FBI wiretaps find corruption in NCAA



Louisville former head coach Rick Pitino speaks at game.

Christopher Bean, Sports Writer

If you cheat you will get caught. On Friday we saw another example of that.

Recently, we’ve seen Tom Brady suspended for four games because of Deflategate, MLB players denied a chance in the Hall of Fame because they used steroids and now an all-out FBI probe investigation. Twenty Division-I basketball schools were caught paying their players to send or keep them to play for their program. Big programs like Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and North Carolina were all named in the FBI probe.

On Tuesday, the NCAA vacated the title from the 2013 Louisville Championship team. They are no longer recognized as the champions, and all their wins have been taken away. They were penalized because their former head coach Rick Pitino was caught giving $100,000 to former 2017 recruit Brian Bowman. Bowman was committed to Michigan State before decommitting and signing with Louisville. Pitino was forced to resign by the University before the 2017-2018 season started. Bowman was suspended the whole year by the NCAA. Unfortunately, the 2013 team had to take most of the damage because of their scandalous coach. I don’t agree with their title getting stripped away because of all the hard work they put into that year. But if your coach wants to break the rules multiple times, the NCAA will punish you.

One other player in the 2017 class was reported to receive $100,000. Very similar to the Louisville situation. The only difference is that it involves Arizona center Deandre Ayton and head coach Sean Miller. It was reported that the FBI wiretapped Miller’s phone and found out that he would give Ayton $100,000 if he came to Arizona. Although they haven’t confirmed that he received the money, Miller did not coach in their game on Saturday. The university cleared Ayton to play, and could still play the rest of the season. If the FBI proves that he received any of the money, Arizona will be forced to vacate all their wins, and will have to forfeit their season. Earlier in the season, Miller denied that he was involved. Instead, one of his assistants got fired.

Now you may be asking yourself, why aren’t the other head coaches in trouble? Well, so far as reported, the other coaches have not been involved with paying their players, like Miller and Pitino did. Miles Bridges of Michigan State, Wendell Carter Jr. of Duke, and Kevin Knox of Kentucky have allegedly taken money. All three of these players have been cleared to play by their respected Universities. Eric Davis Jr., a guard from Texas, and Malik Pope, a forward from San Diego State, have been suspended from their teams.

With all these allegations coming out, I think the NCAA eventually have to pay the athletes. I was never in favor with the topic of college athletes getting paid, but if they want to prevent the players from getting paid illegally, they will have to give them some kind of money.

Now, I still think that some schools will pay their players illegally, but it wouldn’t be as much as it is now because the NCAA would be paying them. The coaches have to start being more aware of this. Even though it may not be their fault, they have to start being accountable for their players, or this will only continue to happen.

College basketball took a big shot from these allegations, it makes me think how much are college football players getting paid? Football is the biggest sport in America, and they have many more players competing than any other sport in college. You would have to think it happens more often. Soon we may see the FBI take a huge hit on college football.