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Michael Beasley on the NCAA scandal: ‘You guys are just catching on’

Michael Beasley says paying NCAA players gets rid of the scandal.

New York Knicks Media Day Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The FBI’s investigation into the NCAA is wide-ranging and could potentially change the way the amateur college system functions as we know it. The AAU grassroots scene and NCAA’s recruiting passage are both under heavy fire.

Michael Beasley, having navigated through both of these systems, weighed in on the corruption. (Via Mike Vorkunov)

“Man, you guys are just catching on. And that’s all I gotta say,” Beasley said. “I went to a small school in Manhattan, Kansas that nobody heard of in 25 years. The city of Manhattan has now multiplied five, six — should I be compensated?”

Beasley isn’t wrong

We’ve always suspected that top prospects were being siphoned money from brands to play for certain schools in exchange for eventually joining that brand down the road. This investigation, and Beasley’s words, only affirm that belief. As a former top recruit, Beasley has firsthand knowledge of the tight relationships among AAU circuits, schools, coaches, and big apparel brands.

Would paying players remove this underbelly of the sport? Beasley believes so.

“The NCAA is making billions; not just off basketball but off football and soccer. By the way, golf players get paid. Tennis players get paid. There are athletes getting paid at the college level. We’re just not one of them,” Beasley said.

According to NCAA bylaws, tennis players are able to keep up to $10,000 in their winnings per year. Golfers are allowed to win prize money and gifts not exceeding $750 in value. Players in no other sports are eligible to receive any type of compensation for their play.

Even if those amounts seem small, they’re not insignificant. Beasley is spot on here.

But did Beasley himself get paid?

He denied it.

“[Then Kansas State coach] Frank [Martin] is a morally humble guy confident in his ways of basketball recruiting,” Beasley said. “Him throwing a dollar out — listen, he’s cheap.”

The irony is Beasley claimed he was victimized by the very system the FBI is investigating. In 2011, Beasley filed a lawsuit against former agent Joel Bell and Curtis Malone, the founder of Beasley’s AAU team in Washington, D.C.

Beasley’s complaint stated that Malone steered him to Bell’s agency for representation in exchange for money. Bell initially filed a complaint against Beasley for a breach of contract for wrongful termination prior to Beasley signing an agreement with Adidas.

Beasley ultimately won the suit when it was determined that Bell didn’t have certification under Maryland law, where the contract was signed.

So how did Beasley end up in Manhattan, Kan.?

Beasley’s interest in Kansas State stemmed from the university hiring Dalonte Hill, his AAU coach and longtime friend, as an assistant coach. But Hill was also close to Malone, who was being paid by Bell, according to the suit. Malone provided Beasley and his family with improper benefits, per the NCAA’s bylaws.

Beasley’s recruitment to Kansas State was tied into a mess similar to the one the FBI is uncovering right now. Though he denied receiving any money himself, he knows the investigators are only now catching on to this messy system because of his own experience.

We have no idea what will come from this NCAA investigation, but if the results get us closer to a place where we don’t need to have this conversation anymore, so be it.

Beasley knows what’s up.