Johnny Keib and Tanner Burns
On Sept. 26, 2017, the FBI officially brought charges against several NCAA basketball teams on recruiting violations. This has been an ongoing investigation since 2015. Teams affected were Arizona, Auburn, USC, Miami, Oklahoma State, and Louisville.
According to ESPN, the charges are that Adidas gave the teams money that they used to bribe recruits to come to their school. Adidas would give the players money and gear if they promised they would sign with them when they make it to the NBA. Adidas would also make the players that took the money promise that when they make the NBA they would sign an endorsement contract with them.
All teams affected lost coaches, but Louisville is the only one that also fired their head coach, hall of famer Rick Pitino. “I really thought he was a good coach,” said senior Kasey Vaughan, member of the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Girls Basketball team. But his great coaching has been affected by negative actions within the program off the court. Just last year a Louisville coach got busted for hosting parties for their recruits, that included prostitutes. Despite those allegations last year they had a successful season.
With all of these players breaking the NCAA rules, it brings up the question of whether players should be paid? Teachers and high school players had many different opinions about whether college players should be paid. We talked to students who play football, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse and most thought all college players should be paid. Two-time Varsity Girls Basketball New York State player of the year Meg Hair thinks yes. “It’s a full time job,” said Hair. Junior Pat Murad, a member of the Varsity Boys Basketball team, agrees with Hair. “100 percent they should be paid. If you are making the money for the school and the NCAA, you should have (part of the) profit.” Murad also said, “I think (the players are) smart really. If they’re coming from a poor family, poor environment, and need some money, it’s a quick easy way to use their talents, and they should be getting paid anyway.”
On the other hand senior basketball and soccer player Marcus Johnson does not think NCAA players should be paid. The teachers and coaches seemed to agree. Varsity Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Jamie Archer thinks they shouldn’t be paid, but deserve more than what they are already getting.“They deserve benefits. They deserve meals and everything to be paid for while they are there,” said Coach Archer. Guidance counselor and Freshman Basketball head coach, Denise Becher, who played DI women’s basketball at the University of Pittsburgh, also agrees with Coach Archer that they should be getting benefits, but not paid. “They should let some kids work if they come from a family with low income,” she said. Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach Jeff Ike agrees with the rest of the teachers. “I don’t think players should be paid. I know they put a lot of time and effort in, but a lot of those kids get a free education, and that’s a big payment,” he said. Although Varsity Assistant Football Coach Andrew Cottet also agrees that they should not be paid, but should be able to turn pro whenever they want.
Adidas, a very popular brand on the rise in basketball, has been a big part of the investigation. People are shocked to hear about their part in the scandal. “I would expect bigger things from a big time corporation,” said senior varsity basketball player Taku Laclair. However, Sports Literature teacher Courtney Romeiser doesn’t think this scandal is going to affect their pro endorsements.
The FBI investigating the NCAA has affected all kinds of people. Whether it was the coaches being fired, Adidas breaking the rules, or players getting money, it has brought up a questions that involves ethics, money and, and the rights of a player. The right solution might not come in the near future, but hopefully there is an answer that will help both the NCAA and the players still to come.