FBI Investigation into College Hoops Heats Up
This past weekend, we got our first true glimpse into some of the players and programs that are being looked into by the FBI for corruption in college basketball. Many players were implicated for allegedly taking impermissible benefits from ASM Sports, a sports management agency, while still playing college ball and maintaining their amateurism. Here’s some of what we learned:
- This investigation runs deep. Overall, more than 25 schools have been implicated by the FBI’s investigation. The bad news for hoops fans is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. This weekend’s findings simply came from one single sports management agency. We still have yet to find out what fully happened in the Adidas scandal, and the corruption likely goes even deeper than that.
- The players who took these impermissible benefits come from programs at the top. Almost all of the schools implicated are traditional college basketball powerhouses, or blue bloods if you will. Schools like Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, Virginia, Villanova, North Carolina, South Carolina, Notre Dame, USC, Louisville, Texas, Maryland, Wichita State, Xavier, and more could all find themselves in hot water. The cheating appeared to be happening in programs that are already well built and successful.
- The University of Arizona is in the most immediate trouble. According to a Yahoo Sports report, the FBI has wiretap evidence of Wildcats head basketball coach Sean Miller discussing offering then-prospect, and current Arizona player, DeAndre Ayton $100,000 in benefits in exchange for his commitment to the university. In light of the report, Miller did not coach Saturday night’s game against Oregon, while Ayton continued to play. However, prior to the game, Miller released a statement in which he adamantly denied the claims, and noted that he would be “vindicated”.
It’s important to note that we’re still early on in this investigation, and these leaked findings could very well not be completely valid. It’s also important to note that we don’t know how the actions of the players will affect the schools, as many programs and coaches likely didn’t know that these benefits were being given/received. We’re still a long ways away from the NCAA or FBI handing out penalties and sentences, but the story is still shocking the college hoops community in the meantime.