Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons called the NCAA a “dirty business” in a recent interview with Maverick Carter for Uninterrupted. The top overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft went on to say … Continue reading “Former top NBA pick calls out NCAA: ‘It’s a dirty business’”
Alabama got one of its best recruits ever when point guard and five-star and recruit Collin Sexton committed to them last year. … with the NCAA before he can step foot on the court. This was in a press release from the school. “The NCAA informed us late this afternoon that Colin Sexton has not had his eligibility reinstated by the NCAA. “We … Continue reading “Alabama is holding out former five-star Collin Sexton due to eligibility issues”
The University of Louisville’s athletic board voted unanimously Monday to fire Rick Pitino as men’s basketball head coach in the wake of an FBI investigation into fraud and corruption in college basketball Continue reading “Louisville fires Pitino ‘with just cause’ amid investigation”
The FBI’s investigation into numerous college basketball coaches has already resulted in the arrests of four different assistants and the firing of one legendary coach in Rick Pitino. Apparently the initial wave of arrests were just the “tip of the iceberg”. Continue reading “Report: Dozens of coaches could be let go due to ongoing FBI probe”
Hudson Catholic point guard and Arizona commit Jahvon Quinerly has hired a lawyer, he told NJ Advance Advance Media via text. But according to a report from ESPN, he has not been contacted by authorities regarding the FBI’s sweeping probe into college basketball recruiting improprieties, which has focused on Arizona along with several other schools. According… Continue reading “Hudson Catholic’s Jahvon Quinerly hires lawyer amid FBI’s college basketball probe”
PRESS BOX: Louisville places two assistants on leave
Louisville placed two assistant coaches on leave Friday amid the FBI probe into corruption in college basketball as the university continued its investigation into NCAA violations involving paying a recruit. The suspensions leave the program with only acting head coach David Padgett to lead the Cardinals as practice for the 2017-18 season begins. The university announced… Continue reading “Louisville places two assistants on leave”
Suspended Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino received 98 percent of the money from the university’s current contract with Adidas, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Thursday. According to the newspaper, Pitino got $1.5 million of the money as part of his personal services agreement with the shoe and apparel firm, with the school getting only $25,000. The prior… Continue reading “Report: Pitino received 98 percent of Louisville’s Adidas money”
The University of Louisville Athletic Association voted unanimously on Monday to initiate the process of dismissing head basketball coach Rick Pitino for cause. Pitino reportedly stands to lose $44 million remaining on his existing contract, per Yahoo Sports, if fired with cause. According to his contract, Pitino must be given 10 days’ notice before any firing… Continue reading “Louisville initiates action to fire Pitino with cause”
The other shoe could be about to drop in the widespread investigation into bribery, fraud and corruption in college basketball. “Employees of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League have been subpoenaed by FBI for furtherance of investigation,” attorney and Forbes contributor Darren Heinter tweeted on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources. That news comes one day after Adidas director… Continue reading “Report: FBI subpoenas Nike’s youth basketball program”
By Marcus Shockley
Worried your college basketball or college football team might get a visit from the NCAA soon? Well, if they do, they are probably going to find something.
If it seems like the NCAA suddenly woke up from a long winter’s nap in 2010 and decided to go on a King Kong-like rampage across major universities in the sports world, well, it’s because it’s true.
It’s actually more surprising that the NCAA didn’t start with basketball, which is one of the most corrupt and easily exploitable situations in all of college athletics. However, don’t believe the talking heads on ESPN when they tell you that it all started with Reggie Bush.
The NCAA has known about the problems in AAU baskeball and ‘runners’ for some of the top players for years, and the only reason they were spurred into action was the growing issue with players making college a one-semester stopover on the way to (usually short) NBA payday.
Do all college players get paid? No way, not even close. Do a ton of players get money and other considerations that are against NCAA rules? You’d better believe it. The latest recruiting scandal, this time rocking Bruce Pearl and Tennessee, should not be a complete surprise to anyone really familiar with college basketball.
Pearl comes across as affable person, and I loved his stunt of showing up bare-chested to a Lady Vols game covered in bright orange paint. He had success, albeit on a lower scale, prior to landing the job at Tennessee. He’d made the NCAA Tournament with upstart Milwaukee for three years running, which is a testament to his coaching ability. But Pearl started landing top recruits that made people wonder what was going on, and the NCAA is looking to lay down some law. While the ultimate decision on Pearl is still out, the fact is, the NCAA knows deals are getting done across college basketball and they intend to put a stop to it.
So, the questions remain:
What is the NCAA looking to stop?
The NCAA intends to stop the ongoing under the table deals for highly sought after recruits. The whole process involves more than just a head coach and a recruit. It involves, agents, runners and AAU teams. This isn’t a new game, but the AAU circuit and the quick NBA exit option has made deals much easier in too many cases.
What can the NCAA do to actually ‘fix’ the problem?
Beyond laying down punishments, the NCAA should be trying to figure out how to keep the problem from occurring in the first place.
Pretty specifically, the problem, which always existed, exploded with the sudden influx of early entrants into the NBA draft in the early 90’s. The talent level of the premier basketball league in the world became significantly weaker over the past two decades as more inexperienced players have flooded the league; ratings tanked as the product on NBA courts suffered.
In an attempt to improve his league’s product, NBA Commissioner David Stern instituted the age limit for the league, effectively improving the talent level. Scouts no longer were drafting off of high school rosters, but drafting players who had at least one year playing against college-level talent.
Consider that the one-year-rule moved Derrick Favors out of the number one draft spot (where he was projected when he graduated high school) and put John Wall in his place. That’s why the rule works for the NBA.
But what worked for the NBA doesn’t work for college basketball. Players who have one great year go pro, effectively making college basketball a true farm system. The NCAA could try and persuade the NBA to raise the age limit, but the player’s union will work to prevent it, and truthfully, the NBA doesn’t need to raise the age limit now that it’s working to stem the ratings losses.
The other tactic is that the NCAA could try and punish the agents and handlers. Currently, they go after the schools and coaches, while the agents, handlers and players leave it all behind for the big payday and bright lights of the NBA. It’s not really very effective at stopping cheating when the real people doing the cheating are long gone by the time anyone gets busted.
For the coaches, it can be a risk they decide to take in order to keep themselves employed. You simply cannot win at a major D1 school without major talent. Sometimes, rarely, a coach gets a gift player on his roster that no one knows about, like Gordon Hayward of Butler. But usually, players who can help you win are already on everyone’s radar.
If you are a coach at a major university and making $400-$600K a year, how are you going to last beyond two or three years? You have to win. Some coaches will take a chance, knowing that they might get away with it, or if they can avoid it for long enough, at least when they get busted, they’ll be wealthy enough to walk away.
However, none of this actually stops the problem effectively.
The NCAA, if it wants to actually put a stop to all of this, or at least slow it down, should institute the same three-year-rule on players that it already has for baseball. It’s the only way to prevent players who want to jump after one year from taking a scholarship and roster spot, and agents won’t be as keen on laying out money for players who won’t get drafted for another three years, if ever. It slows the dealings down. It doesn’t stop them…boosters who may not even have a university’s blessing can still circumvent the process to help their alma mater, and colleges who land top recruits profit heavily from the winnings.
But there’s one more significant point in all of this that the NCAA has worked hard to keep fans from realizing.
The NCAA Is Not The Law
There are laws in the country intended to prevent racketeering, extortion and fraud, and some of these types of deals fall right into those felony categories. However, guess what? Most of them do not.
It’s not illegal for some of the things that agents do, only against the NCAA’s rules, and lo and behold, the NCAA is not the law.
Not even close.
So while the NCAA talks a big game about punishing players, agents and coaches, their authority only extends so far. That’s exactly why players like Reggie Bush can take payments while in college, and then jump to the NFL without losing anything. Give back the Heisman? Yeah, who cares? He’s got millions of dollars, endorsement deals, a Super Bowl ring, a pension plan and a lot more. Honestly, the Heisman was just something he picked up on the way to his career.
In order to fix this, the NCAA has to recognize that the NBA isn’t going to solve this for them. The NBA can’t even solve it’s own labor agreements, being one of the worst managed leagues in the world, with several teams bleeding money every year with no end in sight. The NCAA is going to have to take matters into its own hands, and institute a three-year-rule.
And players will need to start deciding if they want to play for free for three years or try to get a job for a year. At least then they wouldn’t have to pretend to be amateurs for that year.
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