In the recent few weeks the NCAA has been not only been in the sports headlines but also in world news. In their recent scandal, it has come out that previous college basketball players were given money or gifts by their school while playing or when being recruited. Even the FBI has gotten involved.
The FBI has recently been investigating schools who have been reported of illegal recruiting. Louisville and Arizona are the first of the schools who have been busted for illegal recruiting. Back in September of 2017 it was announced that arrests were made of ten men including assistant coaches who were connected with taking bribes from business managers and financial advisors. Less than a month later, the head coach of the Louisville basketball team Rick Pitino was fired for being involved in directing money from Adidas to high school recruits. Just last week Louisville’s 2013 National Championship was vacated in wake of the scandal. Also just last week Arizona’s coach Sean Miller was reportedly paying a handful of his athletes $100,000. Since the scandal first broke, there have been twenty more universities accused of giving money to their athletes. Due to the new scandal, Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef has de-committed from Arizona and will now be attending UCLA.
Many current athletes have spoken up about their displeasure with the NCAA, including Lebron James saying “The NCAA is corrupt”and that he doesn’t think the flaws of the organization can be fixed. Former President of the United States Barack Obama states the NCAA can’t serve as a ‘farm system’ for the NBA, meaning players should not have to go play in college before they go off and play professionally. The father of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, Lavar has taken matters into his own hands in creating his own league called the Junior Basketball Association (JBA). His goal with this is to recruit the top high school basketball players and allow them to play in his league for a few years while being paid monthly before moving on to the NBA. In the past few weeks, current NBA players Markelle Fultz and Kyle Kuzma admitted to being given $10,000 before or during their season. You now have to wonder if athletes will stop going to college to play and explore the other options they have.