College basketball trials: corrupt or authorized?

Money Bags

College basketball trials: corrupt or authorized?

“College players should be paid” is a quote that has been around for decades. Between D-1 football and basketball organizations, the amount of viewership and pressure put on these players is like no other. Some of these players could care less, and do it for the love of the game. But, there are others who feel they deserve compensation. Consequently, some college coaches and businessmen have taken it upon themselves to make their players feel compensated.

Former Louisville Coach Rick Pitino.
most of the corruption traces back to Adidas

Ironically, some of the teams involved have had something in common, and that is sponsorship by Adidas. About a year ago, the University of Louisville and former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino along with some assistant coaches were found of recruiting violations involving some of their top players. Some of it involved getting recruits “girls”, giving them or their family extra merchandise, cars, jobs, homes, and paying them with straight cash. Brian Bowen, was the top recruit for U of L that committed in 2017. He and his family were conspired to be given $100,000 by an Adidas executive, in an agreement that he would go to Louisville and represent Adidas whenever he turned pro. As a result of this incident, along with many other allegations, Pitino was terminated and their 2013 NCCA National Championship was vacated.

As of several days ago, James Gatto, Adidas’s former head of global basketball marketing; Merl Code Jr., another former Adidas employee; and an aspiring agent Christian Dawkins were found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after a three-week trial.

The complete list of all the schools involved include: Arizona, Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky , Michigan State, USC, Alabama, North Carolina State, Seton Hall, LSU, Maryland, Washington, Texas, South Carolina, Louisville, Oklahoma State Utah, Xavier, Wichita State, Clemson, Kansas, Creighton, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Iowa State.

It is very apparent that the majority of schools on this list have accounted for most of the success in college basketball. These are schools that are known globally as the top schools for not only college basketball, but collegiate sports in general. Between national titles in every sport, the majority of this list hold titles in virtually all sports.

In my opinion, I think the very system of the NCAA is corrupt. I realized this most recently with jaw-dropping Duke Freshman Zion Williamson. Zion was originally verbally committed to Kansas, and everyone thought that would be his school of choice. But nope, the number two recruit in the 2018 class had a “change of heart” and committed to Duke instead.

Sports Illustrated
Duke Freshman Zion Williamson

I call major BS on his “change of heart” and here’s why. Soon after Zion’s decision, it was released that Zion’s father had asked a Kansas coach for cash, a house, a car, and a job. As soon as I heard news of that, my suspicions grew. How does someone, with family demanding of extra things from their school, just change their decision. I’m not accusing Duke of anything, but I personally highly doubt it was just to join a very “promising team”.

Overall, I just feel that the NCAA is doing a poor job at saying what is, and what is not okay. Their are so many schools involved, and it just all seems so fishy. I agree that college athletes should be paid to some extent, because they are so much more than just regular college students. But for now, it is illegal, and they need to properly punish the teams that do, so teams who rightfully recruit their players, have an equal chance to win. Because it is apparent with all of the allegations that the NCAA’s premiere programs aren’t as innocent as they make them out to be.