Midnight Madness And College Basketball Madness Are Back

It continues apace with no consequences.

It is mid-October and the college basketball season is within view as colleges and universities are celebrating with some form of Midnight Madness to kick off the first official practice of the season. But here is one question that not too many people are asking. Have the school presidents, chancellors, board of trustees and others in charge done anything to clean up the college basketball industry’s criminal activity that has seen a federal investigation of corruption in the recruitment of high school players? The answer? No. Twenty-five months ago, 10 people were arrested on various charges. All of the arrests were connected to some sort of scheme that paid players to go to various schools. Some of the coaches who benefitted from the payments and landed top players have pled ignorance in the I have no knowledge of my player getting bribed to come to my school. It should be noted that coaches do know virtually everything about their players including the tissues they use to blow their noses when they have colds. Kansas, North Carolina State and Arizona were said to be among the schools that got players in a payment scheme.

The federal probe, the arrests, and possible NCAA sanctions against some schools could have been avoided if the college presidents, chancellors, board of trustees and the others who run the NCAA paid the players. The NCAA puts out a product that is professional in every way from charging big money to see signature events to getting hundreds of millions of dollars from TV partners and marketing partners to paying millions of dollars to coaches. Yet the people in charge of the business, think the stars of the show, the players, should be happy with a scholarship and rules that include preventing those athletes from making more than about $2,000 annually from outside jobs. It is madness.