The most recent "college basketball programs paying bribes to secure top recruits" scandal is shaking the NCAA to it's core. The financial corruption is so rampant and ingrained in the sport, in fact, that a pair of individuals targeted in the FBI's investigation were caught on video expressing surprised over the fact that more people aren't getting killed in the fallout from these illegal dealings.
Watch the surprising exchange (filmed by FBI) for yourselves about corruption in college basketball recruiting and secret payments. "I'm surprised there aren't more murders in our space." "There really should be." Played Oct. 5 for the jury #HoopsTrial pic.twitter.com/K654jm0rqv— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) October 12, 2018
The two who are seen laughing it up about the concept of homicide over a basketball recruit are former Adidas consultant Merl Code and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins. They're shown speaking with undercover FBI agents posing as investors ion a meeting purported to have taken place in June 2017.
Good question: Former Adidas consultant Merl Code and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins are pitching a business plan to two people they think are investors, but who actually are FBI agents #HoopsTrial— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) October 12, 2018
Several major programs have had people connected to them plead guilty to wire fraud and bribery. Many have testified under oath claiming to have paid players, and legendary Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was given the ax due in part to his connection to the scandal, specifically surrounding former 5-star recruit and current Sydney Kings forward Brian Bowen.
Brian Bowen Sr testifies at college corruption trial his son was offered thousands to play:— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) October 4, 2018
$50,000 to play at Arizona
$80,000 to play at Creighton
$150,000 to play at Oklahoma St
Bowen Jr went to Louisville allegedly after deal to pay family $100k: https://t.co/ONXgTMQRd7 pic.twitter.com/xPha7yjK3w
Whenever one takes off the rose-colored glasses and looks at the dark underbelly of college recruiting, there are always major scandals sure to be lurking somewhere. While some of the notorious major scandals, like SMU football in the 1980s or Nevin Shapiro at Miami, made waves at the time and brought about swift, decisive discipline, this one looks even more nefarious.
This will have far-reaching implications for the sport and the NCAA, and the FBI surely has tons more up its sleeve we haven't even seen yet.