The NCAA/FBI Scandal, LeBron James, and a Very Much Needed Change in College Athletics

The NCAA has been in the news for an ongoing FBI investigation into illegal recruiting for Men’s Basketball. There were many assistant coaches names that came up in a probe. The NCAA has found many cases of illegal recruiting in the past few years.

We all know about the Miami Hurricanes and booster Nevin Shapiro. We’ve also found out tons of news about former Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino recently. Auburn’s Head Coach Bruce Pearl was fired from Tennessee in 2011 for violating NCAA rules. The list goes on for days as to broken rules and illegal recruiting.

Today, LeBron James chimed in on the matter. “The NCAA is corrupt,” James says in this tweet below:

LeBron James is one of the few NBA players who came straight out of high school and found success. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, and Tracy McGrady are also players who came from high school and were/are successful NBA players. In 2005, the one and done rule was enacted. You either had to play college basketball for one year before you could be eligible for the draft, or you had to be at least 19. Basically, one year removed from high school. This rule gave us Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball, Kyrie Irving, among other players. The rule itself isn’t a bad one, but it isn’t a good one either.

The one and done rule basically gives the NCAA a year to make money off of players who would otherwise go straight to the draft from high school. In a college sport like baseball, a player can get drafted and still play in college if they are not ready to play in the majors. The NBA’s one and done rule creates a weird atmosphere in college basketball. There are always pros and cons to a situation, but it seems like this hurts more than helps. The players don’t get paid in college, so of course, they are going to lean towards a first-year exit. This may also deter a players development. Stephen Curry is one of the players who stayed at least 2-3 year and developed an amazing skill set while in college.

The NCAA being corrupt has been an ongoing conversation on the internet, sports channels, radio shows, etc. for some time. The NCAA makes almost, if not, a $1 billion dollars off of March Madness alone. This doesn’t include the Women’s Volleyball tournament, College Football Playoff and bowl games, Women’s College World Series, and Men’s College World Series. All of these things generate money for the NCAA. Yes, the schools pay athletes scholarships, room and board, etc. Not all of these athletes are scholarship athletes though. Some of these guys have to play a season or two before they get offered a scholarship. Them getting paid would help them immensely. These are things that must be looked at on the grand scale of things.

Arizona Center/Power Forward DeAndre Ayton’s case is one that is currently on the frontlines. An ESPN story about Ayton was that his coach at Arizona Sean Miller was caught on a FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 dollar payment to Ayton. His case like many others including Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges were brought to light by a Yahoo! Sports article about the FBI probe. A document received by them listed players, schools, and amounts of money that detailed a telling tale of illegal recruitment, all were connected to former NBA Agent Andy Miller.

While speaking to reporters, James also said the NBA should create a “farm system,” but that’s for a “longer dialogue” that he wants to have with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. No doubt, this has tarnished the reputation of the NCAA. This year’s road to the NCAA tournament has been a very fun one, but it’s been tainted with stories like this. Many colleges have done an internal investigation and found no violation of the NCAA rules, Duke and Michigan St. are two of them. Lavar Ball has recently spoke on his proposed JBA league as an alternative to college for star recruits. ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas has also been very vocal about college athletes getting paid. This is a conversation that will go on until a true solution is found to stop “illegal” recruiting of college athletes. Schools have lost Heisman trophies, National Championship banners, coaches, wins, and many other things because of “illegal” recruiting. Hopefully, the NCAA and NBA will fix the issue soon.

What do you guys think? Do you think that college athletes should be paid? Tweet us your thoughts @TheUtilityMan17!

Rascal F. Kennedy

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