by Kate Beisner
The corrupt underbelly of college basketball was exposed late September, when multiple NCAA basketball coaches were arrested under charges of fraud. An FBI investigation of the coaches began in 2015, and is currently still in effect Investigators were able to observe coaches accepting money to send NBA players to specific sport agents and business managers. The major sports apparel brand, Adidas, was also found paying potential students to attend Adidas sponsored schools and sign with the company later in their careers.
There are more than ten coaches who are currently receiving this charge, including Chuck Person, from Auburn, Mount Evans, from Oklahoma State, Emanuel Richardson, from Arizona, and Tony Bland, from USC. They also arrested James Gatto, Adidas director for global sports marketing, and others involved in the company.
The US Department of Justice states that there will be a major court battle and the expected maximum sentence is 80 years in jail. Many of the colleges have released statements, distancing themselves from the coaches and apologizing for the issues.
“We have no tolerance whatsoever for this alleged behavior. Coaches hold a unique position of trust with student-athletes and their families and these bribery allegations, if true, suggest an extraordinary and despicable breach of that trust,” said the NCAA president Mark Emmert, after the news of the charges were released.
“Our investigation is ongoing. We are conducting additional interviews as we speak,” stated FBI director, Bill Sweeney, warning others that may have been involved. Investigators also set up a hotline, that those with information can call.
Five of the accused coaches, have appeared in court on October 3 and were released with 100,000 dollars bonds. Their hearings will continue this year as the case develops.
This scandal brings attention to the large moral dilemmas involved with corruption of players and the money that is at stake. Basketball has become more than just the game, and we need to reevaluate our priorities to fix the current atmosphere.