What FBI Investigation Could Mean for Local College Basketball Programs
Its been a few weeks since college basketball was hit with a landmine that may cripple countless programs for years to come. An FBI investigation into the dark corners of the sport has shown the gruesome underbelly of the very foundation that college basketball has always relied on.
With the Louisville prostitution scandal leading to countless other investigations of bribery, fraud and corruption, we are left with the giant question: What’s next?
There are already three big time Division 1 assistant coaches who’ve been exposed, and because of this will most likely never coach at the Division 1 level again. One can’t help but think of the countless other programs that could soon be revealed as operating under similar shady conditions.
The entire situation seems like a modern doomsday for the sport. That being said, there is certainly not all negative repercussions that will come from this. A handful of coaches have already expressed their elation and excitement for this investigation. They feel it may be the essential tool to cleaning up the sport and more importantly, the mob like mentality of college recruiting.
It’s the coaches that have been doing things the right way for this long that will prove to be the biggest winners here. It also has the potential to create a new hierarchy of whats important to a five-star recruit when making his college selection. Looking locally for example, I see three schools that may greatly benefit from this investigation: Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. John’s.
Think about it. When bribery, corruption and fraud are put to bed, what is next on a recruit’s mind when making such a big decision? I think location, family ties and relationships will begin to play a bigger role than ever. If your Seton Hall and St. John’s, in this case, what is more attractive than being able to play in or right outside the Big Apple? Or how about all the top recruits that come from the NYC area? You think it will be a tough argument to persuade them to stay closer to home and family, while still competing at the highest level?
And if you don’t think the Big East will cut it, lets look at the position Rutgers could be in. A school that may have jumped pre-maturely into a Big 10 conference, is in the heart of a state that produces one of the highest number of division 1 recruits every year. No more argument for not playing the right competition, as you will also be challenged each week in some of the nations toughest arenas to play in.
One would assume these three programs will have a clean slate with the FBI, based solely on their quality of talent over the past five to 10 years. And if they are, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few blue chips come their way very soon.
I could be wrong, but essentially any major program who has been doing things by the book, and are in or around a major city, could totally see a shift in power towards their direction. Its a question of can they take advantage of it? Will schools ability to create lasting relationships with recruits and their families be enough to change the entire landscape of whats important in college basketball?
If it does, I foresee the game only headed in an upward direction. Sure, there will always be the ugly scar, but for college basketball, draining the swamp can only be good.