| March 18, 2018

Opinion: A lingering question

March 7, 2018

March Madness is finally here, but this time around it’s leaving a more bitter taste in people’s mouths.

The state of college basketball this season has been dark as of late, with many schools accused of corruption.

A few weeks ago, Yahoo! Sports published documents from an ongoing FBI investigation into the corruption in college basketball. More than 20 of the nation’s top programs have been accused of possibly breaking NCAA rules.

The whole situation has been a disaster for the NCAA and programs nationwide, with complicated cases leading to many of the best programs going down.

The big name to keep track of through it all is Christian Dawkins, a sports agent who worked for ASM sports. Dawkins is the man who allegedly worked with and arranged payments to many of the big-time college prospects we are now seeing play in the game today.

If all the claims prove to be true, that would mean that most of the big talent that came to different programs through out the years were receiving some sort of payment at the start of college.

The recent bombshell scandal brings back the questions – should college athletes be paid and are the players really in the wrong for accepting the payments?

Year after year, big-time schools such as Kentucky, Duke and Kansas receive the top high school talents to play for their teams. Most of the time these talented players only choose to play for a season before going off to the NBA draft to get paid for their talents.

Chris Deremer

The most recent scandal comes from the University of Arizona. Head coach Sean Miller, who is regarded as one of the best coaches in college basketball, has been alleged on tape to have given their best prospect, Deandre Ayton, nearly $100,000 to come to play for his program. Just last week, Miller released a statement saying that the accusations were untrue.

Whether any of the accusations are untrue or not, people have always wondered if this kind of stuff was actually happening throughout the NCAA. There is proof out there now with the countless investigations from the FBI probe going around the sport.

Should the NCAA start to compensate players? These schools are making mass amounts of money by having these players join the school, but what do the athletes get out of it?

Yes, they are “student-athletes” and free education is available to them, but with the world of college basketball being consumed by the one and done nature, most players are leaving after only a year in college.

These student athletes are practically professionals without receiving compensation and it is time for the NCAA to do something about it before more and more athletes find different ways of pursuing their dream of professional basketball rather than having to participate in college basketball for one useless year.

The argument will never go away, but either act on it now or the same corruption will start to settle in college basketball forever.

Fans should be talking about how fantastic the play has been this season in college basketball and how crazy the NCAA Tournament is looking to shake out, but instead, these allegations are lingering on the minds of every player, coach and fan of the game.

It has been a dark year in the world of college basketball and it’s time for the NCAA to quit being one of the greediest organizations in sports or players will continue to find different outlets for compensation and ways to pursue their NBA dream.

Chris Deremer can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on twitter @Cderemer_VN

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