Investment advisor David Salinas, the founder of a prominent Houston-area summer basketball program who was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, died of an apparent suicide Sunday, multiple sources told CBSSports.com.
The Houston-area AAU coach and investment advisor was found dead Sunday morning just a few days after being interviewed by federal officials investigating an alleged Ponzi scheme, according to a report in Monday's Houston Chronicle. Salinas was at one time a booster to the University of Houston and Rice basketball programs, the Chronicle said.
Salinas, 60, who founded the Houston Select summer basketball program, was under investigation by the SEC for fraudulent practices that may have cost several high-profile basketball coaches millions of dollars in investments.
An SEC spokesman declined comment on Salinas' death and any SEC investigation. "It is SEC policy not to say whether anyone is under (SEC) investigation or not,'' SEC spokesman Kevin Callahan said.
Salinas was found dead 11 a.m. Sunday inside his Friendswood, Texas, home, the result of a gunshot wound. No foul play is suspected, a Friendswood Police Department spokesman said.
At the time of his death, Salinas was the board chairman of the J David Financial Group in Friendswood. But Salinas was best known in basketball circles as the co-founder of Houston Select Basketball in 1992. Houston Select teams have won more than 12 titles, according to the program's Web site.
Salinas worked with many high profile college basketball coaches and was the founder of a prominent Houston-area summer basketball program, according to CBS Sports website CBSSports.com.
Among the coaches who allegedly invested with Salinas are former Arizona coach Lute Olson, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie and Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, CBSSports.com reported Sunday. Former Rice coach Willis Wilson, now the coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, also reportedly invested with Salinas.
A document obtained late Sunday by CBSSports.com has testimonials from other coaches who invested with Salinas -- specifically Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach Willis Wilson, former Houston and Nevada coach Pat Foster, former Duquesne coach and current United States Merchant Marine Academy coach Danny Nee and Augustana College coach Grey Giovanine.
Those coaches may have concern about their financial connection to Salinas, given that the National College Athletic Association may see a conflict of college coaches investing money with the founder of a summer basketball program that supplied recruits to several universities over the years.
Among the prominent prospects who played in Salinas' program are Juwann McClellan (Arizona), Demetri Goodson (Gonzaga), Joseph Jones (Texas A&M), Dexter Pittman (Texas) and Cartier Martin (Kansas State), the last of whom spent last season with the NBA's Washington Wizards.