Corruption in the NCAA


Jordan Ziegler, Writer

The NCAA is the governing body of all college sports. Their job is to protect student-athletes and enforce the rule book; they do neither of these things well. Student-athletes, especially recruits, are subject to bribes in the form of cash, cars, and even a place to live. 

The bribes that recruits and players are offered usually come from bag men, somebody that does not technically work for a school but visits recruits in secret with bags of cash that they give them in hopes of swaying the recruit to the school they represent. As evil as this process sounds it is even more evil to think the NCAA does nothing to stop this. Bag men are often able to claim plausible deniability if something goes wrong because there usually is little evidence; they also do not actually work for the school removing the school from any responsibility. According to an article by the Banner Society, one of the biggest users of bag men is the SEC, a major college sports conference. The SEC has some of the best teams in the nation and it is easy to see why when they are paying recruits to come play at their schools. The last SEC school to get investigated and penalized was Missouri who often does not find itself at the top of the conference and not making much money. Missouri is a perfect target for the NCAA to penalize because it will not have a dramatic effect on the revenue they bring in. 

One of the other key strategies the NCAA uses is to penalize players instead of schools as a whole. Last year a Memphis basketball player, James Wiseman, was suspended 12 games because his mom took $11,500 in moving expenses from the coach. The school was not penalized, the coach was not penalized, but Wiseman was suspended 12 games as punishment. Why? The NCAA would lose money if a powerhouse team such as Memphis was not able to play in march madness, so instead they use the players as a scapegoat. Following the conclusion of the 2020-2021 basketball season Kansas, Arizona, Louisville, Auburn, N.C. State, Creighton, USC, South Carolina, Alabama, TCU, and LSU will all be facing possible postseason suspensions according to sports illustrated. The sad reality is that only a few of those programs will actually receive a suspension because the economic impact on the NCAA would be too great if all those programs were punished. 

The corruption that the NCAA has shown over the past few years is disappointing but not surprising. After the NCAA video game franchise got canceled players have been barred by the NCAA from profiting off their own likeness, and they are not allowed to receive compensation from social media platforms such as Youtube. The NCAA likes to hide behind the safety of claiming they want what is best for the athletes but it is becoming increasingly more obvious that this is simply just not the case.