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Thread: The "Amateurism" Dilemma in Collegiate Recruiting

  1. #181
    ^ Continued ...

    More than one school you’ll be calling games for, including Duke and Villanova, are caught up in the NCAA’s paid players investigation. How should it be handled when we learn a player or his family has received financial benefits before they go pro?

    Number one, let’s just say this: This has been going on a long time. This didn’t just happen. I’m of the belief - I’m not so much into paying players, but I feel every player should control their own likeness. If a player wants to do a local television commercial for a car dealership and get paid for it, they should have that right. I don’t think once you sign on the dotted line, particularly at a university, you have zero rights and they get all the licensing money. Because the regular student, they have the ability to do that. Why can't a student athlete?

    If you get into paying players or a stipend, it’s generally just the football and basketball players. And do you pay quarterbacks more than you pay offensive linemen, or wide receivers, or defensive ends? It’s too difficult to figure out. But every player should control their ability to market themselves and make money. That’s the American Dream.

    So sort of the Olympics model.

    Absolutely, they should model it on the Olympics. And to take it a step further, I really believe college basketball should model what Major League Baseball does. If you think you're big and bad enough to come out of high school, then so be it. But if you signed a letter of intent, they have you for three years. Both will win.

    And let's talk about this, too, Jack. We're only talking about what? Five players, maybe ten, out of thousands. So we’ve got to be honest here. If they’re bad enough to come out of high school—a 17, 18-year-old—I mean, tennis players do it all the time, and I don’t hear the uproar about tennis players. If you’re able to turn pro at 18, and you want to take that next leap, then so be it. But if you think, “Ah, I’m on the fringe. I need work,” and you sign a letter of intent, they have to have you for two years then. One and done is a joke. They’re not going to school. It’s a joke.

    What do you make of the new idea that if a player declares for the draft and they don’t get drafted, they should be able to go back to the school they were at?

    Agreed. Test the waters. Why not? It baffles my mind, like what did they get by declaring for the draft and not getting drafted? How are they any better in that three to four month process than they were? So why would they be able to go back? Absolutely they should be able to go back.

    What are the games to watch over the next couple of weeks?

    That Virginia-Arizona game - let me backtrack. Arizona-Kentucky, first of all, is going to be fantastic in the south. The winner of that is going to be great, whether that's Virginia-Kentucky, Virginia-Arizona. To me, Virginia has a very difficult path to get to the Final Four. And personally, just because I'm an adopted Hoosier, I would love to see Butler and Purdue in that second round. That would be fun.

  2. #182
    NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for agents, NBA draft

    Associated Press / 08:25 AM August 09, 2018

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The NCAA is taking steps to try to clean up college basketball, carving out a limited role for agents to work with players and changing pivotal parts of its rules-enforcement system as part of numerous reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.

    The Indianapolis-based governing body for college sports announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors had adopted a “series of significant policy and legislative changes” as part of an effort to “fundamentally” change the NCAA’s structure. Some are immediate, while others first require action from other agencies — such as the NBA changing the age limit for draft-eligible players that has fueled the wave of “one and done” at the college level.

    That follows late-April recommendations from the commission headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice following a federal investigation into alleged bribes and kickbacks designed to influence recruits on choosing a school, agent or apparel company. Georgia Tech president and Board of Directors chairman Bud Peterson said the NCAA had pushed through changes in about 3 1/2 months that would “normally take us about two years through the governance process.”

    “Today was obviously a very important day for the NCAA and especially for men’s basketball, and … Division I,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a teleconference with reporters Wednesday afternoon.

    While many agree the reforms are a step in the right direction, it is unclear how effective they will be.

    “It’s important to be mindful that we won’t reach perfection; however, we can’t let that stand in the way of significant progress,” Atlantic Coast Conference John Swofford said in a statement.

    In terms of agents, the changes are as much about transparency and offering a legitimate avenue for communication or advice that previously could’ve taken place in the shadows — and raised the likelihood of attracting unscrupulous characters.

    Now college basketball players can work with an NCAA-certified agent while testing the waters of declaring for the NBA draft. College players first would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee about their draft prospects after the season, and that would clear the way to enter into a written agreement — disclosed to the NCAA or school — with the agent.

    That agreement must end if the player returns to school.

    Agents would be allowed to cover minimal expenses such as meals and transportation associated with meetings or workouts with pro teams, but that could be complicated. The NCAA noted that might first require revisions to the Uniform Athlete Agent Act — a version of which is in place in more than 40 states to regulate unethical agent conduct. And because pro teams previously could cover some of those expenses, the monetary benefit could be minimal.

    The agents would have to be certified by the NCAA by no later than August 2020, agents certified by the NBA players’ union would qualify until a formal deadline is set.

    The NCAA included a provision allowing agent relationships for high school players identified as an elite prospect by USA Basketball beginning July 1 before their senior year, though only if the NBA changes its age-limit restrictions. If the NBA and its players’ union decide to lower the age limit of draft-eligible players to 18, it would clear the way for elite players to go from preps to pros.

    It’s unclear when — and if that would happen — or what impact that would have on colleges recruiting NBA-ready prospects.

    The changes also include allowing a player to return to school if undrafted, but only if he sought the NBA advisory evaluation and participated in the scouting combine — a number that NCAA senior vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt said would be “very limited in scope.” That, too, would first require tweaks to NBA and players’ union rules.

    At least one prominent coach, Kentucky’s John Calipari, wondered aloud as to how that will work.

    “My question is, what if there are no scholarships at that school because they gave the scholarships away because they thought he was leaving?” Calipari said in an interview on ESPN. “What does that kid do now? Does he go to another school?”

    There were also significant changes to the enforcement process to handle cases of rules violations. That included the appointment of Rice-recommended independent groups to handle and resolve complex cases, with Emmert estimating it would apply to maybe five cases annually.

    The changes also allow the NCAA to accept outside information that has been “established by another administrative body or a commission authorized by a school.” The NCAA says that will save time since investigators would no longer have to independently confirm those details, which could apply to the current corruption case with federal investigators having access to information through subpoenas and wiretaps — tools the NCAA doesn’t possess.

    The changes also include requiring school presidents and athletics staff to commit “contractually” to cooperate fully with investigations, stiffer penalties for violations and regulation of the summer recruiting circuit.

    Federal prosecutors announced last fall they had charged 10 men — including assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn, USC and Oklahoma State along with a top Adidas executive — in a fraud and bribery scandal. The case has entangled schools such as Kansas, North Carolina State, Maryland and Louisville, among others, though prosecutors withdrew a criminal complaint in February against one of the defendants.

  3. #183
    From the New York Times online - - -

    Brian Bowen II and the Real Victims of N.C.A.A. Scandals

    By Marc Tracy

    Oct. 11, 2018

    The lead prosecutor’s opening questions for Brian Bowen Sr. were basic, establishing how he figured into a case that has once again exposed the seedy underbelly of college sports.

    Bowen wore a blue suit and a blue tie.

    “What is his name?” Edward B. Diskant, an assistant United States attorney, asked Bowen about his son last Thursday.

    “Brian Bowen II.”

    “Does he go by any nicknames?”


    As a baby, Bowen Sr. explained later, Tugs Bowen had a habit of tugging on his mother’s hair. This was long before he became the seemingly most undeserving victim in the latest college basketball scandal.

    “Is Tugs presently in college?” Diskant asked.


    “Why not?”

    Bowen Sr., 50, never answered that question directly. His voice caught. His eyes filled with tears. Then he began to sob. He did not stop for some time. After 10 or 15 seconds, Diskant asked the judge if this might be a good time for a break, and the judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, eagerly agreed. As the jury filed out in front of Bowen Sr., he half-turned away from them and the rest of the room, and continued to sob.

    Tugs Bowen, 20, was not there, on the top floor of Manhattan’s federal courthouse, to see his father break down during this trial. He was 10,000 miles away, in Australia, where his professional basketball team, the Sydney Kings, was preparing for its season.

    Tugs Bowen is not in college because prosecutors said his father agreed to accept $100,000 from Adidas if his son agreed to play for the University of Louisville, one of the most prominent teams Adidas sponsors. In testimony, which began Thursday and concluded Tuesday, Bowen Sr. confirmed his role in the alleged scheme.

    And yet, according to prosecutors, Tugs Bowen is not the formal victim in the case.

    And that is why Tugs Bowen is in Australia, instead of embarking on a traditional basketball career path in college, bearing the brunt of the punishment for adults behaving badly.

    Here are the charges in the case that turned college basketball on its head, prompting fears that the ordinary way of doing business — quietly compensating top players in violation of N.C.A.A. amateurism rules — could lead not only to college discipline but to criminal penalties:

    The United States attorney for the Southern District of New York accused Adidas’s former head of global basketball marketing, Jim Gatto; another former Adidas employee, Merl Code Jr.; and an aspiring agent, Christian Dawkins, of committing fraud by scheming to funnel money from Adidas to the families of basketball recruits. In exchange, those recruits would commit to college teams the sneaker company sponsored. The three men have all pleaded not guilty.

    The charges, first filed in September 2017, prompted the formation of a blue-ribbon N.C.A.A. panel and reforms, though those reforms are unlikely to change college sports significantly. They felled the career of a Hall of Fame coach who is a millionaire many times over.

    They also terminated the college career of Tugs Bowen, a highly rated player, before it ever got started. Tugs Bowen will never play a minute of college basketball. A career in the N.B.A. now seems like a murky proposition.

    Brian Bowen Sr. arriving at federal court in New York. He has testified that he accepted money in exchange for committing his son to basketball teams.CreditMark Lennihan/Associated Press

    When the allegations were publicized, on the eve of last college basketball season, Louisville removed Bowen, a freshman, from practices. He later transferred to South Carolina, though he was not permitted to play. Then he elected to turn pro, with the N.C.A.A. indicating he would need to sit at least another season because of the allegations. Then he withdrew from the N.B.A. draft a few weeks before it happened. Later, he landed in Australia.

    The average man on the street would probably identify Tugs Bowen as the apparent innocent harmed by the defendants’ alleged misdeeds. But according to the prosecution’s legal theory, the four universities — Louisville, Kansas, Miami and North Carolina State, all Adidas-backed — are the victims. The actions of shoe company executives and members of these college’s basketball staffs defrauded them because their actions exposed the universities to the economic harm that could result from N.C.A.A. penalties, prosecutors said.

    “These defendants caused universities to give scholarships based on fraudulent information, and that fraud occurred because of the defendants’ lies and deceit and greed,” Eli J. Mark said in the prosecution’s opening statement.

    The four universities have generally pledged their cooperation with the prosecution (and a likely N.C.A.A. investigation in the future) while refraining from extensive comment.

    A Louisville spokesman said the university was “monitoring the proceedings” and in contact with the N.C.A.A. On Tuesday, Bowen Sr. testified that the former associate head coach for Louisville gave him $1,300 last summer.

    “The prosecution has not suggested any wrongdoing by the university or its coaches,” a Kansas spokesman said.

    “We have no tolerance for those who would choose to damage the reputation of this great university,” North Carolina State’s athletic director, Debbie Yow, said in a statement.

    Miami declined to comment.

    The government has attempted to piece together the scheme in which the defendants sought to give Bowen Sr. four $25,000 installments over a year and cover their tracks via phony purchase orders and his fake designation as a “consultant.”

    Bowen Sr. had accepted cash in exchange for his son’s basketball play for years, he said: for playing for an A.A.U. team sponsored by Adidas, for playing for a different A.A.U. team sponsored by Nike, for playing for an Indiana prep school and for playing for Louisville.

    Assistant coaches from other teams, all sponsored by Nike — Texas, Arizona, Creighton, Oklahoma State — had offered Bowen Sr. substantial sums for Tugs Bowen’s commitment through Dawkins, a family friend, Bowen Sr. said.

    The athletic directors at Texas and Creighton said in statements that internal reviews had found no evidence to back up Bowen Sr.’s testimony. An Oklahoma State spokesman declined to comment. Arizona did not respond to a request for comment.

    The former sports agent Christian Dawkins has pleaded not guilty to charges he plotted to pay Brian Bowen Sr. $100,000 in exchange for his son’s commitment to play basketball for Louisville.CreditMark Lennihan/Associated Press

    Tugs Bowen had no idea about any of this, Bowen Sr. insisted repeatedly.

    For instance, Bowen Sr. detailed a 2015 meeting in his family’s hometown, Saginaw, Mich., in which a coach on Adidas’s A.A.U. circuit, T.J. Gassnola, offered him $25,000 if his son played for an Adidas-backed team. (Gassnola, who has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge, began his testimony Wednesday afternoon.)

    When Diskant asked whether Bowen Sr. had invited his son to the meeting, he replied: “Of course not, no.”

    “Why not?”

    “I mean, I don’t want him to be involved in something that’s wrong or something like that,” Bowen Sr. said.

    The defendants’ strategy has been to acknowledge that they broke N.C.A.A. rules but that it is not criminal behavior. And, they add, the colleges cannot be victims because the defendants saw themselves as benefiting the colleges by helping them obtain top players.

    “This isn’t going to be a ‘who did it’ kind of case or even so much of a ‘what did he do’ kind of case,” Mark C. Moore, one of Code’s lawyers, said in his opening argument. “This case is all about the why.”

    It is also not a case likely to be decided on the relative likability of Brian Bowen Sr.

    He admitted on Tuesday to lying to the F.B.I. more than once and to disposing of a second phone that he had used to make illicit recruiting-related communications after it was subpoenaed. (He had referred to the second phone as his “Batphone.”) He agreed that he had illegally sold food stamp cards, though he said he had been trying to help people. He signed a nonprosecution agreement in exchange for his testimony.

    But he also insisted that throughout his son’s basketball career, his first priority had been placing his son in the ideal on-court situation, not cashing in on his son’s talents.

    He had wanted Tugs Bowen to play at Arizona, he said, and though Dawkins had told Bowen Sr. there was money on the table for that, Bowen Sr.’s main reasoning was that Arizona excelled at developing tall shooting guards like his 6-foot-7 son. When two players similar in style to his son elected to return to Arizona after testing N.B.A. waters, he said, the Bowen family turned its attention to Louisville, whose shooting guard, Donovan Mitchell, had chosen to enter the N.B.A. draft.

    Throughout his testimony, Bowen Sr. usually stuck to a few words per answer: “Yes.” “That would be fair.” “I don’t recall that.”

    But at one point on Tuesday, he issued a rare editorial comment when, during the direct examination, the discussion of Tugs Bowen’s tattered college eligibility arose.

    “I still think my son is a victim,” he said, “and I always will.”

  4. #184
    From the New York Times online - - -

    N.B.A. G League to Offer Prospects $125,000 as Alternative to ‘One and Done’

    By Victor Mather and Kevin Draper

    Oct. 18, 2018

    Elite 18-year-old basketball players will soon have another alternative to playing a “one and done” year at college. The N.B.A. announced Thursday that, beginning next year, select players would be able to earn $125,000 to play in its development league, the G League, for a year before entering the N.B.A. draft.

    In 2005, after several years of players going straight from high school to the N.B.A., including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, the league began mandating a minimum age of 19.

    After the rule was put in place, the vast majority of talented high school players chose to enter the N.C.A.A. ranks and then usually declared for the N.B.A. draft after only a year.

    Eight of the top nine picks in this summer’s draft spent only one year in college. Many of those players, like Marvin Bagley III of Duke and Trae Young of Oklahoma, might well have chosen the G League as an alternative.

    The N.B.A.’s new program was first reported by ESPN.

    The N.B.A. promised that players would receive training in basketball as well as in “life skills” as part of the program. It did not disclose how many players would be invited into the program, but the G League said it would be “a very specific group of elite players.”

    As professionals, those players would also be able to accept endorsement money, something they could not do as amateurs in college.

    It was not yet known how the players would be assigned to G League teams, but regardless of which team they were on, they would be eligible for the next year’s draft and could wind up with any N.B.A. team.

    The unexpected result of the minimum age has been the prevalence of the one-and-done player. While some college basketball fans and coaches appreciated the chance to see top stars at least for a year, others rued the transitory nature of the players’ stays on campus.

    The N.B.A. justified the age limit by saying it was concerned that recent high school graduates were not ready for the rigors of the N.B.A. and life as adults. They also wanted to get agents and league personnel out of high school and A.A.U. gymnasiums and the seedy world of sneaker companies and recruiting. David Stern, the commissioner until 2014, wanted an age limit of 20 but compromised with the players’ union to make it 19.

    “We appreciate the N.B.A.’s decision to provide additional opportunities for those who would like to pursue their dream of playing professionally,” Mark Emmert, the president of the N.C.A.A., said in a statement on Thursday. “Obtaining a college education continues to provide unmatched preparation for success in life for the majority of student-athletes and remains an excellent path to professional sports for many. However, this change provides another option for those who would prefer not to attend college but want to directly pursue professional basketball.”

    This could be something of a stopgap measure for the development league. In a few years, 18-year-olds may be able to enter the N.B.A. directly again. Adam Silver, the commissioner, has said the N.B.A. was ready to get rid of “one and done.”

    The G League has 27 teams in mostly smaller cities, affiliated with N.B.A. teams. They play in front of mostly small crowds with players who for the most part will only be N.B.A. journeymen at best. Every once in a while, a player will have a star turn in the big league, like Andre Ingram, the 32-year-old G League veteran who was called up for a game by the Los Angeles Lakers and scored 19 points in an exhilarating performance.

    The 18-year-olds in the new program would not be eligible to be called up to the N.B.A. during their year in the G League.

    G League players tend to be in their mid-20s. They make significantly less than the $125,000 a year that will be offered to the elite 18-year-olds, often as little as $35,000, although players who are called up to the N.B.A. can earn more.

    While 18-year-olds can play in the G League now, few have taken that route given the low pay on offer. The $125,000 salary should prove more attractive.

    Players in the N.B.A., of course, can earn millions of dollars. Deandre Ayton, who spent one year at Arizona before being drafted No. 1 over all, will earn more than $8 million this season.

    The change is part of the continued evolution of the N.B.A.’s development league into one that can compete seriously with top European leagues for talent. The development league has long offered the best shot at getting onto an N.B.A. roster — when an N.B.A. player is injured, it is much easier for an N.B.A. team to sign a player already in the United States — but the pay has been minuscule.

    N.B.A. players have been critical of the one-and-done rule, saying it unfairly prevents players with the ability to play in the N.B.A. from earning income.

    Condoleezza Rice, chairwoman of the Commission on College Basketball, said this spring that the one-and-done rule should go.

    A few players, including Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay, have chosen to play overseas rather than spend a year in college. LaVar Ball, the father of the Lakers player Lonzo Ball, started the Junior Basketball Association to provide another option for such players.

    The first class eligible for the program includes current high school stars like Anthony Edwards of Atlanta and Jaden McDaniels of Washington State. A few of them have selected a college, but many are still uncommitted.

    Players like that may soon be canceling their visits to Duke and Kentucky and instead be plying their trade for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants or the Capital City Go-Go.

  5. #185
    From the New York Times online - - -

    Three Found Guilty in N.C.A.A. Basketball Recruiting Scheme

    By Marc Tracy

    Oct. 24, 2018

    A jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts against two former Adidas employees and an aspiring sports agent in Manhattan federal court Wednesday after more than two days’ deliberation, concluding that it constituted fraud for the defendants to funnel money to the families of college basketball recruits in exchange for the prospects’ commitment to teams sponsored by Adidas.

    James Gatto, Adidas’s former head of global basketball marketing; Merl Code Jr., another former Adidas employee; and an aspiring agent named Christian Dawkins were found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after a three-week trial.

    The three men could face several years in prison. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan set sentencing for March 5, just before the start of N.C.A.A. basketball’s postseason. But the larger question is whether the verdicts will have any effect on what is still widely considered business as usual in college basketball.

    Current and former college sports officials say basketball operators likely are still connecting families of valuable prospects with money in violation of N.C.A.A. amateurism rules. However, some operators may be chilled by the fact that, as of Wednesday, three people involved in such a scheme have been convicted of federal crimes.

    Gatto’s attorney indicated afterward that his client would appeal.

    The allegations, first revealed in September 2017, laid bare what many had long assumed or known about college basketball at its highest levels: that its top players — who for a decade have been required to wait at least a year after high school before entering the N.B.A., and who are prohibited by N.C.A.A. rules from accepting payment beyond scholarships and related costs — were getting money under the table via a murky underworld of agents, “runners” and other interested parties.

    The charges in this case also further exposed the outsize influence of the major basketball apparel companies — Nike, Adidas and Under Armour — on college sports. They invest millions of dollars establishing a pipeline of loyalists that begins with their own pre-college “grass-roots” leagues, runs through college teams they sponsor and culminates in star players whom they sign to endorse their clothes, gear and sneakers.

    In this case, federal prosecutors said that the defendants had funneled money from Adidas to prospects who wound up at three teams sponsored by the sneaker giant: Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina State.

    These schools, prosecutors asserted, were victims, since they were unwittingly playing ineligible athletes, risking N.C.A.A. penalties.

    “As a jury has now found,” said Robert S. Khuzami, the Deputy United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, “the defendants not only deceived universities into issuing scholarships under false pretenses, they deprived the universities of their economic rights and tarnished an ideal which makes college sports a beloved tradition by so many fans all over the world.”

    In a statement, Adidas said it had “strengthened our internal processes and controls and remain committed to ethical and fair business practices.”

    Though the verdicts’ larger impact on college basketball was not immediately clear, after Wednesday the following may be safely said: There is precedent that cheating N.C.A.A. bylaws can have consequences beyond collegiate infractions.

    “Now you don’t just have to worry about what the N.C.A.A. does to you — you have to worry about going to jail,” said Dan Beebe, a former Big 12 commissioner who consults with conferences.

    There are still two other trials stemming from the charges to come, involving four assistant coaches from different major programs who were accused of plotting to direct players to various managers, including Dawkins, in exchange for kickbacks.

    The basketball establishment has already started reacting to the charges. An N.C.A.A. commission convened to reform the sport, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, had its proposals implemented a couple months ago.

    At the same time, the college sports establishment has indicated no movement toward reforming the economic system that appeared to prompt the scheme: multimillion-dollar apparel sponsorships; huge financial incentives to win big; and amateurism rules that bar paying players.

    The scandal eventually may lead to the end of the N.B.A.’s “one-and-done” rule, which currently bars players from entering the draft until one year after their high school class’ graduation. Last week, the N.B.A. announced a new program in its development league designed to encourage the best would-be freshmen to skip college and instead enter the G League and train for a year while receiving a $125,000 salary.

    The N.C.A.A. is also expected to, at some point, investigate the schools involved for violations. Prosecutors had asked the organization to hold off on such probes as long as their own process was still playing out.

    Wednesday’s news also demonstrated that universities may be considered victims of fraud in a legal sense even when their employees, such as assistant coaches, are in on the schemes. There was testimony, for instance, that suggested that an assistant coach at Louisville knew that Adidas employees had arranged for money to be sent to the father of a prospect.

    “They’re defrauding their own organization, their own employer,” Beebe said, “because they sign off on compliance forms that indicate they’re going to comply.”

    Kansas Coach Bill Self announced Wednesday that Silvio De Sousa would sit out an exhibition game Thursday pending an investigation, after an attorney said in his closing argument that Self had asked that an Adidas employee arrange to pay his guardian.

    Rick Pitino, the Hall of Fame former Louisville coach who was fired in the wake of the charges, was also aware of the scheme involving his team, the attorney said. Neither head coach was clearly implicated in witness testimony, although text messages and phone calls suggested they were aware that Adidas associates were involved in recruiting. Pitino has denied knowledge of the plan. Self declined to comment Wednesday morning while the trial was still pending.

    In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Kansas’s president and athletic director said: “Some of the information we were aware of, and some is new to us. The new information needs to be evaluated and understood. We have already been in contact with the N.C.A.A. regarding trial developments and will continue to work with N.C.A.A. staff moving forward.”

    Louisville had no comment Wednesday.

    In the most prominent scheme, Dawkins, Code and Gatto worked to send $100,000 in four installments to the father of Brian Bowen II after the son, a top prospect, committed to Louisville in the spring of 2017.

    Munish Sood, a money manager who was initially charged before reaching an agreement with the government, testified that he was in on the plan. Bowen’s father, Brian Bowen Sr., confirmed much of the allegations in his own testimony, though he said that his son never knew about the deal, or the thousands of dollars he received from other sources related to where his son plied his ample talents.

    Brian Bowen II was removed from practices at Louisville when the charges came out. He transferred to South Carolina but was not permitted to play, and then entered the N.B.A draft before withdrawing to play for a professional team in Australia.

    The three men charged in the case had pleaded not guilty, and none of them took the stand. Their primary defense was that their behavior may have violated N.C.A.A. bylaws, but that it was not a federal crime.

    “N.C.A.A. rules were broken,” Michael Schachter, one of Gatto’s attorneys, said in his opening argument. “Jim and Adidas helped out financially a few families whose sons are among the most talented athletes in America. That happened.”

    However, he added: “The N.C.A.A.’s rules are not the laws of this country. The N.C.A.A. is not the U.S. Congress.”

  6. #186
    Whilst not exclusive to Basketball.

    Nine coaches, 33 parents among 50 charged in US$25 million college admissions scam

    BOSTON — Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation's most selective schools.
    Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the US Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.

    At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, many of them prominent in law, finance, fashion, the food and beverage industry and other fields, were charged. Dozens, including Huffman, the Emmy-winning star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," were arrested by midday. "These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege," US Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the results of a fraud and conspiracy investigation code-named Operation Varsity Blues. The coaches worked at such schools as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

    Two more of those charged — Stanford's sailing coach and the college-admissions consultant at the very center of the scheme — pleaded guilty Tuesday in Boston. Others appeared in court and were released on bail.

    Huffman appeared in a Los Angeles courthouse where a magistrate judge said she could be released on a $250,000 bond.

    No students were charged, with authorities saying that in many cases the teenagers were unaware of what was going on. Several of the colleges involved made no mention of taking any action against the students.

    The scandal is certain to inflame longstanding complaints that children of the wealthy and well-connected have the inside track in college admissions — sometimes through big, timely donations from their parents — and that privilege begets privilege.

    College consultants were not exactly shocked by the allegations.

    "This story is the proof that there will always be a market for parents who have the resources and are desperate to get their kid one more success," said Mark Sklarow, CEO of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. "This was shopping for name-brand product and being willing to spend whatever it took."

    The central figure in the scheme was identified as admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network of Newport Beach, California. He pleaded guilty, as did Stanford's John Vandemoer.

    Singer's lawyer, Donald Heller, said his client intends to cooperate fully with prosecutors and is "remorseful and contrite and wants to move on with his life."

    Prosecutors said that parents paid Singer big money from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to falsely make their children look like star athletes to boost their chances of getting accepted. The consultant also hired ringers to take college entrance exams for students, and paid off insiders at testing centers to correct students' answers.

    Some parents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and some as much as $6.5 million to guarantee their children's admission, officials said.

    "For every student admitted through fraud, an honest and genuinely talented student was rejected," Lelling said.

    Several defendants, including Huffman, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

    Lelling said the investigation is continuing and authorities believe other parents were involved. The IRS is also investigating, since some parents allegedly disguised the bribes as charitable donations. The colleges themselves are not targets, the prosecutor said.

    The investigation began when authorities received a tip about the scheme from someone they were interviewing in a separate case, Lelling said. He did not elaborate.

    Authorities said coaches in such sports as soccer, sailing, tennis, water polo and volleyball took payoffs to put students on lists of recruited athletes, regardless of their ability or experience. Once they were accepted, many of these students didn't play the sports in which they supposedly excelled.

    The applicants' athletic credentials were falsified with the help of staged photographs of them playing sports, or doctored photos in which their faces were pasted onto the bodies of genuine athletes, authorities said.

    Prosecutors said parents were also instructed to claim their children had learning disabilities so that they could take the ACT or SAT by themselves and get extra time. That made it easier to pull off the tampering, prosecutors said.

    Among the parents charged was Gordon Caplan of Greenwich, Connecticut, co-chairman of the international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, based in New York. He and other parents did not immediately return telephone or email messages for comment.

    Caplan was accused of paying $75,000 to get a test supervisor to correct the answers on his daughter's ACT exam after she took it. In a conversation last June with a cooperating witness, he was told his daughter needed to "be stupid" when a psychologist evaluated her for learning disabilities that would entitle her to more time to take the test, according to court papers.

    The witness described the scheme as "the home run of home runs."

    "And it works?" Caplan asked.

    "Every time," the witness responded, prompting laughter from both.

    A number of colleges moved quickly to fire or suspend the coaches and distance themselves from the scandal, portraying themselves as victims. Stanford fired the sailing coach, and USC dropped of its water polo coach and an athletic administrator. UCLA suspended its soccer coach, and Wake Forest did the same with its volleyball coach.

    Loughlin, who was charged along with her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, appeared in the ABC sitcom "Full House" in the 1980s and '90s. Huffman was nominated for an Oscar for playing a transgender woman in the 2005 movie "Transamerica." She also starred in the TV show "Sports Night" and appeared in such films as "Reversal of Fortune," ''Magnolia" and "The Spanish Prisoner."

    A magistrate judge in Los Angeles set a $1 million bond for Giannulli who appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. He and Huffman both were told to surrender their passports. Prosecutors in the case said they have agreed to let Loughlin travel to Vancouver for work, but her whereabouts are currently unknown.

    Loughlin and her husband allegedly gave $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither participated in the sport. Their 19-year-old daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli, a social media star with a popular YouTube channel, is now at USC.

    Court documents said Huffman paid $15,000 that she disguised as a charitable donation so that her daughter could take part in the entrance-exam cheating scam.

    Court papers said a cooperating witness met with Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained to them that he "controlled" a testing center and could have somebody secretly change her daughter's answers. The person told investigators the couple agreed to the plan.

    Macy was not charged; authorities did not say why.

    The couple's daughter, Sofia, is an aspiring actress who attends Los Angeles High School of the Arts.

    Messages seeking comment from Huffman's representative were not immediately returned. A spokeswoman for Loughlin had no comment.

    In another case, a young woman got into Yale in exchange for $1.2 million from the family, prosecutors said. A false athletic profile created for the student said she had been on China's junior national development soccer team.

    Prosecutors said Yale coach Rudolph Meredith received $400,000, even though he knew the student did not play competitive soccer. He did not return messages seeking comment.

    Sklarow, the independent education consultant unconnected to the case, said the scandal "certainly speaks to the fact that the admissions process is broken."

    "It's so fraught with anxiety, especially at the elite schools," he said, "that I think it can't be surprising that millionaires who have probably never said no to their kids are trying to play the system in order to get their child accepted."

  7. #187

    Duke launching probe into allegations Nike gave money to Zion Williamson's mom

    Duke launching probe into allegations Nike gave money to Zion Williamson's mom

    DUKE University is launching a probe into allegations Nike paid Zion Williamson’s mother during the recruitment period.

    Controversial lawyer Michael Avenatti made an allegation on social media on Friday that Williamson’s mother Shonda accepted money and Duke said it is looking into it.

    Avenatti also said “Carlton DeBose, a Nike executive, has bribed over 100 high school players over the last 4 years to play college basketball at colleges affiliated with Nike as opposed to other schools. He has used bogus invoices and countless coaches to further the scheme & deliver the $...”

    “About this denial by Coach K the other day relating to payments by Nike...Can you please ask Zion Williamson’s mother - Sharonda Sampson - whether she was paid by @nike for bogus ‘consulting services’ in 2016/17 as part of a Nike bribe to get Zion to go to Duke? Thx,” Avenatti tweeted to Duke Basketball.

    Avenatti was charged last month with attempted extortion from Nike and is out on bail.

    Duke director of athletics Kevin White said on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) the university is making its investigaton.

    “We are aware of the allegation and, as we would with any compliance matter, are looking into it," White said in a statement to media outlets in the US.

    "Duke is fully committed to compliance with all NCAA rules and regulations. Every student athlete at Duke is reviewed to ensure their eligibility. With regard to men’s basketball: all recruits and their families are thoroughly vetted by Duke in collaboration with the NCAA through the Eligibility Center’s amateurism certification process.”

    Williamson was named AP men’s basketball player of the year and is the projected No. 1 pick for the next NBA draft.

    An injury sustained in February after his Nike shoe fell apart during a game kept Williamson sidelined for a month. He managed to lead Duke to the Elite Eight where the Blue Devils fell to Michigan State.

    ".@DukeMBB - About this denial by Coach K the other day relating to payments by Nike...Can you please ask Zion Williamson’s mother - Sharonda Sampson - whether she was paid by @nike for bogus “consulting services” in 2016/17 as part of a Nike bribe to get Zion to go to Duke? Thx." — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 6, 2019

    1/3 - Carlton DeBose, a Nike executive, has bribed over 100 high school players over the last 4 years to play college basketball at colleges affiliated with Nike as opposed to other schools. He has used bogus invoices and countless coaches to further the scheme & deliver the $... — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 5, 2019


  8. #188
    From GQ Online ...

    California Just Got One Step Closer to Getting College Athletes Paid

    A new state law promises to end the NCAA's monopoly on profiting off a student-athlete's name, image, and likeness.

    By Jay Willis

    September 30, 2019

    Today, California governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which will allow college athletes in the state to make money off their name, image, and likeness when it takes effect in January 2023. Instead of putting pen to paper in his office in Sacramento, Newsom made things official during a special episode of LeBron James's HBO talk show, The Shop, much to the host's delight.

    "This is a game changer for student athletes and for equity in sports," James said in a statement released by the governor's office. "Athletes at every level deserve to be empowered and to be fairly compensated for their work, especially in a system where so many are profiting off of their talents."

    College athletics programs earned a combined $14 billion in revenue last year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The NCAA—a nonprofit that coordinates competition between schools and conferences—rakes in more than a billion dollars annually. Coaches can make multimillion-dollar salaries. But strict NCAA regulations have long prohibited student-athletes from sharing in the fruits of their labor or accepting any form of compensation for their efforts—even as college sports have transformed from low-pressure extracurriculars to professionalized commitments with grueling schedules. The NCAA's president, Mark Emmert, has called the Fair Pay to Play Act an "existential threat" to college sports, while the Board of Governors warned Newsom that disruptions to the current system would "erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics."

    “Every single student in the university can market their name, image and likeness; they can go and get a YouTube channel, and they can monetize that,” Newsom told the New York Times. “The only group that can’t are athletes. Why is that?”

    The final version of the bill, which passed both chambers of the California legislature earlier this month without a single lawmaker voting to oppose it, does not require colleges and universities to pay salaries to their players. But it does prevent colleges and universities from barring players from earning money from outside sources—by signing endorsement deals, for example. In doing so, the Fair Pay to Play creates a direct conflict between California law and NCAA rules. Soon, high school athletes pondering their college options will take into account that if they go to California, there could be money in it for them that won't be available in Texas or Florida or Arizona or anywhere else.

    Participants in big-money sports like football and basketball, in theory, stand to realize the greatest earning potential from the bill. Scandals related to autograph-signing and memorabilia-selling, in particular, have led to suspensions in recent years for future NFLers Johnny Manziel, Todd Gurley, and A.J. Green, among many others. In 2010, a group of Ohio State football players that included former Rose Bowl MVP Terrelle Pryor received lengthy suspensions for selling team-issued apparel and accepting occasional discounts from a Columbus tattoo parlor. For these athletes, the bill just brings a lucrative-yet-illicit market into the mainstream, and opens it up to fair competition.

    The bill's co-sponsor, state senator Nancy Skinner, pointed out that athletes in less-lucrative sports could reap the law's benefits, too, by offering coaching lessons to kids or monetizing YouTube videos of their exploits. Included in the The Shop roundtable was former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, whose perfect-ten floor routine in January went mega-viral on social media and racked up more than 64 million views—on the official YouTube channel of UCLA Athletics. "Here's the fame, but then there's no compensation," Ohashi said, laughing, holding one hand high and the other low to illustrate the disparity. "People are like, 'You must be so rich!' I'm like, 'You must not know the NCAA.'"

    The NCAA has threatened to ban California schools from competitions if the law takes effect, asserting that its de facto recruiting advantage would "remove that essential element of fairness and equal treatment that forms the bedrock of college sports." But creating an uneven playing field, the bill's supporters say, is largely the point. "It's going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation," predicted Newsom. The more legislatures that flout NCAA rules in an effort to make their favorite institutions of higher education competitive, the less relevant those rules will become. The governor's bet is that between shutting out 58 schools in the nation's most populous state—including storied, major-conference programs like California, USC, and UCLA—and finding a way to resolve their differences, Emmert is likelier to cave and opt for the latter route.

    The bill's long-tail implementation date allows the NCAA plenty of time to craft a solution, and for all their bluster about the end of amateurism as we know it, that process is already underway. Earlier this year, in response to what it termed "recently proposed federal and state legislation related to student-athlete name, image and likeness," the NCAA convened a working group to examine these issues itself. Even in its response to the Fair Pay to Play Act, the NCAA acknowledged the necessity of making "changes" to current bylaws that are "both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education." By passing this law, California is doing what it can to speed up the process.

  9. #189
    From CNN Online ...

    California just passed a law that allows college athletes to get paid

    By Allen Kim, CNN

    Published Oct 1, 2019 1:44:25 PM

    (CNN) — California Governor Gavin Newsom passed Senate Bill 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, into law Monday. The law allows college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

    The bill will go into effect in 2023, and if the bill survives the expected court challenges, it could reshape the NCAA's business model.

    The formal signing of the bill was done on Uninterrupted's show "The Shop," which is hosted by NBA superstar LeBron James.

    "This is a game changer for student athletes and for equity in sports," said James. "Athletes at every level deserve to be empowered and to be fairly compensated for their work, especially in a system where so many are profiting off of their talents."

    I’m so incredibly proud to share this moment with all of you. @gavinnewsom came to The Shop to do something that will change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it! @uninterrupted hosted the formal signing for SB 206 allowing college athletes to responsibly get paid.
    — LeBron James (@KingJames) September 30, 2019

    The Fair Pay to Play Act allows college athletes in California to sign endorsement deals; earn compensation based on the usage of their name, image and likeness; and sign all types of licensing contracts that would allow them to earn money.

    These college athletes would also be able to hire an agent licensed by the state to represent them in any deals.

    California member schools will arguably have an advantage in recruiting athletes, as they are allowed to profit from their name, image and likeness.

    And now that California state law is at odds with the policies of the NCAA, member schools may have to choose between defying or leaving the organization -- or the NCAA will have to change its rules.

    "It seems unlikely that the NCAA would terminate the memberships of California colleges on account of following state law," Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann wrote in May. "After all, the NCAA profits considerably by having member schools in the state with the highest GDP and largest population."

    To avoid losing those schools, the NCAA will have to either create a separate set of rules for member schools in California, or allow all college athletes to benefit from the same rights bestowed on athletes in California, McCann said.

    College athletes can now CONTROL their own names, images and likenesses ..what a beautiful yet simple thing. Great work Ramogi! Great work
    — Ed O'Bannon (@Ed_OBannon) September 30, 2019

    "Collegiate student athletes put everything on the line -- their physical health, future career prospects and years of their lives to compete," said Gov. Newsom on "The Shop." "Colleges reap billions from these student athletes' sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar. That's a bankrupt model -- one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve. It needs to be disrupted."

    The debate over NCAA amateurism and the money that the NCAA and schools generate through college athletic programs has raged on for years. Current NCAA amateurism rules are put in place to distinguish college athletes from professional athletes.

    For the 2017 fiscal year, the NCAA reported $1.1 billion in revenue. Considering all the money that these athletic programs generate for both the NCAA and each of the schools, critics have argued that students should be able to profit off the revenue that they help generate.

    The NCAA operates as a nonprofit organization.

    For its part, the NCAA says it's looking at next steps.

    "As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA's rules-making process. Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California," the NCAA said in a statement.

    "We will consider next steps in California while our members move forward with ongoing efforts to make adjustments to NCAA name, image and likeness rules that are both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education."

    CNN's Jill Martin and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.

  10. #190
    How College Athletes Getting Paid Will Affect The Game?

    By: Associated Press - @inquirerdotnet

    AP / 07:29 AM October 02, 2019

    Defying the NCAA, California opened the way Monday for college athletes to hire agents and make money from endorsement deals with sneaker companies, soft drink makers, car dealerships and other sponsors, just like the pros.

    The first-in-the-nation law, signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and set to take effect in 2023, could upend amateur sports in the U.S. and trigger a legal challenge.

    Newsom and others cast it as an attempt to bring more fairness to big-money college athletics and let players share in the wealth they create for their schools.

    Critics have long complained that universities are getting rich off the backs of athletes often, black athletes struggling to get by financially.

    “Other college students with talent, whether it be literature, music, or technological innovation, can monetize their skill and hard work,” the governor said.

    “Student-athletes, however, are prohibited from being compensated while their respective colleges and universities make millions, often at great risk to athletes’ health, academics, and professional careers.”

    Newsom predicted other states will introduce similar legislation.

    The NCAA which had called on him to veto the bill, arguing that it would destroy the distinction between amateurs and pros and give California an unfair recruiting advantage said it is considering its next steps.

    It did not elaborate.

    In a statement, the NCAA said it is working to revise its rules on making money off a player’s name and likeness.

    But it said any changes should be made at the national level through the NCAA, not through a patchwork of state laws.

    California’s law applies to students at both public and private institutions but not community colleges in the nation’s most populous state.

    While the measure covers all sports, the big money is in football and basketball.

    Student-athletes won’t get salaries.

    But under the law, they can’t be stripped of their scholarships or kicked off the team if they sign endorsement deals.

    There are some limitations: Athletes can’t enter into deals that conflict with their schools’ existing contracts.

    For example, if your university has a contract with Nike, you can’t sign with Under Armour.

    The law represents another instance of California jumping out in front of other states when it comes to social and political change.

    The movement to allow student-athletes to profit from their labors on the court or the playing field has been simmering for years, portrayed as a matter of economic fairness and civil rights.

    “A majority of these athletes, it’s no secret, are African American,” said Sen. Steven Bradford, a co-author of the bill who is black.

    “It’s an issue of fairness, and it’s an issue that has been long overdue.”

    Newsom tweeted a video showing him signing the law during a special episode of HBO’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted” alongside NBA superstar LeBron James, one of many professional athletes who have endorsed the measure.

    James, whose 14-year-old son is a closely watched basketball prospect in Los Angeles and will be 18 when the law takes effect, exulted over its signing on Instagram, saying it will “change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it!”

    He added: “NCAA, you got the next move. We can solve this for everyone!”

    NBA rookie Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors also welcomed the new law.

    Six months ago, as a player at the University of Michigan, he hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer in the second round of the NCAA tournament as millions watched on TV.

    “I know for sure I would have been using my name after that Houston shot,” he said.

    His teammate, three-time NBA champion Draymond Green, went further.

    “The NCAA is a dictatorship,” the former Michigan State star told reporters Monday.

    “I’m tired of seeing people get ripped off, and I’m tired of seeing these college athletes being ripped off.”

    Before the governor signed the law, the NCAA threatened to bar California universities from the competition, meaning powerhouses such as the University of Southern California, UCLA, Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, could find themselves banned.

    If that were to happen, California schools could form a new governing body and get schools from like-minded states to join, in a threat to the NCAA’s dominance.

    But the governor, a former college baseball player, said he doubts the NCAA would kick California schools out, arguing that the state’s 40 million people and status as the world’s fifth-largest economy make it too big to lose.

    The NCAA “can’t afford to do that,” he said.

    Democratic state Sen. Nancy Skinner, the bill’s author, said it could especially help female athletes, who have limited opportunities for professional sports once they leave college.

    “College is the primary time when the spotlight is on” them, Skinner said.

    “For women, this might be the only time they could make any money.”

    NCAA rules bar players from hiring agents.

    The NCAA has also steadfastly refused to pay players in most cases.

    But a committee is studying other ways players could make money. Its report is expected in October.

    The NCAA does let some athletes accept money in some instances.

    Tennis players can accept up to $10,000 in prize money per year, and Olympians can accept winnings from their competitions.

    Also, many schools pay players yearly cost-of-living stipends of $2,000 to $4,000.

    “We just kind of joked every kid is going to want to go to college out here in Cali now,” Warriors forward Glenn Robinson III, who played college ball at Michigan, said of the new law.

    “I think it’s time. A lot of people are waking up and starting to see how much money that these universities are making off of players,” he added.

    “Where I went to school, a lot of players couldn’t afford lunch.

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