Never mind those stay-at-home orders, the NCAA has been making news.
Basketball news. Infractions committee news. The Indianapolis enforcers are finally following up on the FBI's college basketball corruption scandal in 2017. Notice of allegations have been issued. Some responses have been made. More of both are sure to come. So, updates:
- Louisville: U of L received its notice of allegations on May 4 for the Adidas/Brian Bowen scandal that cost coach Rick Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich their jobs. Assistant coaches Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair were also fired. Bowen's father testified at trial that Johnson gave him $1,300 in cash for rent to stay at the Galt House in Louisville. A Louisville assistant was also caught on wiretap allegedly discussing player payments with an Adidas rep.
Despite the fact Louisville was still on probation for its earlier escort scandal, which forced the school to remove its 2013 NCAA championship banner, officials are vowing to fight the NCAA. Given U of L cleaned house, it might have a case.
- Kansas: The Jayhawks received their notice of allegations back in September, primarily for its cozy relationship with Adidas, specifically the school's relationship with Thomas Gassnola, who was sentenced to probation in the basketball corruption trial last September. The NCAA hit Kansas with three Level 1 violations.
Like Louisville, the school is mounting an aggressive defense. In March, the school responded by disputing all allegations of wrongdoing. That didn't sit well with the NCAA, which responded last week with a letter citing "egregious" and "severe" rules violations, alleging that Kansas Coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend "embraced, welcomed and encouraged" Adidas reps.
- TCU: Received a notice of allegations in January specific to former assistant coach Corey Barker, who allegedly took a $6,000 bribe payment from Adidas rep Christian Dawkins.
- Southern Cal: The Trojans received their notice of allegations last December for the alleged misdeeds of former assistant Tony Bland. Bland was sentenced to two years probation.
- Oklahoma State: Received its notice of allegations last November alleging former assistant coach Lamont Evans "knowingly solicited and received benefits for facilitating or arranging a meeting between student-athletes and financial advisors." Evans was sentenced to three months in jail.
- North Carolina State: The Wolfpack received its letter last year after former assistant coach Orlando Early allegedly promised star guard Dennis Smith $40,000 in payments. Smith is now in the NBA. Former N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried is now head coach at Cal State Northridge.
- LSU: The school has yet to receive its notice of allegations, but most agree that one is surely coming. After all, an FBI wiretap caught head coach Will Wade admitting he made a "strong-ass" offer to guard Javonte Smart in 2017. Wade was suspended for the final five games of the 2019 season, but he was reinstated for 2019-20. ESPN's Dick Vitale recently tweeted, "Trust me, reliable sources tell me that LSU & ARIZONA basketball will be hit with MAJOR allegations by the NCAA."
- Arizona: Observers are wondering why it is taking so long for the NCAA to move on Arizona, which admitted it is under investigation. An FBI wiretap caught an Arizona assistant suggesting head coach Sean Miller had allegedly agreed to pay star center Deandre Ayton $10,000 a month. Ayton is in the NBA. Miller is still Arizona's head coach.
In fact, Miller's recruiting class for 2020 is ranked eighth by 247Sports, just one spot behind Auburn, which could conceivably hear from the NCAA about former assistant coach Chuck Person, who pleaded guilty to receiving bribes but was given time served and placed on two years supervision.
The constant here appears to be schools are not taking the allegations lying down. Miller is still at Arizona. Wade is still at LSU. After taking preemptive steps, Louisville insists it has been punished enough. At Kansas, Self insists the NCAA has created a "false narrative" about his program.
Meanwhile, the beat goes on. Just last week, class of 2021 four-star prospect Zach Clemence made his college choice after narrowing his list to Kansas, Ohio State and Baylor. Clemence chose Kansas.
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