By Mychal Hunter
So, about a year ago five NCAA Division I basketball assistant coaches are arrested for allegedly paying players, family members of players, lending money etc. in order to secure recruits for their respective programs. Most of these programs immediately took action and remove these coaches from their positions and essentially moved forward.
This situation revealed a years long investigation that was being run by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and put a huge black mark on the sport of college basketball while also being incredibly embarrassing to the NCAA, a sports governing body well known to be a joke of a sports governing body. The NCAA is on a similar level to the International Olympic Committee when it comes to incompetence. As well as corruption.
So earlier this week a story by Matt Norlander revealed that the NCAA and it’s new committee led by Condoleezza Rice came up with a new set of rules to help the game progress into the future.
In terms of headline grabbing, the day is thought to be a success and should be widely celebrated throughout the NCAA basketball community. In reality it was basically click bait by the NCAA and solved nothing. These new rules don’t actually help any recruits, players, programs or help put a stop to the cheating that led to the FBI investigation that led to the arrest of coaches, agents and shoe executives.
Headline: Players are now able to have formal relationships with agents
Reality: In order for a player to have a relationship with an agent they have to be deemed as an elite recruit by an evaluation group that was determined to be USA Basketball.
USA basketball is not equipped to rank players in these tiers prior to their participation in the NCAA. Almost by their own admission. Furthermore, what happens when you have players such as RJ Barrett, Andrew Wiggins or Luke Doncic who are not part of USA Basketball?
Also, what a huge shock for USA Basketball to be deemed as this evaluation entity where they get to spend even more time with recruits during their prep time. Because who is USA basketball? That’s right. It’s cash cow Duke University and Coach K.
Headline: Players will be able to return to school if they go on drafted.
Reality: Players have to be formally invited to the combine in order to qualify to return to school after the draft if they go undrafted.
They also only have basically 72 hours to decide whether or not they want to go back to school. No summer league. No time to field offers. No time to negotiate overseas deals. Also, typically all the players going to the combine are drafted, have the ability to play overseas or have the ability to play into a contract to the G league. This stipulation basically narrows down the pool of players that this rule will help to one or two a year.
This year there were actually eight: Rawle Alkins, Jaylen Barford, Brian Bowen II, Yante Maten, Brandon McCoy, Billy Preston, Allonzo Trier and Kenrich Williams. Now out of those eight, there are actually only five. Maten was a senior and couldn’t return to Georgia and Bowen and Preston were never going to play in the NCAA due to certain…allegations and suspicions. Trier also has a history that suggests he wasn’t coming back regardless of what happened.
There is also some nonsense about players being able to go on upwards of 15 official visits now during their recruitment. The current number is five. My question here is…….WHY?
You can talk and text and take unofficial visits and have coaches in your home and after all that you still can’t narrow it down to five potential landing spots? Having five programs roll out the red carpet and firmly plant their lips on your ass like you’re the Playmate of the Year isn’t enough? This doesn’t serve anyone and only creates an environment for more scumbag coaches to do more scumbag things and create MORE of a bidding war for all recruits. Never mind the fact that this will be exploited by RECRUITS and their families for more cash, gifts and basically vacations.
Also, what exactly does any of this do to prevent what happened last fall? The only thing that comes near what the current FBI investigation is centered around is that school Presidents will be held personally responsible for the actions of their coaches. Which is horse shit to say the least.
The NCAA did what they always do. They failed. They fail almost every time. If they were a coach they would be Brian Winters. If they were social media they would be Orkut. If they were a presidential candidate they would be Hilary Clinton and if they were a beer they would be Zima.
The level of incompetence in this organization is stunning. They basically did nothing to prohibit the activities of the major programs that they know are cheating, while not helping the student athletes by way of compensation and did not restrict access and influence the shoe and apparel companies have in the college game.
“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.”-Albert Einstein