Dennis Dodd’s just sayin’, y’all.
College football seems to be one wiretap away from the obvious becoming public: The nation’s No. 1 college sport is as crooked, scandalous and cheat-ridden as its basketball counterpart.
That has sort of been forgotten as college hoops’ culture continues to be flayed in public.
We’ve known for decades basketball had a seedy under-the-table aspect to it. The recent revelations from the FBI and media reports of its investigation have filled in the details.
But to think college football is immune to such corruption would be foolish. The sport continues to be the No. 1 economic driver for college athletics. It’s just that we’ve been distracted lately.
Hey, you don’t want to be thought a fool, do you? After all, think about it.
The temptation to cheat is certainly there as the structure of football and basketball have become more similar. Salaries, pressure and revenue have never been higher. At certain levels of college football, you even hear of a “going rate” paid for talented recruits. In other words, the amount of cash it would take to the get in the running for a five-star recruit.
With the influence of spread offenses, it’s possible — like basketball — to change the fortunes of a team with one or two players.
Consider where Clemson would be without Deshaun Watson or Oklahoma without Baker Mayfield. Take the deep threat away from Alabama during its current dynasty run. Would it have won titles without Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley?
Whoa… Watson, Mayfield, Jones, Cooper and Ridley had “going rates”? Tell us more, Dennis.
Editor’s note: To be clear, these are just examples of recent impact players on major college football teams. No violations are being alleged.
Oh… wait, I get it! No specific violations are being alleged, right? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, and all. If I’m a superstar negative recruiter, I can work with that. In the current climate, it’s not exactly hard to throw something out there and have it resonate. And if you’re the subject of such a whisper campaign, how do you disprove a negative like that without making yourself look weak in the process? Just ask Lyndon Johnson…