Unverified Voracity Searches For Snakehole

Submitted by Brian on September 26th, 2017 at 3:29 PM


Mark Emmert (left) and FBI investigator Burt Macklin

CHEESE IT! THE FEDS! The FBI probably has better things to do than this, but they're doing this anyway:

The worst-kept secret in college basketball is how coaches, sneaker executives, sports agents, travel-team coaches and financial advisers, often through under-the-table payments, steer top high school talent first to NCAA programs and later to apparel brands and professional representation once they enter the NBA.

Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York blew this shadowy world open in ways that have never before been seen, indicting 10 men, including active assistant basketball coaches at Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC, plus an executive for adidas, in a widespread case that is sure to rock college basketball to its core.

While only four schools are currently involved, the complaints will provide a treasure map for NCAA investigators as it tells stories of endless payouts and kickbacks in the recruitment of numerous top prospects over the past three years.

Apparently this is illegal because of... bribery and stuff? Because NCAA coaches get federal funding and therefore... unlicensed amphibious rodent... city limits? I don't know.

What I suspect is that everyone named in this investigation is going to flip immediately, because their careers are done either way and ain't nobody going to jail for Rick Pitino. This will spread, and the allegations are seismic for at least one school:

The NCAA has said it will never use the death penalty again, Pat Forde says do it anyway. We're about to find out how far they're willing to go in 2017. This brazenness will not stand:

Unless it does. But probably not!

Don't expect anything immediate, as the FBI has not interacted with the NCAA yet. The wheels of (sort of) justice grind slowly.

Is this actually good if you want players paid? In the short term, no. But the more naked the system is, the more clear it is that shoe companies run five-star basketball recruiting, the less tenable the NCAA's position is. Maybe this won't force the schools to offer their own money, but surely at some point the fact that a large majority of the top players are bought has to open the doors to above-the-table third party payments.

"But then boosters and shoe companies will own college basketball," hypothetical argument guy says before realizing that is the status quo.

It was not a dream. PFF All Big Ten teams from last week feature one John O'Korn:

So it wasn't just you. People not desperately invested in the hope John O'Korn provided during the last three quarters of that game also thought he was pretty dang good. Though not as good as Saquon Barkley, which got dang son.

Bush, Hurst, Winovich, and Hill all made the defensive team, FWIW.

Poor Damn DJ Durkin. Maryland QB Kasim Hill is out for the season, following on the heels of Piggy Pigrome getting knocked out in the Texas game. Caleb Henderson is still out with some sort of foot thing, so fourth-stringer Max Bortenschlager played most of the game against UCF, which was a terrible defeat. Incredibly, this is not the first time Durkin has had to turn to a fourth-stringer who sounds like a shot you'd order at Rick's*. Bortenschlager started the Nebraska game last year, a 28-7 loss.

Things were even worse in 2012—when Maryland lost five QBs, one to transfer and four to injury, eventually moving a freshmnan LB to the spot—and 2015, when four different guys played, one of whom subsequently became a linebacker.

This one sucks more than those because Durkin had just racked up a statement win at Texas and the Terrapins looked like they were on their way to... 8-4? Now they're going to be scratching out bowl eligibility. But at least they've got this going for them:

I say that in all sincerity.

*[I imagine? I never went, and when I tell people this 50% of them say I am very smart and 50% say I am very dumb. Anyway, a MAX BORTENSCHLAGER is 1/3rd Everclear, 1/3 Goldschlager, and 1/3 BORT, which is... Swedish port? Yeah.

I think I just invented the world's worst drink.]

Taking those bullets for us. Michigan had three head-to-head recruiting battles with Texas for 2016 kids that they lost: Jordan Elliott, Jean Delance, and Chris Daniels. With Daniels's just-announced departure, all three of those guys have left Austin in just over a year. Michigan filled in the DT slot with Mike Dwumfour, who's emerging into a rotation piece on a top-five defense in year two.

They filled the OT slot with... nobody. This was the class that saw Swenson forcibly decommitted and Devery Hamilton flip; Michigan added Stephen Spanellis, a guard, late.

Harbaugh joins the cause. Harbaugh on punting:

Speaking Tuesday on "Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh's Podcast," the Michigan football coach suggested the NCAA implement a rule similar to the NFL when it comes to punt returns.

"There's only two eligible players that are allowed to leave in the pro game before the ball is punted," Harbaugh said."In college, anybody can leave before the ball is punted. It's a player-safety (issue), to have 10 players converging on a punt returner. A defenseless player is not what we want in our game."

That change has long been advocated here, not for player safety issues but boring thing issues. NFL rules would create more returns and fewer fair catches.

Graham Glasgow, still Graham Glasgow. Ain't no party like a Glasgow party because everyone's standing next to the wall nursing a drink and making ham-fisted attempts at a flicker of human interaction before retreating into a shell of fear and self-loathing WOOOO:

The receivers have sworn to get him involved next time, but Glasgow knows deep in his heart that is a lie and no one will ask him to prom ever.

Baumgardner on Bush. He does many things:

When watching defenders, it's important not to get completely caught up in box score stats. A great example of this came three years ago, when Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa finished his final college season with modest sack totals, but constantly graded out as one of the most impact-making defenders in the country due to his presence on the field and what he was able to force.

Impact plays. For a player like Bush, this can mean many things. A sack, a pass break-up, a forced fumble, an interception, a quarterback pressure, an effort play that results in a zero rush or tackle for loss. Against Purdue on Saturday, I counted 13 impact plays for Michigan's inside linebacker.


I'd like to see a few more stats get standardized, like QB hits and hurries, to better quantify those results.

Etc.: Many UF felonies. Bright side: nobody will say "oh, Michigan beat Florida without all those players." OSU depth DT Malik Barrow tears ACL. Iowa wavin' at stuff. Five stages of Purdue loss. Grant Newsome got some unspecified good news from his doctor; hopefully he remains on path for a recovery. Trashin' on the NFL, sure I'll link that. Twice, even. Jim and Don, a love story. Wisconsin fans stunned at how nice BYU fans are.



September 26th, 2017 at 5:59 PM ^

They pop a guy for securities fraud, he says "if I tell you everything I know about college basketball corruption is it worth anything?" and he helps them put an agent inside and they use his information to get authorization for some wiretaps.

In the wider scheme of things that's not a big outlay of resources for an FBI operation and I have no objection to this use of a few pennies of my taxes.


September 26th, 2017 at 9:21 PM ^

or pursuing terrorism, human trafficking, tax fraud, counterfeiting, illegal arms sales, etc., etc. There are so many better purposes for FBI allocated tax dollars. Frankly, the FBI's involvement in this seems like it was driven by what the FBI thought would be interesting, not by some priority. It seems similar to when congress spend tax dollars passing resolutions congratulating sports teams on their championships. 


September 26th, 2017 at 4:35 PM ^

I know M didn't win league titles or even make the tournament under Amaker, but I think we needed him at that time.  Dude cleaned the program up and gave us a team we could all be proud of again.  I'm glad to see him doing well at Harvard.

I have to admit, though, back when it happened I was not as enlightened.  I wanted Pitino and was kind of pissed at Bo for going on TV and saying "you don't want to pay the basketball coach more than the football coach," which seemed to make up Pitino's mind for him.  But it's pretty obvious now Pitino is dirty as f**.  I have to think in retrospect that Bo knew what he was doing.


September 26th, 2017 at 5:50 PM ^

Yeah, Michigan needed Amaker.  And he ran a reasonably clean program (though the more I've seen and heard about his Seton Hall program, the more I wonder if that was my hoping), and that was exactly what Michigan needed.  He was just a mediocre head coach on the court.  But Pitino was dirty at Kentucky, which isn't a surprise, and no part of me wanted a guy like that near a program coming off the sanctions.  


September 26th, 2017 at 8:35 PM ^

Bingo!  I've said this many times...  Amaker was a great name, with a great resume from college bball royalty.  He was beyond reproach, and is the primary driving factor that got Michigan its respect back.  Not the best on court guy, but the perfect coach to get a program off the mat after scandal...


September 26th, 2017 at 8:38 PM ^

If this were an NCAA deal, then yes, you'd be right.  But this is the FBI.  They don't care who or what Rick Pitino is.  They only care that he had some part in breaking federal laws, somehow.  If Pitino is ever indicted for something by the FBI, he's going to prison.  The FBI doesn't lose...

Mr Miggle

September 26th, 2017 at 9:13 PM ^

in the cheating. He couldn't survive that, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's gone before that's proven.

I think we're going to hear serious talk about the death penalty for Louisville. I might even put money down on it happening. All the arguments for why we'll never see another death penalty apply to football much more that to basketball. 

Restarting the program would be much, much easier. There aren't the big money TV contracts to worry about, nor the scheduling problems. While we may never see another death penalty for football, I don't think any other sport is immune.



September 26th, 2017 at 4:13 PM ^

NCAA: We caught you cheating.  Stop it.

Southern College: Oops.  Sorry.

NCAA: We caught you cheating again.  We mean it - stop cheating.

Southern College: Oh our bad.  We'll stop.

NCAA: You guys are still cheating.  We might have to punish you now

Southern College: Sooooo sorry.  Trust us - won't happen again

NCAA: You are STILL cheating (sigh). What the hell guys:

Southern College: We were?  Oh for the love of Pete-ok we're done now - honest.


Southern College: No we arent.  Seriously we arent.   Oh wait......

NCAA: Ok that's IT.  Now you guys have crossed the line.  Still cheating.

Southern College: Oh that?  We investigated it ourselves.  Nothing really - you can look at something else now.

NCAA: The death penalty is on the table you idiots.   You wont stop cheating!!!

Southern College: No worries.  The guy doing it (and he was a very, very bad man) is gone now.  Everything's good.


September 26th, 2017 at 4:18 PM ^

Apparently this is illegal because of... bribery and stuff? Because NCAA coaches get federal funding and therefore... unlicensed amphibious rodent... city limits? I don't know.

That (the federal funds thing, not the rodents thing), and wire fraud. Not all bribery is illegal on the federal level, but the feds can go after all of it because if you use a telephone to commit the crime, it becomes wire fraud, and if you use the mail (or FedEx, UPS, etc.) to commit the crime, it becomes mail fraud.  Both of which involve the feds.


September 26th, 2017 at 4:44 PM ^

I think the primary federal concern is probably that you have Adidas committing illegal acts as part of a competitive strategy to build their brand in basketball.  Of course it is likely that Nike and others are up to the same but that should not matter.  If we did not at least try to police this type of behavior you end up with a free for all with businesses committing all kinds of illegal behavior in order to compete.

I Heart Huckleby

September 26th, 2017 at 4:32 PM ^

They should also adjust D stats to give defenders a chance to get credit for a sack when the QB throws the ball away at the last second and gets called for intentional grounding. The result of the penalty is the same as a sack (spot foul, loss of down) but the defender rsponsible isn't getting credit for that sweet, sweet sack action.


September 26th, 2017 at 4:43 PM ^

It's a school mostly full of Mormons who take 2 year missions and swear off sex until marriage, and the Wisconsin fans were surprised they are nice? That's like going to Wisconsin and being surprised that everybody is drinking beer and eating cheese.


September 26th, 2017 at 5:17 PM ^

It's common knowledge that Mormons are very polite, which is impressive to an extent.  Doesn't have to be sex but without some sort of check valve, testosterone builds up and can make people very mangry.

Then again, Utah is #1 in the country for per-capita porn site traffic. . . we're all mortal, in the end.


September 26th, 2017 at 7:08 PM ^

So apparently, in the second half, we outgained Purdue 274 yards to 1. 1 second half yard. Just another tantalizing tidbit from the weekend.

The surprising part, for me, was that I didn't even notice. You'd think that's something that would, ya know, stand out.


September 27th, 2017 at 12:09 AM ^

Is there any doubt the Louisville game was fixed?

So glad we never got Pitino.

Maybe this gives us a shot at the #1 ranked player looking for a safe landing place.

Star Lord needs his Walkman.


September 27th, 2017 at 12:07 AM ^

Ok.....So, Kadeem Telfort, freshman OL did some bad shit but he's also being accused of using stolen credit card numbers to pay for food delivery to his dorm on several occasions. In one order, he allegedly charged $22.82 to have Chester's Hot Fries, Funyuns, Gatorade, Sour Patch Kids and Gummi Worms delivered to his dorm. I mean....who among us hasn't done that?!


September 27th, 2017 at 4:09 AM ^

I was more of the "perform feats of inordinate human drunkenness by imbibing mass quantities with no fancy tricks," but I am intrigued by this performance. 

Might anyone provide a step by step breakdown? 




September 27th, 2017 at 4:45 AM ^

I would hardly classify Iowa waving at "stuff." Not trying to be the hard ass but the stadium waving to the kids in the children's hospital is one of the classiest things I've ever seen in sports.