Category Archives: The NCAA

Victim of a victimless crime

Joe Monaco, a spokesman for the University of Kansas, said in a statement: “Earlier today, we learned that the University of Kansas is named as a victim in a federal indictment. The indictment does not suggest any wrongdoing by the university, its coaches or its staff. We will cooperate fully with investigators in this matter.”

Considering that Kansas just played in the Final Four with a player alleged to have received a payment, that’s some victimhood thing you got going there, Joe.  Er’rybody got paid!

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, The NCAA

Today, in competitive balance

For those of you concerned about how above-board player compensation would favor the programs with resources…

… how much difference would it really make from the current state of affairs?

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Filed under The NCAA

There are no student-athletes in the NFL.

Note that term of art is missing from Arizona State’s AD’s comment.

Maybe we should start referring to him as the school’s GM.

I keep saying it, but how can Larry Scott and Mark Emmert not be having shit fits over the message these guys have no problem sending?

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Filed under Pac-12 Football, The NCAA

There’s always something to game.

This genuinely sounds well-intentioned.  (h/t)

The Division I Committee on Academics will recommend to the Transfer Working Group that four-year transfer student-athletes who meet specific grade-point average and progress-toward-degree requirements be able to compete immediately at the second school.

The academic data reviewed by the committee indicated that, on average, sitting out a year of competition following a transfer may not be academically necessary for student-athletes with a strong scholastic foundation. As a result, the committee will recommend benchmarks that align with successful academic progress after transfer.

Committee members agreed those benchmarks should include a GPA between 3.0 and 3.3 and a requirement that students be academically eligible for competition at the time of transfer, based on their progress toward earning a degree within five years of initial enrollment.

So why do I have the feeling that some coaches who will remain nameless might suddenly find it in their best interests to allow their student-athletes to take more challenging courses?

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Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

Today, in slippery slopes

It sounds like Iowa’s athletic director is having some sleepless nights because of Jeffrey Kessler.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said Thursday he is concerned that a pending lawsuit against the NCAA may flip the current college sports model on its head.

“I disagree that we should have an open-market, pay-for-play (system in which) student-athletes are employees,” Barta told reporters after the monthly meeting of the Presidential Committee on Athletics.

Last week, a federal judge ordered the NCAA back to court to defend its limits on the compensation college athletes can receive. A trial was set for Dec. 3. The plaintiffs are seeking a system that would apply only to major-college football and Division I men’s and women’s basketball players.

That’s one aspect that worries Barta.

“What does that do for all the other sports? What does it do for other challenges like Title IX?” Barta wondered. “Right now, we have 24 sports and they’re funded primarily through football and men’s basketball. So what happens to all our Olympic sports? I’m just concerned about all the possible dominoes that could occur.”

Must suck that you aren’t good at dominoes — if, by “dominoes”, you mean doing the same thing that every chief executive of a big business in this country does every day.

Here’s Iowa’s financial reality.

You know what really bothers assholes like Barta?  Having to do their job.  Life is so much easier when you have more money rolling in than you know what to do with it.

Why is Barta an asshole?  Because it’s not just about him.

That’s the so-called “Olympic model” of sports. Barta rejected that notion as well.

“This is about a student-athlete experience. Our student-athletes graduate at a very high rate and they come here to do two things — compete at the highest level in the sport that they love and earn a degree from one of the great universities in the country. And they come here with that in mind, not to be an employee,” Barta said.

“I think the Olympic model is unique to the Olympics. … I like the collegiate model. It doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The collegiate model has worked for 100 and some years. It’s a great model that can be made better, but not flip and turn into an employee and employer relationship.”

This is why these guys oppose the Olympic model for college.  They’re scared shitless that a court is going to see outside compensation as the camel’s nose inside the tent, and — poof! — that hundred years of exploitation goes up in smoke.  Then Gary Barta would have to work for a living.  No wonder he’s uneasy.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Talk to the hand

Echo chamber thinking:

ACC commissioner John Swofford on potentially paying players in college basketball: “There’s no interest of people in higher education to go that route. There’s so many complications that come with it. I’ve not talked to a single athletic director, commissioner or president that has any interest in paying players.”

Gee, what a surprise.

Now if only you can get the courts to agree.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

When crime does pay

This is easily my favorite part of the NCAA basketball scandal:

When federal prosecutors announced last September the arrests of 10 men as part of an FBI investigation into the college basketball black market, one of the central figures was Brad Augustine, an Orlando-area youth basketball program director accused of negotiating deals to steer his best players to preferred colleges, for a price.

Augustine agreed to send one player to Louisville, prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint, after an undercover FBI agent handed him an envelope full of cash meant for the player’s mother. Augustine helped broker a deal to send another player to Miami, as long as an Adidas executive agreed to pay the player’s family $150,000, according to prosecutors, who alleged a coach at Miami later identified as Jim Larranaga had knowledge of the negotiations.

A 32-year-old whose previous legal troubles consisted of traffic tickets and toll violations, Augustine faced a potential prison sentence of up to 80 years on charges including wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy.

But in February, prosecutors dropped all charges against Augustine, without explanation. Two weeks ago, in a court hearing in New York, one of the lawyers on the case offered a possible reason: After his arrest, Augustine apparently told federal prosecutors he never intended to pay the players and their families, and had kept the little money actually paid out in these deals for himself.

Beautiful.  And absurd.

During a March 22 hearing, however, a lawyer representing Jim Gatto — an Adidas executive accused of agreeing to pay $150,000 if Augustine convinced 1Family star Nassir Little to commit to Miami — discussed the letter in open court.

“Mr. Augustine’s statement as summarized by the government . . . directly contradicts the allegations of the indictment . . . with respect to Mr. Little, Mr. Augustine had no intention of taking any money and handing it to Mr. Little,” said attorney Michael Schachter, according to a transcript.

“Mr. Augustine says that, in fact, he was not in on the scheme. In fact, there was not going to be any payment that was going to be made to Mr. Little. But effectively he was in his own scheme to rip off Mr. Gatto,” said Schachter, who was arguing the judge should force prosecutors to turn over transcripts or FBI agent notes of discussions with Augustine, because they may contain evidence favorable to Gatto and the other defendants.

Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.  It’s like the NCAA has a stupidity virus that infects everyone who comes in contact with its attempt to enforce amateurism.

That federal prosecutors apparently decided to drop charges against Augustine after he told them he hadn’t been brokering deals to steer recruits to specific college programs, but instead had kept money for himself, is a reminder of the unusual legal theory at the core of much of the criminal charges produced so far in the FBI probe.

Fraud is a crime that requires a victim. When Augustine was charged with wire fraud, the alleged victims were Miami and Louisville, prosecutors allege, as the schools could have been sanctioned by the NCAA, and sustained financial penalties, if it had come to light some of their players were profiting from their talents.

“So if the money doesn’t go to the athlete, the FBI and prosecutors are fine with it?” said Andy Schwarz, an economist and outspoken critic of the NCAA’s amateurism rules. “How does that make any sense?”

Sense is optional.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, The NCAA