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Friday, October 26, 2018

How deeply will NCAA dig into KU’s recruiting? That question and others still loom after trial

A University of Kansas-branded Adidas basketball is pictured in March 2018.

A University of Kansas-branded Adidas basketball is pictured in March 2018.

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The trial is over but the questions aren’t for the University of Kansas and its involvement in a college basketball recruiting scandal that may well send some former KU partners to prison.

Former Adidas employee James Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and aspiring NBA agent Christian Dawkins all were convicted of various fraud charges by a federal jury in New York on Wednesday. Various media outlets have cited legal analysts who believe their sentences likely will range from two to four years in prison, assuming appeals are not successful.

KU officials were never on trial as part of the legal proceedings. But testimony and evidence at the trial have left several questions, including:

• Has the trial made it more likely that the NCAA will launch a major investigation into KU’s recruiting practices? The federal case produced everything from wiretapped phone conversations to sworn testimony that create questions about potential NCAA violations.

Matt Mitten, a law professor at Marquette University and executive director at the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette’s law school, said he thinks KU officials should expect the NCAA to do a deep dive into the school’s recruiting practices.

“I think it makes it more likely that they will,” Mitten said. “It is going to be hard for the NCAA enforcement (office) to not take a long, hard look when there has been criminal prosecutions.”

There has been some speculation that because KU was listed as a victim in the case that the NCAA will assume the basketball program played no role in the alleged rules violations. Indeed there was testimony that KU head coach Bill Self was never made aware of the pay-for-play scheme. Defense attorneys, though, argued that he did know, which Self has denied. Ultimately, though, the prosecutors' case didn't rely on proving that the coaches were ignorant of the scheme.

“But prosecutors convinced jurors that they should regard the basketball program and its coaching staff as possessing disparate interests from the rest of the university,” Michael McCann, an associate dean at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated, wrote in a recent column for SI. “While the coach may gain from the enrollment of a superior player, the university provided that same player a full athletic scholarship and financial aid under a false pretense.”

Ultimately, Mitten thinks the NCAA enforcement staff is going to see the trial as an opportunity to conduct a detailed investigation.

“In some way this is quite a windfall for the NCAA enforcement staff,” Mitten said. “There is information that has come out at trial that might have been very difficult for the NCAA to get otherwise.”

• Did KU Assistant Coach Kurtis Townsend act improperly in recruiting matters? It was revealed in court that federal officials have a wiretapped phone conversation in which Townsend learns that prized recruit Zion Williamson allegedly is interested in being paid to attend KU. Townsend, in part, says: “I’ve got to just try to work and figure out a way because if that’s what it takes to get him here for 10 months, we’re going to have to do it some way.”

The court proceedings didn’t reveal a whole lot of context around those comments, but as it stands now, they do create a question of whether Townsend was willing to break a fundamental NCAA rule to get a recruit to KU. Even if such a payment wasn’t made — Williamson ended up at Duke — would the mere willingness of Townsend to break such a rule create concerns for KU administrators?

In statements released after Wednesday’s verdict, neither KU nor Self directly addressed Townsend’s comments. Both sets of statements said there were still issues they could not address because legal proceedings were not yet complete in the federal matter.

• Does Merl Code have more to say about KU? Code was the other person on the phone with Townsend during the Williamson conversation. Code was found guilty as part of this trial and faces prison time. But Code’s legal problems are not yet done. Code also is named as a defendant in one of the two remaining federal cases that are scheduled to go to trial in early 2019.

Multiple media outlets have reported that legal analysts think it is now much more likely that the defendants in the remaining trials will seek plea deals with federal prosecutors. If Code goes that route, does he have information about KU that he could trade to prosecutors for consideration of a lesser prison sentence?

McCann, the Sports Illustrated legal analyst, didn’t discuss KU and Code specifically in his recent article but did write that it is likely the remaining defendants in the two trials will be considering plea deals that involve their trading information for potentially lesser sentences.

“This is why Wednesday’s convictions should worry anyone in college basketball who has partaken in NCAA-violating payments to recruits and who are in any way connected to those still facing trial: their names and wrongdoing could soon become bargaining chips in plea deals,” he wrote.

• Is Silvio De Sousa going to create a problem for KU? KU already decided to hold De Sousa out of KU’s first exhibition game while the NCAA and KU review the sophomore’s eligibility. During the trial, Gassnola — who already has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge — testified he paid De Sousa’s guardian $2,500 so he could take some online classes to become academically eligible. But Gassnola also testified that it was his belief that De Sousa’s guardian received $60,000 from a University of Maryland booster designed to get De Sousa to attend that school.

Either payment potentially could mean that De Sousa was ineligible when he played for the Jayhawks last season. Pundits have speculated that KU isn’t in jeopardy of having wins, championships or last year’s Final Four appearance vacated because the NCAA had cleared De Sousa to play.

Josephine Potuto, a University of Nebraska College of Law professor and former chair of the NCAA committee on infractions, said De Sousa's case brings up two possible rules violations: inducement of a recruit and violation of amateurism. If the $2,500 payment were the only issue De Sousa faced, there could be a path for him to be ruled eligible. Some players have received more and have been suspended from games and paid back the money as a punishment rather than being ruled ineligible.

But De Sousa also could be ruled ineligible based on the alleged $60,000 De Sousa’s guardian received from a booster for the University of Maryland. Potuto said it does not matter if the money was meant to send De Sousa to a different school from KU. Accepting the cash would make the player no longer an amateur and in violation of NCAA codes.

"Amateurism violations are not specific to a school. They bring their players ineligible regardless of what NCAA school it is," she said, noting it must be proved that the payment was received for it to be a violation.

If De Sousa's family received the alleged $60,000, he would not have been eligible to play for KU last season, but that does not necessarily mean KU will face retroactive penalties — like vacating the Final Four appearance — because of it, Potuto said.

"These schools are responsible for making decisions on eligibility, but you can only go on what information you have available at the time," she said. "If you've done due diligence, that's the most anyone can ask you. Due diligence doesn't mean you are going to turn out a thousand times out of a thousand times to be right. It means you did the best with what you knew.”

Mitten largely agreed with that assessment but added that the NCAA not only considers what a school knew but what it reasonably should have been expected to know. That could be an important distinction as NCAA investigators potentially review the evidence that was presented at trial. The trial produced multiple text messages where KU coaches were communicating with Adidas officials about conversations Adidas representatives had with De Sousa and his guardian. Did KU disclose those conversations to NCAA officials during De Sousa’s eligibility review last year? Was it relevant information?

If the NCAA believes KU shared everything it knew about De Sousa during last year’s review process, retroactive penalties are less likely than if the NCAA believes a coach or KU officials held back relevant information.

“It all depends on who knew what and when,” Mitten said.

— Journal-World reporter Dylan Lysen contributed to this report.

Comments

Joe Ross 10 months ago

Before anyone comments with misgivings about the writing of this article, consider one thing: the NCAA will investigate Kansas in the aftermath of the FBI investigation whether an article gets written about it or not.

Joe Ross 10 months ago

RE: "Pundits have speculated that KU isn’t in jeopardy of having wins, championships or last year’s Final Four appearance vacated because the NCAA had cleared De Sousa to play."

Tell that to Derrick Rose and Memphis.

Frederick Heckel 10 months ago

Memphis was warned about Rose's eligibility but they chose to continue playing him. They also refused to cooperate with the NCAA. SDS was cleared to play last season by the NCAA.

Joe Ross 10 months ago

Rose was declared eligible by the NCAA...before he played! It's not like his eligibility was in limbo. Silvio was in the same situation as regards his elibility status.

Rose's ineligibility was retroactive, and if Silvio is declared ineligible it will be in exactly the same way that Rose was.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

He was cleared but then questions about his SAT test came into question and Memphis was notified that the NCAA was investigating. It's at this point that they decided to risk it and play him which they did and when he was later ruled ineligible because he didn't cooperate with the investigation, they vacated all games after the notification from the NCAA.

Pay special attention to the paragraph directly below the pic of Cal: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/sports/ncaabasketball/21memphis.html

Joe Ross 10 months ago

Even if that's the case, the mechanism for declaring someone retroactively ineligible remains in a way that could be employed to penalize Kansas. While not likely, the avenue is still open.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

The NCAA seems to do whatever they want with very little consistency so that is certainly true.

Their standard procedure would indicate a retroactive forfeiture would only take place if they find KU did not do everything in their power to find any illicit payments last year though. If KU's compliance office did all they could and the payments were well hidden (if they happened at all) then the NCAA could say KU didn't do enough to find them and start removing wins from last year.

This is different than the Memphis case where the NCAA notified the school of possible issues before the season, he played anyways, and DRose did not comply with requests for info from the SAT board and the NCAA and therefore caused his SAT results to be voided. In that case there was an effort to conceal information which lead to him being ruled ineligible.

Joe Ross 10 months ago

Here's where the wheels fall off the cart for me personally. Say Fenny accepted the cash to funnel De Sousa to Maryland.

Kansas could still suffer.

Even though:

  1. De Sousa did not attend Maryland.
  2. De Sousa may not have even been aware of a payment to his guardian.
  3. De Sousa was declared eligible.
  4. Kansas may not have been aware of payment to his guardian.

Given the circumstances, if the Maryland violations are the only thing for which Fenny is found guilty, it seems unlikely that the NCAA would punish Kansas, given the above. But the fact that it's even possible is disconcerting. The rationale has been given in the article: if De Sousa was ineligible, Kansas played an ineligible player and could have wins stripped.

The NCAA has lost the forest for the trees.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

In this scenario, if all of those points are true, what would determine if they are vacated or not is whether the NCAA thinks KU did all they could to find this infraction or not.

Jeff Foster 10 months ago

The other thing is, the NCAA has to find proof that Fenny took money for SDS to attend Maryland, other than just a testimony by Code. That's going to take a long time, well after SDS is gone from KU. He won't log a minute more for his career, but KU could suffer some from his play last year. The ONLY way he plays, is if somehow the NCAA figures they can't prove the $60K was paid, and maybe the $2.5K was, he sits, pays the money back then plays. I don't see that happening, he's done.

Mike Hart 9 months, 4 weeks ago

https://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article220324810.html

That's all you need to know as to Townsend / Self acknowledging the "arrangements" for Fenny... leading to DeSousa committing.. and Kansas thereby signing the Adidas extension.

Brett McCabe 10 months ago

Silvio needs to be suited and on the court for the next game. He wasn't paid, he was cleared, it's time for Self and Co. to stand behind the kid, irregardless of any possible issues with the NCAA. Silvio was a stand-up guy for us last year, maybe we could do the same for him?

Steve Quatrocky 10 months ago

No way, KU is doing the exact right thing, preemptively holding him out and asking the NCAA to again declare him eligible or not immediately after learning of the new allegations. Right now all risk is pretty limited for the program, maybe a few game suspension for one player, why put it all on the line when we have a deep roster this year and need the non con game minutes to determine what we've got with the newcomers.

Jeff Foster 10 months ago

Maybe one of the dumbest posts I've ever seen on here.

Mike Hart 9 months, 4 weeks ago

As usual, McCabe misses the point. Sylvio was "cleared" by NCAA for his ACADEMIC eligibility. They never investigated Fenny and Adidas and any associated payments. Don't act like the NCAA examined the financial situation regarding DeSousa's recruitment and found nothing. They haven't TOUCHED it ....yet.

Dane Pratt 10 months ago

A bit ironic that the DA argued the schools are the victims of the shoe companies. I’m pretty sure every school involved would prefer the trial never took place as they only serve to implicate the “victims” and will serve to provide no restitution to them.

Joseph Leon 9 months, 4 weeks ago

The article also explained that the jury could still convict if the coaching staff knew. It would then be a conspiracy with the coaching staff to defraud the university, and the jury could still convict.

Kit Duncan 10 months ago

Joe,

After investigating Memphis, the NCAA determined an unnamed player (everyone knew it was Rose) who was previously ruled to be academically eligible, after another person had taken the ACT in his place, and was now found to be ineligible. For that reason, Memphis had its season vacated. Though Rose (already in the NBA and beyond the reach of the NCAA) claimed after the ruling that he had “passed” the college entrance exam, it would have been evident that he was complicit in defrauding the University. That is a far cry from de Sousa’s guardian (allegedly) taking bribes without Silvio’s knowledge.

Len Shaffer 10 months ago

"If Code goes that route, does he have information about KU that he could trade to prosecutors for consideration of a lesser prison sentence?"

That doesn't make any sense to me. If KU was the VICTIM, according to the prosecutor, how could one of the DEFENDANTS plea bargain by giving information about KU??? That would be like an accused rapist making a deal by giving information about the person he raped. In addition, no one has contended that KU did anything ILLEGAL, only that it may have violated NCAA rules. What exactly would a prosecutor be going after KU for???

On another note, as I posted earlier, I don't understand why DeSousa didn't play in the first game. It was an EXHIBITION game, so his eligibility (or non-eligibility) wouldn't be a factor.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

Code can be a witness in the coming trials and if he decides to spill whatever info he knows, it could negatively effect a number of schools.

With the playing time log jam KU has even without SDS, playing him in the exhibition games when he may not play this year will only hurt the minutes and therefore development of those tasked with replacing his minutes.

Barry Weiss 10 months ago

And given that the "prosecutors" in those upcoming trials are not prosecuting KU, what good would Codes comments about KU even help them? The NCAA, maybe, but the trial before Code, I don't see the value. If anything, the prosecutor wants information that KU and other schools did NOT know what Code was doing. I think that is the angle on this anyway.

David Lara 10 months ago

Exactly. Prosecutors bringing charges against an individual or an entity don't simply place said charges on a different individual/entity in the course of a trial. They would have to drop the case, clearing the defendant of charges, then bring a different case to trial against a new defendant. It seems to me it would take a lot more than one witnesses plea statement to bring charges against a team staff member.

Mike Hart 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Jesus Christ, Len... "no one has contended that KU did anything ILLEGAL". KU was NOT ON TRIAL, so any contention about KU doing something illegal is irrelevant to the Adidas trial. And "ILLEGALITY" for the law... and NCAA violations... are not one in the same.

Humpy Helsel 10 months ago

Regardless of the outcome of the "scandal," (and KU has almost no control the direction the NCAA will take on this) what happens between the University and Addidas? That $191 million, or whatever, contract on Girod's desk must be white hot to the touch. It you sign that deal, it all might be on the up and up, but the optics are terrible. I think it's time to come out of the tunnel sporting some new kicks with a big swoosh on them. Of course Nike is likely doing similar things. But it's the optics.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

They likely won't sign anything until all trials are over and the story starts to go away.

Signing with Nike now and then having them drug through the mud in these next trials like Adidas was in the first trial certainly wouldn't be good optics either.

Craig Carson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

i think KU should buck the trend and give Puma a call lol..

Robert Brock 10 months ago

Has “the money” shown up in somebody’s account? Or is this all guy-talk? BS? Chatter?

Me thinks De Sousa pays back the $2500 for the online courses, rests for several games, and then plays. This season.

Steve Quatrocky 10 months ago

Gee could these Adidas guys be lying about the whole thing to cover up money they were embezzeling personally and just saying they paid a parent in cash.

Barry Weiss 10 months ago

I've lost track of the two trials after the first of the year. Are they both Nike? It would seem to me that the NCAA could look into the actions of schools that use both. I don't see KU singled out without a Nike school. Then, I still think the NCAA may want to preserve its brand the best it can. March Madness is considered one of the best sporting events in all sports. It may be hard for them to tarnish that image and risk turning off half of America who drops everything to watch those games. To me, the only real victims in all of this are the borderline schools that "maybe" would have gotten a recruit if a shoe company did not dish out this stuff to bring them to a blue blood. Even then, I think most kids will STILL want to go to the blue blood to be on TV every game. So this whole "victim" thing is overblown to me. I'm not going to worry about this and just enjoy what looks to be a great season.

Steve Quatrocky 10 months ago

$2500 in online classes is all that is relevant and if KU knew nothing about it, it would affect his eligibility (a few game suspension for only 2500 and especially if spent directly on academics) but not KU's record. IF and WHEN the NCAA can unravel what happened between Fenny and the Maryland Booster, it would again be a player eligibility issue for Silvio and a bunch of questions for Maryland more than KU.

Actually, KU has demonstrated good faith all the way around, they sat Preston as soon as they sniffed improper benefits, with him never playing a single minute, so there is no violation on him and KU only played Silvio AFTER the NCAA had just declared him eligible and before the additional information came to light in the trial. And as soon as they became aware of potential payments, they have now immediately asked the NCAA for an eligibility review based on that new information. That's what following the rules looks like to me. All the other KU related testimony involved players who never came to KU, one to Arizona and one to Duke, raising lots of questions about Nike programs too.

Given the good faith shown on both Preston and Silvio, I wouldnt be surprised to see the NCAA ask KU to testify about what circumstances led to KU NOT getting Deandre Ayton (AZ) and Zion Williamson (Duke) where they have a coach actually wiretapped talking about the payment and a player whose terms were clearly defined in the texts with Coach Townsend to include money, family housing, employment, etc.

Bottom line, Silvio misses some games, but no games or titles are vacated by the program itself. If anything is directed at KU, they might be a slap on the wrist, maybe a couple of game coaching suspension for Sargent Shultz ("I know nothing") type behavior regarding the whole shoe game of influence.

Aaron Paisley 10 months ago

The $2500 is not all that is relevant. Josh Selby's suspension came because of benefits he received while committed to Tennessee, not Kansas. The NCAA won't care what school SDS was committed to when the impermissible benefits occurred. They're only going to care that they occurred. If it's proven KU knew about the Maryland benefits and authorized a matching payment, then KU could have to vacate. Since KU's knowledge of the SDS situation was a large part of what the defense was trying to prove, if it comes out in a future trials that Self and Townsend knew, the NCAA could retroactively vacate the second half of the season last year.

This whole situation is far from over and probably won't be for a couple of more years at least.

Mike Hart 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Steve,. the $2500 is not "all that is relevant". There are Adidas documents and texts talking about $20k payment to Fenny... which Gatto has admitted already did NOT happen because of the feds starting to look into it. If there is any dialogue ..recorded... text messages, etc.. .between Adidas and Fenny.. .or any agent on behalf of Adidas.. .talking about paying $20k to Fenny, they DeSousa amateur status is in question. What is universally known: DeSousa was going to Maryland... and for "some reason".. he committed to KU. It was clear from Self's texts with Gassnola... that Adidas was working to secure DeSousa's commitment and that once secured... KU would be signing their contract with Adidas:

Gassnola, 9:33 p.m.: I talked with Fennie Self, 9:34 p.m.: We good? Gassnola, 9:34 p.m.: Always. That’s was light work. Ball is in his court now. Self, 9:34 p.m.: Spoke to Sean. All good.

(Note: Prosecution attorney Eli Mark said during the trial that Self is speaking about KU deputy athletic director Sean Lester. KU announced a planned 12-year contract extension with Adidas the next month.)

Gassnola, 9:35 p.m.: Will it be done by Tuesday Deadline ? Self, 9:36 p.m.: From what I was told yes Gassnola, 9:36 p.m.: Great. Thank u boss

Aug. 19

Gassnola, 2:52 p.m.: Hall of famer. Thank you for the help with Getting this extension done. Thx brotha Self, 2:53 p.m.: I’m happy with adidas. Just got to get a couple real guys. Gassnola, 2:58 p.m.: When the time is right. I will need to call on you to back me on some things. Have to make a few changes and keep getting better. Iam tired of fighting internal wars when it comes to the Jayhawks

Aug. 26

Townsend, 11:06 p.m.: Coach has been on the phone with Angola. We are good to go. We will commit tomorrow

Townsend, 11:07 p.m.: From fenny Gassnola, 11:07 p.m.: Great Gassnola, 11:07 p.m.: I’ll follow up tomorrow Townsend, 11:07 p.m.: Thank you

(De Sousa committed to Kansas on Aug. 30. The next day, Self had a five-minute phone conversation with Gatto from 4:21 to 4:26 p.m. Central time. This was during a time the FBI was wiretapping Gatto, but the conversation was not recorded because of a “technical issue.”)

Now if that doesn't smell rotten.. then you are look at this with rose-colored glasses. Self telling Gassnola that he's happy with Adidas and just needs a couple of real guys.

Craig Carson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

@Mike..literally nothing linked Self to having knowledge of what was going on..all those text are VAGUE....its people like YOU who have already charged Self and KU as guilty in the court of public opinion...you arent worthy of being a KU..get off this FAN page you bum

Marius Rowlanski 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't know. I've barely posted lately as I've been conflictive over our program being possibly dirty.

I'll give you and others who have never wavered in your trust for Self and KU but the info from the trial and the FBI investigation are just too much to be ignored. Still, were things taken out of context or the possible motivation to take down KU with Adidas by former employees?

So, until it is proven that KU or Self (or assistant coaches), broke any regs or laws, in this country you are presumed innocent but there is a cloud over Allen Fieldhouse until this is over.

Matt Gauntt 10 months ago

Irregardless of whether or not our folks specifically broke a rule, A) We got damn close and B) We knew we were working with questionable people. If we didn't cross the line, we were dancing on it.

KU is smart not playing Silvio. Did Silvio know what was happening? Don't know, don't care. If he didn't specifically know what was going on, he should have seen a lot of sketchy stuff and should have asked questions. I know, I know - he was a teenager. Pretty sure he was aware enough to have known something was happening. "Hey Silvio - remember when I said you were going to Maryland - scrap that, you are going to Kansas. Why - because I said". That should have raised some questions.

If we don't get some stiff penalties, then the University needs to look at it as if we dodged a bullet, because we did.

Craig Carson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

actually, Silvio himself wanted to go to KU...if $$ was the cause for him to choose KU then Gassnola would have offered more than the alleged 60k that the Maryland booster offered

Joe Baker 10 months ago

This is Crap! If anyone had anything, there would be a burial. The shoe whores were guilty. End of story and KU, SD, or Self were not on trial. This knee jerk reaction to the NCAA is ridiculous. The judge made it clear. The writers are writing clickbait articles and we keep clicking. They are coming out of the woodworks. They all want KU and Bill Self to suffer. The FBI is only showing the utter incompetence of the NCAA. They cant investigate a violation if it bit them in the azz. So let the FBI do the NCAA's job, then you pretend that you worked to find infracrions? Sad and sick because other programs are getting away with murder. Also interested how the other coaches arw throwing KU and 4-5 or as Boehiem and Huggy said a few other programs. They claim its not that bad. Funny how these coaches are with top 10 programs. Dook and K are included by calling it a blip, then explained his military term, no big deal, no impact. GO INVESTIGATE THEM NOW.

Dustin Peterson 10 months ago

I believe there are a couple things to consider before the NCAA would dive into our books.

First, I think many, including some of the professors quoted in the article, assume that if shady recruiting practices exist, the NCAA isn’t aware. I don’t believe that to be a possibility. The schools were labeled victims of the shoe companies, and many of you have a difficult time believing that (justifiably so). Would you feel as skeptical if the NCAA labeled itself a victim of the schools? I doubt it. I’ve said before, corruption, if proven, does not stop at the front door of the NCAA. They have too much at stake in basketball (90% of their annual operating budget) to force the best players overseas for a year before they can enter the nba draft.

Second, and corollary to the first, if KU is doing it, it’s almost 100% certain to be pervasive throughout. Kansas is a blue blood, tradition-rich, perennial power. Bill Self can win the conference with Conner Teahan and Brady Morningstar in the lineup, so why risk it if no one else is doing it? It would not make sense. You know where it WOULD make sense under those conditions? Gonzaga. George Mason. Wichita State. Butler.

Finally, if it is pervasive, as even those who choose to be optimistically myopic understand it could be, AND the NCAA wants to play the victim card, then what is the NCAA to do? I’m not on board with Bob Huggins’ comments from media day which suggest it’s 4 or 5 schools. He’s deflecting because the average reader won’t think about WVU in that pack. If it’s happening, it’s likely 40 to 50. What kind of manpower is the NCAA going to need to investigate thoroughly? Are we as fans prepared to tolerate a negative outcome? Is the NCAA prepared to spend a year’s revenue investigating something that will cost them half the following year’s revenue in lost viewership and ad sales?

OR

As a friend of mine recently suggested, perhaps it’s better to grant a one-time amnesty in exchange for information about how such a recruiting culture works, and what new rules could be implemented to keep amateurism a competive option for recruits while leveling the playing field as far as accessing such recruits. I believe the NCAA needs to adopt a 3-year scholarship, binding on the school, and be able to offer an athlete whatever compensation is agreed upon for his services. All players must be on “scholarship” with a roster max of 15, and a minimum of 10. If a school chooses to recruit a one-and-done player, the scholarship he occupied is binding on the school and cannot be filled with a replacement for another 2 seasons, making the effective roster only 14. If a school recruits 8 McD’s AAs who all leave after a year, that school will only have 7 scholarships available for the next 2 seasons and would put them below the minimum of 10. That would either disqualify them from competition during that time, or they could pay a hefty fine to “buy out” and refill those vacancies.

Dustin Peterson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I need to edit this comment. Is that possible?

I can edit this short reply, but I cannot edit the original longer post, which has an error.

Shannon Gustafson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Edits are time sensitive.

The main issue with binding schools to 3 year scholarships is that they are at the mercy of the player's bad decisions. What if they leave early and go undrafted or choose to go overseas or are a BMac type player that isn't expected to be one and done but explodes and leaves after a year? Any of these scenarios cost the school a scholarship for 2 years at no fault of their own. What about transfers? Is the original school on the hook for the 3 years? What about the new school?

Tony Bandle 9 months, 4 weeks ago

There really is a simple solution.

Simply indicate that any school caught cheating, that school's head coach is disqualified from any participation in any NCAA activity for three years and this would include loss of salary and endorsements for that same period.

Watch just how fast college basketball would be cleaned up!!!

Shannon Gustafson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Shoe companies wouldn't change their activity during AAU recruitment since the players are not yet attached to a school/coach and those activities could/would cause issues with the university the player signs with at a later date.

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