dawkins

HBO Sports promises that through “revelation after revelation, viewers will learn how Dawkins was orchestrating massive cash payments to top high school prospects with the help of Adidas, and, unbeknownst to him, undercover FBI agents.”

And that really does sound like one hell of a true crime tale. As one of the talking heads says in the video, “You literally cannot make this up.” 

The Scheme will be available on HBO on Demand, HBO NOW, and HBO GO. The documentary debuts March 31, 2020, at 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT.