On Friday, Feb. 23, Yahoo Sports released documents of an FBI investigation of corruption in college basketball.
The report showed that more than 20 of the best-known college basketball programs in the country are possibly guilty of violating NCAA rules.
Schools such as Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina – all college basketball bluebloods – were cited in the reports as having players receive improper benefits during the recruiting process.
Two of the largest scandals concerned the University of Arizona and North Carolina State University.
According to the documents, former NC State and current Dallas Mavericks’ guard Dennis Smith Jr. received approximately $73,000 from NC State.
The same documents implicate current Arizona Wildcat standout Deandre Ayton. It was reported that Ayton received $100,000 to ensure he would commit to play basketball at Arizona.
Other big-name players referenced in the reports include Miles Bridges, Wendell Carter, Kevin Knox, Markelle Fultz, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Jackson and Bam Adebayo.
Some allegations are less severe – involving only a dinner or groceries.
Sure, these types of illegal gifts seem ridiculous, but the NCAA has to draw the line somewhere.
Former UCLA star and current Lakers’ guard Lonzo Ball spoke on the matter, saying “Everybody’s getting paid anyway. You might as well just make it legal.”
This controversy has sparked a big debate about whether college athletes should be paid.
College athletes should not be paid money for playing sports.
Many of college athletes receive scholarships to play sports at school. With scholarships, these athletes are going to school for free. They don’t need to pay for tuition, books, housing or meals plans. They are exiting college with absolutely no debt. If you offered the average student the opportunity to leave college debt free, every one of them would jump at that chance.
Another big problem with paying players is the amount of money each player would receive. Would the college football star playing in front of millions of people every week make the same amount of money as the worst person on the rowing team?
Either way you look at it, it’s unfair. If the football player gets paid more, then this is not fair to the rower and a number of other athletes who put in the same time commitment.
However, if the football player gets paid the same as the rower, then it’s not fair to the football player, who makes a lot more money for the university, yet is not being compensated for that.
Many people also say college athletes are being exploited by the university. However, this is simply not the case.
Playing in college gives players exposure they wouldn’t otherwise get. Television deals help them market themselves.
A perfect example of this is Stephen Curry, who is one of the most recognizable players in the NBA. Before he took off, however, he was ranked the 254th best player in his recruiting class.
Curry eventually went to Davidson, a low end Division I school and led his team to March Madness, where he received a lot of exposure. Curry performed well in the tournament and was drafted 7th overall in the NBA Draft.
Now, Curry is a two-time world champion and has an NBA MVP.
On top of that, athletes aren’t forced to play for the NCAA. The NBA only requires a player be one year removed from high school to be eligible for the draft. Several highly touted players, such as Emmanuel Mudiay and Brandon Jennings, used their one year to go overseas and play for pay.
Playing overseas didn’t hurt their NBA draft stock either, as both players were drafted in the top 10 during their respective years.
If any rules need to be changed, it’s the aforementioned NBA rule, which requires players to be one year removed from high school.
Just ask the best player in the NBA, LeBron James, who went right from high school to the NBA before the rule existed. If high school players are ready, they can make it in the NBA, and they can make that decision for themselves.