Thursday, September 28, 2017

Why the Government Crackdown Now on Under the Table NCAA Basketball Payments?


Veteran basketball journalist Peter Vecsey says under the table  payments to top college basketball players has been going from almost the day James Naismith invented the game:
In December of 1959, Boys High School coach Mickey Fisher told a reporter, “There are all kinds of pressures on me.”

The New York colleges were desperately trying to keep [his player]Connie Hawkins in town...

As a [high school] senior sensation, Hawkins was considered a must-procure attraction for Madison Square Garden...

During a preseason scrimmage, the St. John’s freshman coach and chief recruiter, Lou Carnesecca, one season removed from coaching Archbishop Molloy H.S. to a spotless 33-0 record, sat next to Fisher on the bench.

“Look, Mickey,” said Carnesecca, who wound up replacing Joe Lapchick, forced to retire four years later at 65 as required by St. John’s mandatory age policy, “we want Hawkins badly. But I’m not going to bother you. You just collect the offers. When you get them all,
pick out the best one and show it to me. Then we’ll top it, no matter what it is.”
So why the crackdown now?

Here's Vecsey's theory:
Judging by news-breaking accounts, following a 2-year reconnaissance by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the major difference between the bad old days and today, is twofold:

The cash handouts have become twice as bloated from when a 50G briefcase was opened in 1979 by a recruiter at Isiah Thomas’ Chicago home in front of his mother and brothers, who told him to take it.

Moreover, they’re orchestrated by representatives of an agency in conjunction with two powerful marketing envoys from Adidas. Together, they allegedly conspired and bankrolled payoffs to seven colleges it sponsors, the expectation being that the high school players on the take would stay in gear when they turned pro, and be represented by the agent/agency that brokered the plot.

So far, 10 people were arrested, including four assistant coaches from Auburn, Arizona, Oklahoma State and USC. I read the indictments. The evidence is overwhelmingly incriminating — wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery phone conversations, wire transfers of funds, damaging e-mails and attempted concealment of bribe payments.

Extensive homework was undeniably done.

Why, I ask myself — I’m sure Rick Pitino, Chuck Person, Adidas execs Jim Gatto and Merl Code, agent Christian Dawkins and the remaining rabble, are asking themselves the same thing — why now?

Why, after all these years of tissue paper rules of enrollment being deforming and distorted, what impelled such intense scrutiny from the Justice Department and the FBI?

What provoked law enforcement to go undercover to expose a contaminated culture that’s plagued college basketball since the ball had stitches?

Unpaid taxes?

Exploiting minors?

In-state and foreign commerce abuses?

Since I posed the questions, I might as well take a crack at the answer. Educated speculation about human nature leads me to believe jealousy spearheaded the inquiry.

Guaranteed, an unexpectedly abrupt broken commitment by an elite player (Brian Bowen?) induced a rival coach to blow the whistle on Pitino.

Guaranteed, a crushed competitor (Nike?) tipped off the Feds regarding Gatto’s purported 100G bribe to Bowen (?) to enlist at Louisville. Last month’s $160 million, 10-year endorsement deal between Pitino and Adidas, must’ve pissed off more than a few coaches as well.

(What’s barely mentioned is that any player who pocketed bribe payments automatically forfeits their eligibility)
Like I have already written:
If Black Lives Matter understood crony protectionism enforced by the government (and the FBI in particular), they would be all over this. This is the screwing of talented, mostly black, college athletes by the government protected NCAA cartel.
 -RW

4 comments:

  1. If grown ass men didn't spend all their free time watching sportsball, none of this would matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's your point Hansen?
      (One might say the same thing about all those consumers and the FDA.)

      Delete
    2. Seriously you think watching games is the same as keeping tabs on drug/food regulating agency?

      Delete
    3. I think blaming the consumer of a product that Is regulated is misdirection at best

      Delete