Scandals on the Rise

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Arizona head coach Sean Miller on the sideline during a game. (Gathered by Elena Waldroop.)

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University of Arizona logo. (Gathered by Elena Waldroop.)

 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is an organization that runs and operates the college sports that we watch year-round. Every sport from football to wrestling is under the NCAA’s control. However, lately there have been much speculation surrounding the organization, and evidence has surfaced for multiple scandals within the NCAA.

Dylin Hardeman, a student at Woodstock High School, is committed to play basketball at Columbus State. When asked how he felt about the allegations surfacing about NCAA basketball players being paid by their team, he said, “Even though I haven’t experienced anything like that in my recruiting process, I have heard many times that players do get payed by their teams, and sometimes it is obvious because of the clothes they wear and the lifestyles they live.”

Lacrosse coach Peter Manderano started the Division III Piedmont College lacrosse program. When asked how the recruiting process works and how it can be influenced by money or other illegal promises from the program, he said, “When I was the coach at Piedmont I had to start the recruitment there from scratch. I had to reach out to a lot of different high school teams, summer travel teams, as well as individual lacrosse players. But, never did I offer them payment or anything like that. I had to offer them the opportunity to play the sport they love, and that is it. Now, lacrosse being a sport that is not as mainstream as basketball or football or baseball, coaches offering players money was something that I never saw, especially at the Division III level. But I have no doubt in my mind that some players in bigger schools and sports are receiving payment from their coaches and programs.

Recently, University of Arizona’s basketball coach Sean Miller had allegations against him claiming that he offered a top recruit $100,000 to come play for Arizona. This sent

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Sean Miller disgruntled after a bad call by the referee. (Gathered by Elena Waldroop.)

shockwaves through the basketball community as well as sports community, because people realized that players receiving a salary could be happening. The Federal Bureau of Investigation even released a statement that said they wire tapped Sean Miller and caught him discussing the payment with another person involved with Arizona basketball. Despite the allegations, Arizona has decided to keep Sean Miller as their head coach, but this situation has had some downsides for the basketball team. Star basketball player Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille O’Neal, was committed to play basketball for University of Arizona, but after the situation with Sean Miller Shareef renounced his commitment from Arizona to play for the University of California at Los Angeles, or UCLA. O’Neal’s statement was, “At this time I’m am opening up my recruitment due to the current events with the UofA Bball team. I would like to thank all the coaches for recruiting me. At the time my family and I think it’s in my best interest to look at other options to assure my play in the NCAA next year.”

 

There has also been another scandal recently involving Central Michigan University. Four of the team’s assistant coaches were indicted for getting players involved in making deals with shoe companies, as well as giving players money to play. The person at the center of it all is Christian Dawkins, a man associated with ASM Sports Management Firm. He was charged with three counts of wire fraud and one count of money-laundering conspiracy. Christian Dawkins was investigated and it was found that he has done a lot of damage to NCAA basketball. He tried to make a deal between Adidas, former University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, and one of Louisville’s basketball players, Brian Bowen. Because of this scandal by Christian Dawkins,

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Graph of all the scandals that have happened in NCAA sports throughout the years. (Gathered by Elena Waldroop.)

Bowen was ruled ineligible to play for Louisville, and he had to transfer to the University of South Carolina to continue his dream of playing college basketball.

 

Players receiving payment in one of the biggest issues in the NCAA, and there are two sides of the argument. There are people that believe that college athletes should receive a salary, but this is almost impossible to do when there are so many sports for so many colleges. Also, there is a rule that states if athletes were to get payed, all would have to receive the same amount of money. This means that a football player or basketball player would get payed the same amount as a member of the rowing team, or the golf team. Even though this seems fair, t.he programs for these less popular sports cannot generate enough income to pay their players.

As these scandals continue, the NCAA and FBI will keep a close eye on big programs and players. Wire taps will be more prevalent, and maybe with effort and time, the NCAA can become an issue free organization, and continue to be one of the biggest platforms for entertainment today.

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