Apocalypse now?

Those of you convinced that market-based player compensation will be the death of college athletics as we know it may be on to something.

Just not in the way you think.

If you take these articles in ESPN and Yahoo about the college basketball corruption criminal case at face value, the open market won’t be the cause of death.  It’ll be the black market.

“This goes a lot deeper in college basketball than four corrupt assistant coaches,” said a source who has been briefed on the details of the case. “When this all comes out, Hall of Fame coaches should be scared, lottery picks won’t be eligible to play and almost half of the 16 teams the NCAA showed on its initial NCAA tournament show this weekend should worry about their appearance being vacated.”

There’s a general expectation that this information will be released. It could come in trial, pre-trial motions or released by the government at some point. (No one is certain if they’ve agreed to eventually give it to the NCAA if it doesn’t go public.)

So how bad could be it? In terms of NCAA rules, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports that the material obtained threatens the fundamental structure and integrity of the sport, as there’s potentially as many 50 college basketball programs that could end up compromised in some way.

It’s not that anyone’s going to jail, son.  My gut feeling is that leaks like these are an indication of desperation on the government’s part that things are falling apart.  I mean, let’s not forget that “A Wall Street Journal report about an undercover FBI agent under investigation and a motion filed revealing a paperwork error appeared to poke some holes in the case.”  This is kind of amusing, too.

Sources close to the investigation told ESPN that Augustine’s charges were dismissed because evidence showed that he never gave the money he received from the defendants to a high school player they wanted to sign with Miami. Instead, Augustine kept the money for himself.

Even so, that hardly lets the NCAA off the hook.  As we well know, what isn’t criminal can still be a major NCAA violation.  And if things sweep as broadly as these reports hint they do, what’s going to happen when tourney fields get mowed down, particularly at the upper echelon?

The problem here is that the schools and the NCAA aren’t in control of the investigation.  So when the dirt comes out as we know it will, eventually, it won’t come out in a way that allows Mark Emmert and the conference commissioners to direct the narrative.  (On the plus side, maybe this is just the ticket that gets Mark Fox and Georgia in the tournament. I keed, I keed… I think.)

I don’t think you can lose eight of the top sixteen teams and pretend that business as usual remains in effect.  This may wind up being what forces the NCAA to confront the flaws in an amateurism protocol that’s increasing harder to defend.  Or worse, what forces others to force the NCAA to confront those flaws.



Filed under The NCAA

26 responses to “Apocalypse now?

  1. MGW

    “I don’t think you can lose eight of the top sixteen teams and pretend that business as usual remains in effect.”



    • David K.

      Also from the same Yahoo article: “A source who has been briefed on the case laughed: “You might see Tennessee-Chattanooga as a No. 2 seed.””


  2. I’m not sure we’re in regardless. 😉


  3. gastr1

    Number one on the baddie list will surely be our favorite perpetually dirty program, the Awbarn Tigers of Bruce “Sleaze” Pearl and Chuck “Jailbird” Person. Top 10 now, on probation tomorrow (I hope).


    • jtp03

      Essentially every time Auburn has been good, there have been allegations of impropriety. This is no different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gastr1

        I don’t think I recall an Auburn coach getting arrested and charged with corruption, though. So at the very least the feds are apparently doing something even if the NCAA isn’t.


  4. Chopdawg

    Joe Lunardi just moved us to his first four out.


    • gastr1

      They’ll have to beat Tennessee once, win the other regular season games, and win at least one, maybe two in the tournament. Sounds like too slim a margin to me. But hey, there’s always Belmont in the NIT again.


  5. Bigshot

    This narrative is useless. All hype. Nothing will happen to anyone.


  6. ASEF

    It is going to be hysterical to watch the same people who spent a decade telling these kids and their parents that they were being exploited and should be receiving serious coin spend the next 12 months wagging their fingers at the people who paid them serious coin.

    Both-sides-of-the-coin media outrage FTW.


  7. Argondawg

    I was talking to a local
    HS school women’s coach at a Christmas party and he was talking primarily about the men’s game. He said every top 100 kid was getting paid and that no one was even trying to hide it anymore. It was alarming to listen to. He said from about the time kids are in 9th or 10th grade the talk starts and by the time they graduate HS the number has just been climbing. There was 0 emotion in his voice he was a little surprised that every around was amazed it was that bad.


  8. Go Dawgs!

    Sounds like Georgia’s getting a 12 seed after all! And the trainers are the 13 seed, and the cheerleaders and student section are the 10, 9, and 8 seeds. Might be tough to fill out a 64 team field!


  9. We darn well better not be on the list of programs who have been cheating, given our results.


  10. Otto

    Fox maybe the best that isn’t cheating his tail off.


  11. HiAltDawg

    If it goes as bad as predicted, Fox might get hired away from us, lol


  12. ETDF

    When is all of this supposed to hit the fan?


  13. Russ

    Reading a comment on a bball blog that said McGarity may be reluctant to hire a new coach that may come with FBI issues later on. I’m sure whichever will save him time and money, that’s his path.


  14. As lots of folks, maybe UGA will get in the tournament. And it does put a special light on trying to hire a new coach.