Aug 1, 2012, 7:20 PM EDT
If you’re into reading about the darker side of college basketball and college basketball recruiting, than Wednesday was a day in heaven for you.
First, it was Eric Prisbell from USA Today delving into the murky waters of the third-party recruiter. And while I’m not going to spoil the story, the part that is the most interesting centers around why is it so difficult to catch these guys.
It’s a thought that has crossed my mind many times. I don’t spend nearly as much time in recruiting circles as lot of the more well-known writers and I’ve heard numerous rumors about Recruit X getting Y amount of dollars from Coach Z. I’m sure there are guys out there that can detail you precise figures for all of the transactions that have occurred over the last decade. How much did OJ Mayo get from USC? Why is John Calipari cornering the market on the blue-chip recruit? What amount of money did it take for Adidas to keep Shabazz Muhammad in the family?
So how come none of this becomes public record? Why aren’t schools getting hammered with NCAA sanctions? From Prisbell’s story:
The problem for the NCAA, according to ESPN national recruiting analyst Dave Telep, is that the schemes are “too easy to get done and too difficult to prove. The people within the world of college and AAU basketball have a pretty good idea that that is out there. They also have no idea how to combat it.”
With the absence of a “paper trail,” Telep said, proving illicit relationships is difficult. More than two-thirds of elite AAU programs are established as non-profits. Some receive a few hundred thousand dollars in donations – in addition to shoe company contracts – according to a review of their tax records.
Policing is difficult because the tax forms often do not disclose specific names of donors. Humphrey, the NCAA official, characterized the non-profit foundation issue as “very high on our radar” and “difficult to track.” But she said AAU teams must cooperate fully during NCAA investigations if they wish to compete at NCAA-certified events, which give prospects the chance to perform in front of hundreds of college coaches.
“We are also very well aware of connections that some of those summer programs — via the agent, via the runner — may have with our own institutions,” Humphrey said. “So we are also connecting the dots in terms of what [college] coaching staff might have some questionable relationships with some of these individuals.”
Gary Parrish followed up Prisbell’s story with a column on how summer hoops hasn’t gotten any less sleazy in the six years since Sonny Vaccaro hung ‘em up.
In fact, there’s an argument to be made that things are even worse. Nike and Adidas are just as strong as ever, Reebok is trying to make a comeback, and Under Armour is doing everything they can to work their way into the shoe game. They’re hosting tournaments and sponsoring teams. That’s why you see the Harrison twins, arguably the most sought after package deal in the history of the sport, rocking UA shoes and playing in UA events.
And it’s also why they have become one of the most intriguing recruitments in recent memory:
One of the interesting recruiting battles over the coming months will be for the services of twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Harrison, and most expect it to come down to Kentucky and Maryland.
Why Kentucky and Maryland?
Because Kentucky is Kentucky and John Calipari is John Calipari, and those two entities have a way of getting things done. And because Maryland is the alma mater of Kevin Plank, who is the CEO of Under Armour, which is the company that outfits Maryland’s athletic department and this summer funded the Harrison twins, both of whom are consensus top-10 prospects.
Thank god that we force these kids to remain amateurs and student-athletes to prevent them from capitalizing off of their athletic ability.
Why pay the player when his handler can get rich?
Jun 17, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT
Keith Hornsby, the sophomore guard from UNC Asheville, took to Twitter to announce where he will spend his final two years of eligibility. #letsGeaux!!!!!!! – tweeted Hornsby on Monday night The 6-foot-4 sophomore picked LSU almost three weeks after announcing he would be leaving UNC Asheville following the departure of head coach Eddie Biedenbach. Hornsby was…
Jun 17, 2013, 10:13 PM EDT
One of the nation’s top rising seniors Rashad Vaughn has decided to leave Robbinsdale Cooper High (Minn.) in favor of prep school for his final season. Vaughn has been debating about whether or not to leave Cooper for months. “The kid has to move on and do what’s best for him,” Vaughn’s mentor Pete Kaffey told the Pioneer…
Jun 17, 2013, 8:50 PM EDT
North Carolina guard was arrested on June 5. It’s been almost two full weeks since the incident occurred in Durham, and for the first time since the arrest, Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams spoke about his leading scorer. “We are doing one thing: We are waiting until all the information comes out,” Williams told…
Jun 17, 2013, 7:40 PM EDT
Florida has already started its incoming class for the fall of 2015. On Monday evening, sophomore center Kevarrius Hayes (Suwannee High/Live Oak, Fla.) committed to Billy Donovan and the Gators. This early commitment was first reported by Evan Daniels of Scout and then later confirmed by coach Martin McCann of Nike Team Florida — Hayes’ AAU team. According…
Jun 17, 2013, 6:50 PM EDT
The championship rings of former Kentucky Wildcat Walter McCarty are now up for sale on eBay. McCarty, a member of the 1996 National Championship team is having both the ring given to the team by the NCAA and the ring presented to the Wildcats by the University of Kentucky are both being auctioned off with…
Jun 17, 2013, 5:42 PM EDT
Alabama’s second-leading scorer Trevor Lacey has decided to transfer to North Carolina State, according to PackPride.com. He will have to sit out the 2013-2014 season per NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility left. In April, Lacey had elected to leave the Crimson Tide program after two seasons. He was considering Wolf…
Jun 17, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT
Renard Phillips began his new job on the DePaul coaching staff today, head coach Oliver Purnell announced through a school statement Monday afternoon. Phillips joins the Blue Demons following a 20-7 season with Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C. Phillips had made stops at Arlington Country Day (Fla.), Progressive Christian Academy (Md.) and Georgetown Prep (Md.) in the…
Jun 17, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Maybe I have an addiction to college hoops that is just a bit too strong, or maybe I just have too much time on my hands to think about these things, but I love backtracking through the coaching carousel and figuring out how once decision sparked a chain reaction of job-hopping. In this story, we’ll…
Jun 17, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT
All things considered, Michael Carter-Williams had a pretty great sophomore campaign as the point guard for the Syracuse Orange. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.3 assists, 4.9 boards and 2.8 steals, which was impressive enough to get him into consideration as a lottery pick for next week’s NBA Draft once you taken into account the potential…
Jun 17, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
Josh Pastner has filled out the remainder of his coaching staff at Memphis with his former college teammate Jason Gardner, according to reports. Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has the news that Pastner has recommended that the school hire Gardner, which means that barring Memphis digging up some Julie Hermann-ian dirt of the former Arizona all-american,…
Jun 17, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
One of the best parts about my job is hearing about the little, seemingly random stories from the recruiting trail and how they led one program and one player together. One example? Delaware head coach Monte Ross was looking for a shooter at a tournament. As he was walking past a court to a different…
Jun 17, 2013, 10:24 AM EDT
It may only be the middle of June, but I can already freely admit that I spend quite a bit of time every day looking forward to the 2013-2014 college hoops season. The strength of the best rivalries in the country, all the talent that returned to school, all the talent in the 2013 recruiting…
Jun 17, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT
Jim Larranaga has done a good job restocking his roster on the transfer market this offseason. After bringing in Angel Rodriguez from Kansas State and Donnavan Kirk from DePaul already, Larranaga’s latest addition is former Texas guard Sheldon McClellan, according to a report from Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. McClellan averaged 13.5 points as a sophomore…
Jun 16, 2013, 9:39 PM EDT
After being dismissed from the program in late-April, former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane became one of the most sought-after players on the transfer “market.” Having averaged 15.1 points and seven assists per game as a redshirt junior, the Pittsburgh native would be able to help his next school of choice immediately as a graduate student. Ultimately…
Jun 16, 2013, 8:09 PM EDT
Former Rutgers forward Derrick Randall has found a new school, as it was reported by Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that the 6-8 rising junior will transfer to Pittsburgh. Randall didn’t see a great deal of playing time in either of his seasons at Rutgers, averaging just 9.8 minutes per game. In those two seasons Randall,…
Jun 16, 2013, 6:55 PM EDT
Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy has landed another front court player, as 6-7 forward Stanton Kidd committed to the Mountain West school Saturday according to Matt L. Stephens of The Coloradoan. Kidd arrives in Fort Collins by way of North Carolina Central, where he averaged 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest in his…
Jun 16, 2013, 5:47 PM EDT
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff have locked up their backcourt of the future, adding a third prospect to the group on Sunday. According to multiple outlets 6-6 wing Jared Nickens has verbally committed to attend Maryland, joining 2014 prospects Romelo Trimble (point guard) and Dion Wiley (shooting guard). Nickens averaged 16 points…
Jun 16, 2013, 5:12 PM EDT
Over the last few days USA Basketball has been holding tryouts for its Under-19 national team, which will compete in the FIBA U-19 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic beginning on June 24. USA Basketball announced its initial list of 16 players after four training sessions on Sunday, with the team needing to be cut…
Jun 16, 2013, 3:51 PM EDT
Recently graduated Monmouth forward Marcus Ware will use his final year of eligibility at Iona and will be eligible to play for Tim Cluess immediately, reported Adam Zagoria. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 6.4 points and four rebounds per game last year at Monmouth. This is the second transfer Iona has picked up this offseason as former…
Jun 16, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Early last week, Northeastern men’s basketball head coach Bill Coen announced the hiring of David McLaughlin as ‘associate head coach.’ McLaughlin heads to Northeastern after serving as head coach at Stonehill College for ten seasons where he compiled an impressive 189-99 record, including five trips to the Division II NCAA Tournament. McLaughlin will presumably fill the…
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