Basketball Recruiting Business Sued By New York State Attorney General
New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood has filed a lawsuit against New York International Academy, a high school and post-graduate basketball recruiting business. The lawsuit was also filed against its principals, Chris Bevin and Hazel Ward, and seeks not only restitution, civil penalties and costs, but also an injunction against Bevin and Ward owning and operating a similar type of business until they post a $250,000 bond.
The lawsuit alleges that the program, which also goes by AAUConnect, was very misleading in its advertising. Such advertising included claims that it was the #1 post-graduate boys and girls basketball program in the northeast and “the best in New York,” along with having “the very best coaching, training & educational facilities and college placement service.”
Attorney General Underwood says that not only has there never been a girls’ post-graduate basketball program, but it also did not provide the type of coaching and training that consumers expected to receive in exchange for their financial commitment.
In essence, the lawsuit was brought by Attorney General Underwood as an attempt to protect consumers from what she believes to be fraudulent misrepresentations.
The housing allegedly fell way below the standards that was advertised, players participated in gyms that were not up to par and owners Bevin and Hazel were completely absent from the program. In fact, Attorney General Underwood was led to believe that the owned lived outside of the U.S. and were never present to supervise the program.
Additionally, none of the academic services that were claimed to be provided were ever actually offered to the participants of the program, states Attorney General Underwood. Further, participants were not told in advance that their payments were not refundable.
Bevin and Ward did not return a request for comment by the time this article was published.