We all know that there are issues with the NCAA in terms of players and coaches breaking the rules. But now more than 20 Division I men’s basketball programs have been identified as possibly breaking those rules. The scary part? This was uncovered by the FBI’s investigation into corruption within the sport. The schools that have been identified as having players who possibly violated the NCAA rules include:
- North Carolina
- Michigan State
- USC and;
At least 25 players are linked to impermissible benefits – including Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Collin Sexton (Alabama) and Wendell Carter (Duke). Information obtained by Yahoo! Sports detail the work of former NBA agent Andy Miller. Miller worked for ASM Sports. The documents showcase that players received cash advances as well as entertainment and travel expenses paid for college prospects and their families. While I understand this is breaking the rules, is this really all that surprising? I mean, isn’t this something that is kind of common knowledge?
ESPN had previously reported that as many as three dozen Division I programs, including many of the sport’s traditional powers, might be facing NCAA sanctions once the FBI releases information it acquired during its investigation. A source familiar with the investigation – which includes more than 4,000 conversations intercepted through wiretaps and financial records, emails and other records seized from Miller’s office – had told ESPN that many of the sport’s top coaches and players might be implicated, calling Miller’s records “the NCAA’s worst nightmare.”
But it’s Friday’s report from Yahoo! that starts to actually name the teams and players that are allegedly involved. Where it gets even more interesting is that at least six players were identified as having received payments exceeding $10,000. They include Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who received $73,500 in loans from ASM before he played for NC State; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead, who received more than $37,000 around the time he was a freshman at Seton Hall; and 2017 No. 1 NBA draft pick Markelle Fultz, who received $10,000.
NCAA president Mark Emmert made the following statement about the report:
“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules.”
While I agree with Emmert’s statements in principle, I do wonder if these rules need a change? I don’t necessarily want to weigh in on the debate of college players receiving money, but I do want to know how else teams are going to recruit players otherwise? Gone are the days when it was the team who really got to chose who was going to play for them. Now, there is so much great talent out there, that the players are the ones who are being choosy. It’s kind of like that anywhere with any job, but the difference is that future NBA players are getting money, instead of additional vacation.
I think Emmert should consider that before making claims that those who don’t play by the rules don’t have a place in college sports. The rules and the game have changed considerably. While players have to play in the NCAA before they can be considered in the NBA, but a lot of them see that as a joke. And maybe rightfully so? If Lebron can play right out of high school, why does everyone else have to go through the college system? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love NCAA basketball. But maybe it’s time that the system was changed to take this kind of situation into consideration.