FBI uncovers multiple team scandal in NCAA Men’s Basketball

    Several programs suspected to have bribed potential recruits

    More stories from Seth Abrahamson

    Take Two
    May 10, 2018

    Photo by SUBMITTED

    Lousiville men’s basketball Head Coach, Rick Pitino was among those found guilty in an FBI bribery investigation. Pitino has since been suspended.

    Three weeks ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uncovered one of the biggest scandals in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history, according to Sports Illustrated. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York discovered seven NCAA Division I teams, and various agents from other organizations were bribing recruits and running a mass wire-fraud scheme.

    Arizona, Louisville, Oklahoma State, University of South Carolina (USC) and Auburn were all schools involved in the scandal. Most notably, Louisville’s head coach, Rick Pitino, who is one of the most decorated college basketball coaches of all time with two national championships and over 700 wins in his career was found guilty. Four assistant coaches were fired from the teams, and Rick Pitino was suspended by Louisville. He will most likely be fired according to USA Today.

    The majority of the scandal was surrounded by the fact that many of these coaches, including Rick Pitino, were bribing potential recruits to persuade them to play for their prospective teams.

    This is not the first time this has happened, especially with Pitino, and will not be the last time. There has been a controversy for some time whether coaches and teams should be allowed to “coax” athletes into playing for them.

    Should a team be allowed to recruit a player by any means necessary? What about teams that don’t have the same financial reach as others? Teams like USC, Louisville, North Carolina and Duke all have substantial finances compared to smaller schools, such as UW-Madison, who continually relies on smaller-name recruits and builds them up over the course of four years, instead of having players that go one year and jump into the NBA.

    North Carolina, Duke and Florida already have an advantage over smaller schools in the way of recruits. These teams are continually are in the top recruiting classes, and giving them a monetary advantage to freely throw out money and “gifts” would make the realm of recruitment even more lopsided.

    Although  allowing teams the ability to persuade players to play for them in other ways would be interesting and change the dynamic of the way teams recruit. However, the way the system currently stands, and how lopsided recruiting is already, less financially fortunate teams like Wisconsin would stand no chance with an unfair system.

    The NCAA needs to fix this issue and stop allowing teams to “get away” with only firing of a coach or two when so many others are guilty of the same crime. This will only stop others from doing the same thing for a short time before they bring in another coach who will be willing to do it all over again. The NCAA needs to be stricter and bring about harsher punishments.

    This scandal and these briberies should not be accepted any longer. These schools should be made an example for the rest of the NCAA, making it known that breaking the rules won’t simply be a “slap” on the wrist anymore.