The NCAA Men’s Basketball Thread (And the Feds)


#21

Oh, I have that.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/998756/download

-Conspiracy to Commit Bribery
-Solicitation Of Bribes And Gratuities By An Agent Of A Federally Funded Organization - Lamont Evans.
-Solicitation Of Bribes And Gratuities By An Agent Of A Federally Funded Organization - Emanuel Richardson
-Solicitation Of Bribes And Gratuities By An Agent Of A Federally Funded Organization - Anthony Bland
-Payments Of Bribes And Gratuities To An Agent Of A Federally Funded Organization - Christian Dawkins and Munish Sood
-Conspiracy to commit Honest Services Fraud
-Honest Services Wire Fraud - University-2 and University-3
-Honest Services Wire Fraud - University-4
-Honest Services Wire Fraud - University-5
-Wire Fraud Conspiracy
-Travel Act Conspiracy


#22

So did University-1 decide to play ball with the DA or something?


#23

I love College Basketball, but the AAU/Recruiting circuit is about as dirty as it gets, in large part due to the NBA’s one and done rule and lack of a developmental league for HS grads.

UCLA used to be an Adidas school, so while Arizona and USC are on the hook currently, I’m not breathing easy right now.


#24

Thanks for that!


#25

Adidas wasn’t bidding against air; the other shoe(s?) has yet to drop.


#26

The NBA has to get rid of one and done. That’s at the root of this IMO. Let the kids go to the NBA if they want to. It really should be their choice, same as baseball. Parents and kids sometimes make bad decisions. Now they made federally bad decisions, you know?


#27

they did try that already, and basically they don’t want to pay big contracts to HS kids who may or may not be ready (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.).

What they need is to allow D-League contracts out of HS. Even better would be the baseball model - sign out of HS, or go to college for 3 years and get redrafted.


#28

Certainly they would allow D-League contracts now. That’s why it’s there. I also don’t think they should shelter teams from making bad decisions. They make bad decisions on contracts anyway. Paying big money to a kid graduating high school or having one year in college is still roughly the same risk as far as I’m concerned.


#29

There is usually that year away from home, and sometimes certain influences where the kids get experience in being more independent.


#30

Happy trails, Rick Pitino.


#31

I have thought the AAU was dirty long before one and done. I have always wondered how they skirted NCAA rules in some of the practices the AU coaches do. How can an AAU team be sponsored by a shoe company and still not violate some NCAA rule, while guys like Tarkanian got Fresno State in trouble by giving players free Chinese food, or the Utah coach got in trouble for giving a grieving player airfare.

And yet North Carolina has still not been punished. The whole system reeks.


#32

#33

So this is likely to remain a basketball affair.

The gist of it is that the apparel companies are funneling top recruits (and likely future NBA stars) to marquee schools by bribing the player/families. 5-star recruit signs with, say, Louisville. Why? High-profile school, stocked with other funneled top talent, and that pretty much guarantees the school will remain a high-profile team in the nation all year and will go far in the NCAA Tournament. Hype builds around the aforementioned player, they go as a top draft pick after one year in college, and then, they immediately sign a deal with the apparel company that bribed them in the first place. Kids then flock to buy that athlete’s branded shoes. In the big picture, $100K is peanuts for marketing and development.

You can’t really do that with football players for a number of reasons. Trying to predict who will be a future NFL star is almost impossible. The top-rated high school QBs in the nation flame out at the college level all the time. And you need 3 years in college before you can even sniff the NFL, whereas the NBA is one-and-done. Also, the NFL already has a lockdown on pretty much all their licensing; athletes cannot sign with a rival to whoever the NFL’s official sponsor for that product already is.

So, all the apparel money is in basketball.

What’s interesting is that, this year, there has been a significant slump in the sales of the kind of basketball shoes that we’re talking about. Nike has been hit hard by it. Adidas, on the other hand, has been flourishing. For example, this was just last week:

So, yeah, we now may know why, partly.


#34

A good interview on the subject:

Hotline: What was your reaction?

Dohrmann: My initial thought was that it’s great because writers have been trying for so long to tell the story of the transactional nature of college basketball, the way players are procured, but fans don’t care unless it directly affects their team.

“The NCAA says there are a few bad apples but the system isn’t broken. Well, this is the full scope of what’s been going on. The transactional world of the sport has come to light. A paid B to benefit C to funnel the money to D. It lays it all out: the agents, the schools, the college coaches, the AAU coaches, the shoe companies. There are so many profiteers in the game.

“This has the potential to put the spotlight on all those people. To me, that’s what’s different about this. It’s not an > NCAA inquiry that’s narrow in scope. They’re showing you the whole playbook, not just individual plays.

Hotline: How are sitting head coaches reacting to the news?

Dohrmann: “Every head coach or assistant coach who has ever funneled money or had knowledge of money being funneled is thinking, ‘Now we have to worry about the feds?’

“If all they had to worry about what the NCAA, the risk was worth it. Louisville was running a prostitution ring and the head coach didn’t get fired. The message is that any penalties are so soft — if you get busted, you can get back into coaching the next year.

“There were no real consequences to breaking NCAA rules. But with the FBI involved, those (four assistants) won’t work again. This is a real deterrent.


#35

Oh, and this was happening long before 1 and Done. Reggie Bush was in a similar boat, and the AAU type system is spreading to football as well to create this kind of money machine.


#36

Oh, there’s corruption for sure in college football, but it’s a different kind of corruption.

It’s not the apparel companies (for reasons I mentioned above) like it is in basketball.

Instead, in most cases, it’s the corruption of boosters (superfans) wanting to make sure their team wins the title. In Bush’s case, it was the corruption of an agent wanting to lock-up the rights for a future top NFL draft pick.

There’s an old addage: Show me a college football conference and I’ll show you nine teams cheating and one team in last place. Even if schools try to be clean, there are over-eager boosters out there willing to do anything necessary to secure a top recruit.

The thing is, college football corruption is so age-old that it’s an art form now. This is a must-read.


#37

A friend who attended Louisville said on facebook that he was uneasy about the recent scandals involving UofL. He didn’t appreciate me saying that this should be the last of them. I don’t see how they dodge an NCAA death penalty after all this.

I’m sorry. When I said “Louisville” I really meant “A public research University located in Kentucky, with approximately 22,640 students and over 7,000 faculty and staff members, fielding approximately 21 Division I teams including men’s basketball.”


#38

Kentucky fans are way ahead of you


#39

Man, it’d be fun to really tee off on some of these programs, but this investigation is likely to go anywhere. Beware schadenfreude.


#40

I’ve been a Kentucky fan my whole life, learned from my father and his father before him. I stopped watching them because I felt John Calipari was too scummy. Just one point on a continuum of sleaze.