The FBI recently released results of an investigation into college basketball. A multitude of big name schools, highly successful players, and long time coaches have been implicated in what has been described as “an underground recruiting operation”. This report was released to Yahoo Sports, and verified by a variety of other sources.
Among the most significant names implicated was that of Arizona basketball head coach, Sean Miller, who was caught on an FBI wiretap talking about a $100,000 payment to a current player on his roster. This has led to NBA players and coaches such as Lebron James, Steve Kerr, and Carmelo Anthony to express their disappointment and to analyze some of the flaws in the system.
Players being paid to get top recruits to commit to schools, under the table, has been a common suspicion of many for some time, but with the FBI’s involvement this is a sucipison that is proving to be true.
This development is simply the tremor before the earthquake as underground recruiting operations have been considered part of the way things have always been done. The FBI’s investigation is believed to be able prove conspiracies about holes in the education quality of athletes, from tutors who do the school work for the athletes to having false grades that were not actually earned.
Athletes should be paid in the first place, but not at college. Obviously the athletes that broke an existing rule need to be punished, but the rules need to be changed. The players need to be paid.
Unpaid labor is a huge issue and a free scholarship is not enough, especially when you consider many of these star athletes aren’t even really learning anything, or are going to a particular school to learn.
Many more educationally competitive schools take lower grades for athletes, which is a clear mark that their unpaid labor means much more to the schools than them receiving a fitting education. Colleges are supposed to be about matching to the proper student to the level of education, so that the student doesn’t get screwed over by classes that are too hard.
That doesn’t end up being a problem because many of the classes these athletes take are a joke, that they are passed in so they can play. There is a clear bias towards the athletes in this case, because they are raking in millions for the schools.
These schools don’t even care about the athlete’s long term aspirations or how a false education will affect them later on, just the money that they will be making the school right now. Money that the athletes are getting none of.
Athletes should not be required to go to college if the they are all in on their sports. Programs like the the NBA’s G-league should take in players who are developing, for a salary, rather than having players go unpaid for college. The top college players who plan on going one and done or are top high school prospects should go to the G-league for as long as they want, and develop under NBA style tutelage. Then whenever their contracts end and they want to declare for the draft they have that opportunity while also playing on a salary.
There is little point in a degree if you did not actually learn anything. You won’t be able to pass a job interview or hold down a job that requires that education if your classes were a complete joke. Examples such as Dexter Manley, who played great college football at Oklahoma State, had a professional career, who was later found to be completely illiterate. How did he graduate after four years of college as an illiterate person? His play and only his play got him in.
Obviously many don’t have an issue to that degree, but their is no point in graduating if you haven’t learned anything that can be applied to a job that needs a college education, at that point you might as well be illiterate.
Players should be able to either go to a developmental league for a salary or straight to the pros, these rules forcing them to go to college are helping absolutely no one but the colleges.
Colleges should be an unpaid option for less athletically able kids who don’t feel confident enough to go straight to a paid developmental league and require the education as a backup plan or are simply looking to play their sport for the duration of their college experience and not after.
This is on big companies like the NBA, NFL, and NCAA to make happen, because big changes are coming to the world of college sports. And whether or not colleges like it, the FBI is coming, so you better believe we are about to finally fix this flawed system and get some change.