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March 25, 2009

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Nate Jones

Very on point response, Marc. As you said, "This is what happens when the NCAA and its members attempt to maintain an outdated facade of amateurism, while EVERYTHING about basketball AT ALL LEVELS has been commercialized...whether we want to admit it or not." It gets worse than this when you hear stories of college coaches brokering access to their player to agents. Parents and players often trust college coaches and aau coaches to have their best interest at heart, but it's obvious that a ton of these coaches only care about their own personal gain.

The Real Athlete Blog

Good article Marc. The key question is when will the NCAA actually follow up on these Yahoo! probes? They seemed to turn the other way after Yahoo! broke the Bush and Mayo stories.

You're absolutely right that Wetzel and Wojnarowski are doing a fantastic job documenting the transgressions of recruiting, but I hope it's not all for not and the NCAA takes these stories seriously and realizes that something has to be done to change the status quo of the recruiting landscape.

I'm with you that these players should be defended as they often are not aware of what's going on around them (which is sad, but unfortunately the reality). Ignorance is still no excuse though and that's why these players need to be educated more about how this business works and the potential pitfalls they may encounter as they rise up in the ranks. And, it's not going to be the athletic departments or coaches who are going to do the educating, as they are all too wrapped up in it.

PC

It continues to boggle my mind that college coaches are able to escape so much of the blame in these situations. Its such a joke. Everyone likes to think they are these standup guys who just coach great basketball. They are the ones right in the middle of most of this 'backroom dealing' and have the most to gain from it no matter which way you look at it. Nate Miles may never make the Pros, but we all now know exactly how much Jim Calhoun makes and therefore know his incentive for getting the best players to Storrs no matter what. Yet the blame always gets diverted to runners, aau coaches, and what sickens me the most, the kids. I'm glad you are standing up for them. Someone needs to.

GP

Excellent post and also some great comments. It is interesting that UCONN did whatever it could to not NOT fork over the phone records. I assume its compliance office had sufficient time to review everything and determine whether an NCAA violation occurred or not. It appears that UCONN's strategy is to dig its heels into the ground and not give any ground. As Calhoun likes to say, he's not giving a "dime back." All this does look bad, but maybe there's no NCAA violations.

Consider...

Maybe Calhoun had no knowledge of any of this.
Maybe Nochimson is not a representative of UCONN's athletic interests.
Maybe all those 1500 plus calls were allowable under NCAA rules.

Of course, UCONN is going to have to pay a lot of money to a law firm to prove its case.

GP

ALso, I bet UCONN is glad Miles allegedly raped a student and got kicked out of school...otherwise this would be a real mess for the program. See Bobby Bowden.

Freeman Williams

Why does Jim Calhoun continue to keep his job at UCONN, while Sampson has been blackballed from college basketball?

Marc Isenberg

Excellent point Freeman. Not sure I have an answer to your question. I do think the NCAA views repeat offenders as a bigger problem than someone who does one really bad thing. It will be interesting to see how the NCAA committee on infractions views the UConn case, especially since agents are involved.

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