It’s back warts and all.
The men’s college basketball season is underway and there is absolutely no question that the college basketball industry is flawed. A former Adidas employee James Gatto, an Adidas consultant Merl Code and Christian Dawkins were found guilty by a jury of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud in delivering high school players to various colleges such as Kansas, Louisville and North Carolina State. The three will be sentenced in March. Adidas was accused of using the three men of paying money to recruits so they would sign with colleges who had a marketing relationship with the company. There are other trails that are scheduled and the college basketball industry remains under investigation. Of course, none of this would have happened if colleges and universities with big time football and basketball programs just paid players for attending schools instead of hiding behind some notion that college sports is purely an amateur, fun affair where players and coaches are just enjoying some competition for the joy of playing sports.
Anyone who has ever been around college basketball knows that it is not true. But the college basketball industry, despite a jury finding three people guilty of corrupt practices, is doing well. The American television networks from CBS through regional cable networks have not bailed on the industry and are adopting the hear no, see no and speak no evil philosophy because the college basketball industry provides programming. Marketing partners seem to have no problem being associated with the product. Media from newspapers to blogs is breathlessly pumping a steady flow of we can’t wait for the season to start and getting to the Final Four in late March and April. Cities were bidding for the Final Four with seven cities going after the 2023 through 2026 events despite the federal probe. It’s just entertainment and people should ignore the culture of corruption.