The NCAA's greed will continue to keep corruption alive

The FBI is cracking down on fraud in the NCAA, but will it stop corruption moving forward?

The NCAA is being hypocritical once again.

In recent days, four college basketball coaches and an Adidas representative were arrested. The question is, will these investigations stop corruption in college basketball?

Most likely not.

On Sept. 22nd, the NCAA and the FBI cracked down on multiple universities for bribery. The FBI claims that coaches at UA, University of Southern California, Oklahoma State University and Auburn University were told to direct their players to certain sports agents in exchange for money — two of which are in the Pac-12 alongside ASU.

In light of the recent investigations, ASU released the following statement regarding athletic fairness:

"As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pac-12 Conference, ASU is committed to the principle of athletics compliance and the concept that our student-athletes and athletics stakeholders play by the rules, both on and off the playing field."

Certain recruits involved in the scandal took money from from Adidas executive, James Gatto, in exchange for committing to schools that are associated with the brand.

"This seems to be the beginning of what can be pretty wide spread because it is still an open investigation," Bruce Pascoe, UA basketball beat writer for the Arizona Daily Star, said.

UA assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson is one of the various assistant coaches across the NCAA involved in the probe. On Saturday, he was fired by UA and arrested.

"The fact that federal investigators are having undercover agents and going to the level they went at ... is really a surprise," Pascoe said.

College basketball has a very crude and inept financial system. The players perform on the court and bring in all of the revenue and TV money yet get no pay or any family financial support.

In 2010, the NCAA, Turner Broadcasting and CBS Sports agreed on a 14-year $10.8 billion contract for the rights to televise March Madness. With the league making nearly $1 billion a year in TV revenue, it is truly criminal that the players get little to no benefit from the revenue.

The NCAA gets to keep whatever amount of money it desires to hoard. In response to critics, the league simply makes the excuse that the players are students and should not be paid because they are in school.

In addition to the league and teams making money, the coaches are making millions as well. 

The recently fired University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was supposed to make nearly $7.8 million for the upcoming college basketball season. 

Most of the players' coaches are making at least six figures, and both the TV stations that broadcast them and the league itself are making billions off of their performances on the court. Being an NCAA basketball player at a major Division I school is a major financial rip off.

The truth is that it is nearly impossible to stop college athletes from taking money or bribes if everyone around them is making money off of them.

"Certainly there's an argument – if that you pay players, maybe the corruption end of it goes away," Pascoe said.

Players in the NCAA are either taking the money and resources that are offered to them or entering the NBA Draft immediately after their freshman year.

In college basketball, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. With that in mind, don’t expect the corruption in college basketball to subside anytime soon.


Reach the columnist at kokiriley3@gmail.com and on twitter @Arizonasian.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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