Booster shot

As legislation for college athletes’ NIL rights is being debated, what continues to come out of the FBI’s investigation into college basketball and shoe company payments might be a little overlooked.

Maybe it shouldn’t ($$).

On Monday, the NCAA served Louisville with a Notice of Allegations based largely on evidence produced by the FBI’s investigation into college basketball. The most serious charges involve payments that were allegedly arranged by two assistant coaches and a pair of employees at Adidas: Jim Gatto, who was then director of global sports marketing for basketball, and Merl Code, a consultant. The first sentence in the allegation identifies “the Adidas corporation” as a “representative of the institution’s athletic interests.” This is NCAA-speak for “booster,” a term commonly applied to someone who donates to an athletic department.

The booster claim echoed ones that were also made in NOAs the NCAA has served to N.C. State and Kansas.

And here’s the money quote (see what I did there?).

“It kind of shocked me,” says Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who recently served as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. “I never thought of it like that. If there’s money changing hands, then yeah, they’re a booster, but I don’t think any of us look at the support we get from sneaker companies and think of that as violations. They’re giving us information to help close the deal (with recruits).”  [Emphasis added.]

Interesting to watch a can of worms being opened in real time, but there you are.  This has the potential to go in a lot of different directions, if the NCAA so chooses.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

6 responses to “Booster shot

  1. Cynical Dawg

    College basketball coaches look, talk, dress, and act like Godfather cosplayers so I can’t say I am surprised at any of them being surprised by the actions of the shoe and apparel companies.


  2. Sanford222view

    If anyone wants a great watch on this subject I highly recommend watching the the HBO documentary called “The Scheme.”


  3. BuffaloSpringfield

    There is a big article on Bill Self and Kansas Basketball/Adidas ( ESPN ) and a 92 page note of failure to comply. Five major violations and well as creditable others including several level 2 and level 3 violations within their football program pre-Miles.
    Not sure this gets better with the face out of shoes companies being boosters to get their kid in their school. UGA boosters could not compete long with the Corporations.
    Perhaps I am mistaken in the fact that UGA boosters are actually heads of Corporations just not Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. Which the aforementioned gets first crack at 14-15-16 years olds through travel baseball, AAU basketball and Five Star Camps.


  4. Bulldog Joe

    I took the exit ramp on college basketball after the Michael Adams / Jim Harrick debacle. I no more trust the FBI than the NCAA to fix it.