The deeper you get, the dirtier it gets.
Think of the stain on college basketball, as we move towards ‘March Madness’, it’s most important showcase..
The sport has been dragged into the gutter. The sludge is everywhere, and it appears this is about to become an open sewer.
The seedy underside of college basketball has bubbled to the top.
College basketball, where once upon a time, racism existed unchecked, at least until Texas Western and Don Haskins changed the game.
The game has exploded in popularity. Great talent, a great amount of money in TV contracts, big time personality coaches.
Fast forward from Magic-vs-Byrd…Phi Slamma Jamma….The Wizard of Westwood….Bobby Knight…Tom Izzo.
What was then, is not now. Teams of greatness, coaches of renowned recognition.
Basketball is in big trouble.
It’s no longer academic fraud, like North Carolina. No longer scandalous abuse of players, like the latest mess at Colorado State. This is not the drug scandal that destroyed Baylor. It’s not the junk of the UNLV Shark-the-Tark era. It’s not point shaving at Boston College or CCNY.
The game is reeling under the weight of a slush fund scandal, that now may have touched as many as 35-athletes, 21-schools. Where is smoke, there is fire. There are so many more to be involved. You cannot stop connecting the dots.
What started with assistant coaches trying to get money to players who would then in turn hire deposed NBA agent Andy Miller to rep them in the future, seems to be the tip of the iceberg.
The 4,000-documents seized by the FBI in the raid on Miller’s offices, show a pattern of corruption that seems to have no end.
Allegations of a Michigan State player getting $40, to some 75,000 in payments to Dallas Mavericks first round pick Dennis Smith, the numbers are staggering.
It has brought the crushing end to RickPitino’s sordid career.
It may be about to end Arizona coach Sean Miller’s long tenure in basketball.
This is so different from college football scandals of decades gone by, booster payments, and all.
College basketball’s crisis involves AAU coaches, people with influences, shoe companies, payoffs, kickbacks, bribes.
The NCAA, which could crack down on college football, does not seem to be able to control the inventory of players, 24-hours a day. Whom they interact with, what their parents are involved in, who they interact with as intermediates, to deliver payoffs.
How to solve it? Who knows. I’ve always thought the NCAA was toothless in real discipline.
A solution would be to link with the NBA, to take action against dirty college players, who then face sanctions in the NBA.
Of course, I felt if the NCAA had the right to sue NFL players for damages over wrong
dong in college, the Reggie Bush case for example, maybe all the cheating, all the tampering would stop.
They didn’t in football, but the scandals have spilled to basketball.
Here in San Diego, this isn’t so much about Malik Pope, the Aztec, as it is lots of players in lots of programs, across the country. It’s now an out of control epidemic.
If the NCAA started suspending every player whose name was on the ledger, what happens if more documents surface?
You might win up with a Final 4-weekened that would pit Harvard, Savannah State, Miami of Ohio and Alabama State.
The stain on the game is awful. The stench won’t go away.
Tell me college basketball isn’t a cesspool?