Column: Basketball program caught in recruitment scandal

Photo by Zoie Richey.

NCAA fires long-term head coach for committing rule violations

Franklin College’s basketball season is just around the corner.

But excitement for the season to start might not be the only conversation about college basketball.

A prominent basketball program may have participated in some form of recruitment violations.

University of Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino was fired by the university Oct. 16 for suspicion of giving recruits money to attend the school to play.

Some players being recruited by Louisville are also under investigation for being offered up to $100,000 from Adidas in exchange for their commitment. Pitino is denying he knew about these recruitment deals.

This action is against the NCAA rule that no player is to accept any type of donation or amount of money for any reason from fans or coaches.

I am saddened to see Pitino fired, but agree he needed to be fired. Actions of this sort should not be tolerated for any reason.

Kerry Prather, athletic director at Franklin College, said the situation with Pitino is severe.

“The allegations are very serious, and they come on the heels of the prostitute scandal at Louisville,” Prather said. “The administration has obviously reached the point where they no longer found it believable that coach Pitino was unaware of these activities.”

Prather said the NCAA expects all programs in all divisions to monitor compliance year round. He said violations of this sort would be unlikely below the Division I level because that’s where the money flows. It’s the only level where the return on those huge investments by shoe companies is lucrative.

“Our coaches have ongoing compliance education and all know that we take compliance very seriously,” Prather said. “We hold head coaches responsible for the actions of their assistants. Our culture of compliance is very clear to everyone who works in the athletic department.”

Prather said the NCAA must get better control over the wealth of money coming from the shoe companies and elsewhere into Division I programs. College presidents and athletic directors at Division I schools should know all about what works and has worked for years.

If I was a player in the midst of all this speculation, I would feel overwhelmed with the attention. I couldn’t help but feel responsible for someone losing one of the most important things to them.

The NCAA is showing it’s serious about the rules after the ring of a 16-year, successful coach. At the end of the day, it is still a business, and it must address issues of this severity.

 
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About Justin Pennington 4 Articles

Justin Pennington is Majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Journalism. He will be a writer for The Franklin, particularly with sports with hopes of gaining knowledge in sports photography as well! He loves anything football, and likes to enjoy time chilling and hanging with friends. Justin’s dream job is to one day become a Sports Information Director and is doing anything and everything to get experience.

This is Justin’s first year on The Franklin staff.

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