The NCAA Must Take Its Share Of Blame In The FBI Recruiting Scandal

The system is broken and the NCAA just compounds the problem.

Yahoo sports is reporting that Markelle Fultz and Dennis Smith are on the list of at least a dozen players identified in a year-long FBI probe into college basketball. The players allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel expenses from Andy Miller’s agency, ASM Sports, according to the agency’s financial records.

SportsCenter on Twitter

At least a dozen Division I men’s basketball programs and 25 players have been linked to possible recruiting and benefits violations by an FBI investigation, according to documents obtained by Yahoo! Sports.

In the Yahoo Sports report published Friday, the players and some family members are listed as receiving impermissible benefits ranging from a $70 lunch to more than $40,000 in loans.

Among those listed on a 2015 balance sheet as receiving five-figure loans while they were in school, as reported by Yahoo Sports: former Kentucky forward Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, former LSU guard Tim Quarterman, former North Carolina State guard Dennis Smith, former Maryland center Diamond Stone, former Seton Hall forward Isaiah Whitehead and Fultz, who starred at Washington.

Several current players are also listed as having had some association with Miller’s camp and agent Christian Dawkins, including Wendell Carter of Duke, Kevin Knox of Kentucky and Collin Sexton, who plays for Alabama.

New York Post Sports on Twitter

Duke, Kentucky, among prominent NCAA hoops programs now involved in FBI’s corruption probe

Louisville having to vacate wins for various nefarious recruiting practices was the first domino to fall. Most believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what will be revealed by the FBIs investigation going forward.

The 10 people arrested so far in this probe of 20 Division-1 NCAA Schools were wiretapped for months by the FBI, who intercepted 4,000 calls over a span of 330 days. Undoubtedly, there will be more juicy revelations coming in the future that has schools across the country shaking in their boots. Who knows how deep this racket goes?

Mark Schlabach on Twitter

Sources tell ESPN as many as 3 dozen Division I basketball programs could face NCAA penalties once evidence of FBI probe is public. “It’s not the mid-major programs who were trying to buy players to get to the top. It’s the teams that are already there.”

Nothing so far, has been that egregious or unprecedented, however, the FBI is involved, so this isnt a simple NCAA probe. We know the stakes are higher and the media scrutiny will be intense.

“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement released shortly after the report was published. “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.

“The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.”

What makes this more eye-opening, is the possibility of revered and legendary coaches at Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Michigan State having their reputations dragged through the dirt a bit because players from their respective schools made the list.

How much did they really know?

They may not be the root causes of the scandal but they are actors in that drama.

Players or family members from the following schools are also listed in the documents: Clemson, Creighton, Iowa State, Louisville, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Texas, Southern California, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wichita State, and Xavier.

Twitter Moments on Twitter

According to a @YahooSports report, more than two dozen players from top Division I men’s college basketball programs (including Duke, UNC and Kentucky) have allegedly received impermissible benefits ranging from lunches to loans.

This is nothing new to college basketball or football. They are billion dollar entities that exist and flourish on free labor by student-athletes who risk permanent injury, physical and mental deterioration to participate in power revenue-generating athletics.

Agents have always been the necessary vultures, hovering around elite players and trying to secure them as clients. The agents capitalize on the economic hardships of many of the players by paying money to them when they are in high school and college.

A lot of the hoopla in this latest report is about things such as meals being bought for players. In the case of Michigans Miles Bridges, he got $400 for his family. This isn’t big-time scandal activities. Neither was Louisville’s infractions in the bigger scheme of things.  They skirted the lines of morality, but the NCAA’s a walking hypocrisy with the way it financially exploits its student-athletes and the arbitrary way it chooses when to be harsh on an infraction and when to let it fly.

Gary Parrish on Twitter

Dear Mark Emmert: The problem is your NCAA rulebook. As long as you hold tight to amateurism, and deny student-athletes the ability to secure representation, or accept fair-market value, this black market will never go away no matter how many smart people you put on a committee.

Not realistically aligning with the changing landscape of college sports is the NCAA’s personal contribution to this problem. Players have long said they need to be compensated in proportion with the windfall of cash the NCAA is making.

Jay Bilas on Twitter

In the backdrop of the FBI probe, the NCAA is screaming “amateurism” like William Wallace screamed “Freedom.” So, take a moment to ponder one of the arguments the NCAA has made in court, citing specific case law…amazing:

Any improprieties by coaches, students or agents speak to the environment that the NCAA has fostered. In this day and age, players are smarter and the millions of dollars that are made by schools, coaches, and administrators off the backs of kids of color is well documented all across the board. There are lawsuits being filed every day by players whose likeness was used by the NCAA to generate millions and never received a penny for it.

Until these things are worked out and a new plan is instituted by the NCAA, scandals of this nature will continue to thrive as everyone in the game finds new ways to cheat the system.

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