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


Pat Forde thinks they deserve the Death Penalty

the U.S. Attorney’s release includes several pages that unmistakably paint a picture of Louisville as heavily involved in the scheme…

…The financial agreement to deliver Bowen to Louisville was reached “in or around May of 2017,” according to the release. It states: “At the request of at least one coach from [Louisville] … the defendants, and others agreed to funnel $100,000 [payable in four installments] from [Adidas] to the family of [Bowen].”

Furthermore, the feds allege that in a July 27 meeting in a Las Vegas hotel, a Louisville assistant was part of a discussion to pay a player from the class of 2019 to commit to the Cardinals. Part of the discussion was to note that the involved school “was already on probation with the NCAA” and that “they would have to be particularly careful with how they passed money” to the player.

There is video surveillance of the meeting, according to the release. They have an audio recording. The lawmen are not guessing here; they have hard evidence.

this was before the firing


I really hope this makes the NCAA revisit one and done with the NBA but I suspect it will do the opposite. They will entrench even further on the idea that kids MUST go to college. The loss of revenue from a college basketball decline due to the loss of marquee players is too much for them to allow, and they sure do love to mete out justice on the programs they can catch doing stuff like what the Feds are on about here.

Seriously. Again. Without making these kids go to college, you simply don’t have these problems.


You’ve got it backwards. The NCAA has NOTHING to do with One and Done, it is the product of the collective bargaining between the NBA and the Players Union that draft eligible players that only players a year removed from high school are eligible. The NCAA was not party to that labor agreement, and had ZERO say.


Yep, One and Done is entirely an NBA thing, and not the NCAA at all.


Yeah, essentially the NBA got tired of paying huge contracts to rookies right out of high school because it was too risky, and the Players Union was willing to help them in return for other concessions.

Note that changing this (maybe by going to an MLB-style draft agreement) still won’t fix the problem, there will still be players who want/need the college exposure to get into the NBA, and people who want to get a cut of the money, or pay to make their alma mater’s team better.

College Basketball will always be the dirtiest sport in terms of money, because the ROI on a single player is so much higher than football or baseball. It’s easier to ID guys who can succeed in the NBA and the contracts are larger (player and shoe, etc.), and there are less of them.


I do not see how the one-and-done rule is to blame for this at all (and I hate that rule and would much rather have the MLB’s draft rule in place). Players do not have to go to college under the one-and-done rule: they can play in a foreign league (as a few have done) and I’m pretty sure they can play in the D-League if not now then soon. Even without the one-and-done rule, the number of players who would get drafted out of high school is low. This seems much bigger than the handful of elite high school players who are NBA ready at age 18. Which is to say, even with different draft rules in place, most of these kids would be playing college basketball anyway.

This is all on the NCAA, the scummiest non-FIFA / non-IOC sports organization in the world.


If you take the top recruits out of the equation, the difference between the rest wouldn’t warrant the money (or at least as MUCH money) changing hands to get them to a particular school. Instead, that money ends up in the pocket of the player and their family as shoe companies are able to pay them immediately upon drafting into the NBA or whatever other league they choose.

The money is what’s driving this in the first place. Money the schools want to make having good basketball programs as well as money being paid to players to get them to go there. Money paid to these coaches to do the dirty deeds. Push the money back onto the player through his choice of going to school or not going to school and you help alleviate the issue. The exceptional will gobble up the available cash when they are drafted.

Going to a foreign league right now is a draft killer. We saw it with Mudiay and the way the League treated him after his one year in China. It created all kinds of questions. That wasn’t a good move for him.


Maybe, but I assume that the college programs would still aggressively pursue the great-but-not-elite players that will go to school since they would be the best players available (assuming all the elites are in the NBA). The agents and shoe companies might be less of an issue, but would likely want to hedge their bets and keep ‘investing’ in college players too, knowing that less-developed players with a high ceiling could become elite with some college experience.


It’s a real shame that basketball doesn’t have real developmental leagues the way baseball does. The problem is, the NBA doesn’t want to do it, because minor leagues are expensive to maintain, and the NCAA doesn’t want them to do it, because it would threaten their revenue stream. The fact that would be in the best interest of the players as well as the sport is ignored. The only way it could happen now is through the backdoor if the courts struck down the NCAA’s amateurism rules as restraint of trade, and I can’t see that happening.


The D/G-League looks like it’s developing in to a real developmental league.


Yeah, I think the 18year old draft to the G League is a new development. Previously high schoolers had to play abroad if they didn’t want to go to college, or weren’t eligible to (taking money, etc.).


Perhaps not as low as you think. It is not unusual for a very large percentage of the top 10 draft picks to be one year players who would have probably been drafted out of high school.


I can’t disagree with that.


In a shocking development, Miami is apparently also in the center of this investigation. That’s really weird that the Canes would be involved in a scheme involving paying shady individuals to secure players to the school.


Not really shocking - the schools initially implicated was known yesterday as follows:

Oklahoma State
South Carolina

Alabama is starting to tangled in as well - I think we should expect that list to at least double when all said and done


Read what I posted again, in blue font. ;)


Again, the question of “What laws, exactly, were broken here?” is a very good one.

Nick’s laundry list above is a good one, but even there things seem a little thin.

Doesn’t apply to anyone here, but I’ve had numerous folks who clearly haven’t any idea try to explain this, and from this article it’s pretty obvious that the actual legalities involved are incredibly complex.


So an Alabama Assistant AD resigned today because of this. This guy apparently worked at one time in the NCAA enforcement division. Kinda funny huh?


HI Trig - is there a nion-paywalled version or can you provide highlights?

Also - word is that Pitino is “Coach-2”, who knew about the player payment(s)…

Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, who has been placed on unpaid administrative leave amid a federal investigation into fraud and corruption, is the “Coach-2” who played a role in funneling money to a recruit, a source confirmed to ABC News on Thursday.

According to court records, Christian Dawkins, the former agent for ASM Sports who was charged in both parts of the college basketball case, told the cooperating witness, Marty Blazer, that he helped funnel $100,000 to the family of recruit Brian Bowen “at the request of a coach,” identified as “Coach-2.”


Ack, they must’ve paywalled it later. Or somehow I snuck through the goalie.

Basically, it’s going to be a test of standing and jurisdiction. The Feds are going to have to prove some fairly arcane influence peddling statutes as they relate to institutions receiving public funds. They probably can do that, but it isn’t a slam dunk, and for the folks in the crosshairs of this, fighting this by challenging the government’s standing here is likely to be the first, main line of defense.