By Justin McKinney, Sports Editor
In the past few months the FBI has begun targeting NCAA D1 basketball teams suspected of bribing recruits and railroading the program as well as the coaches associated with it into an oblivion.
Rick Pitino and the Cardinals of Louisville felt the FBI’s wrath less than six months ago and this past week the FBI reported that it will begin pursuing charges against University of Arizona head coach Sean Miller for allegedly bribing players.
Perhaps it is just me, but I am dumb founded at why the FBI is wasting time investigating NCAA programs for these things. I suppose it is a matter of opinion, however I believe the FBI’s first and foremost job is to maintain public safety. I cannot imagine how Pitino getting recruits strippers or Sean Miller paying recruits is a matter of public safety.
Is it immoral? Of course. Is it seedy? Definitely. Does anyone really care? I highly doubt it. We are having tax payer dollars that should be spent fighting real crime, dumped into NCAA sanctioned witch hunts. The reality of it is that Pitino and Miller aren’t the gruesome twosome of the NCAA; they are just the two dumb enough to get caught. Whether it is basketball or football, I would be extremely shocked if these were the only two NCAA programs paying recruits to play for them. I would be shocked if less than 75 percent of the top 100 teams in each sport was not paying their recruits off.
If the NCAA wants to launch their own independent investigation into matters then that is their business. However, it disgusts me that very same Federal Bureau of Investigation that miserably dropped the ball with the Parkland, Florida school shooting, is trying to make headlines for busting coaches bribing players in the NCAA.
Forgive me, but one of these issues seem to be far more important than the other. In fact, while the Parkland shooting happens to be an extreme in comparison to these NCAA violations, I can think of a litany of other things that I would rather the FBI be investigating over NCAA violations.
I would rather the FBI run a full scale investigation on the NCAA itself than dig into programs. The NCAA is a billion dollar athletic association, if one was to see what the highest paid public employee in every state was you will surly find a basketball or football coach, at this point everyone person that is commissioner of a power conference in college sports makes over a million dollars.
All this money is being made off the backs of young men, who in many cases do not even receive full compensation for school. They claim it is in the best interest of the athletes, however, I find this extremely hard to believe. What kid couldn’t use a few thousand dollars or a scholarship?
Schools do give out some scholarships, however don’t be fooled scholarships are extremely limited; especially among competitive programs. While I don’t fully agree with the actions of these coaches, I don’t see the FBI as having a place in investigating these violations, when there are more important matters at hand or when the NCAA is exploiting young athletes nationwide.