With the process of recruiting potential athletes to collegiate teams, comes the risk of coaches taking advantage of the system and committing violations in order to better their respective programs.
On Monday, Oct. 2, University of Louisville’s interim president, Greg Postel, was authorized to fire Head Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Pitino because of a federal bribery investigation.
According to Gary B. Graves from the Chicago Tribune, “The Monday vote came exactly two years after the revelation of a sex scandal that led to NCAA penalties for Pitino and Louisville this summer. Pitino and the university are appealing those sanctions, which could end with the vacating of the school’s 2013 national championship.”
This shows that Pitino has a history of commiting various violations and that this recent news of Pitino being potentially fired for being involved in a bribery scandal does not come as a surprise.
Also in Graves’ article, “Louisville board O.K.’s firing of Rick Pitino in bribery scandal” he says that in the letter from the board to Pitino, it states that the allegations in the complaint “insinuate a scheme of fraud and malfeasance” in recruiting – a contract violation providing just cause for his unpaid leave.
In addition, Sports Illustrated published an article titled, “Latest College Basketball Scandal Carries Stench of Prosecutorial Overreach,” further discussing the violations.
“The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that a two-year investigation by his office and the FBI had discovered a web of intrigue in which high-school basketball prospects had been paid to go to certain schools, and in which coaches had been paid to direct them thence to certain agents, and most of it centering on Adidas, the legendary German shoe company,” Pierce said.
Four assistant coaches were bribed to persuade players to send business to financial advisers when they turned professional. These assistant coaches were from schools such as the Univesity of Arizona, Auburn Univserity, Oklahoma State University and the University of Southern California.
Some local Division III coaches from California Lutheran University weighed in on their take on NCAA rules for recruiting.
In an email interview, Assistant Athletic Director and Softball Head Coach Debby Day said, “At the Division III level, coaches must pass an annual NCAA compliance test. CLU athletics participates in monthly compliance informational sessions.”
Day also mentioned that intentionally breaking rules must have serious consequences, because it shows a lack of respect to our governing body, institution, administration and our coworkers and opponents.
Also providing input on NCAA rules for recruitment was Men’s Head Basketball Coach Timothy Fusina.
Fusina concurred with Day’s take that coaches and programs who commit these violations should face harsh consequences.
“I believe we will see a drastic change in recruiting and how these types of violations are handled by schools in light of the ongoing investigation. There will be a lot of reform on hiring assistant coaches and hiring head coaches who may have a violation on their record. The bottom line is that the head coach is accountable for everything that goes on in his or her program both good and bad,” Fusina said.
In addition, both Day and Fusina commented that the most likely of Division I sports to have coaches commit violations are basketball and football, because they are the most profitable and visible for the university.