March Madness gets underway two weeks, but it’s hard to ignore the dark cloud of an FBI investigation into corruption and bribery looming over the sport.
The latest scandal stems from a Yahoo! Sports report implicating more than 20 of the top basketball programs in the country for allegedly violating NCAA rules, including Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, and Southern California. The report also implicates a number of NCAA players, including current USC players Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu, along with current Lakers guard Kyle Kuzma, for violating NCAA rules by taking money from a now-defunct sports agency.
Back in September, the U.S. Department of Justice announced its arrests of 10 people, including USC assistant coach Tony Bland, in connection with fraud and corruption schemes. Not long after, the NCAA announced the creation of a Commission on College Basketball, chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which will work on changes to the system.
Many critics have called for a full overhaul of the system and a reexamination of the definition of “amateurism.” Former NBA players Jalen Rose and Jay Williams have called on players to boycott the Final Four, and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James called the NCAA “corrupt.”
Is it time to start paying college athletes to play? Or do you think the NCAA could address the problem by better enforcing its own rules? Should the organization be looking at redefining what it means to be an “amateur athlete?”
Andy Kamenetzky, co-host of the Lakers Postgame Show on ESPN L.A. 710 and regular guest K2 Sports, which you can hear Wednesday on Take Two