clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The fuzzy morals of the FBI’s college basketball investigation

Good morning. We have that and more in Wednesday’s NBA newsletter.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan vs Louisville Thomas Joseph-USA TODAY Sports

The FBI announced a wide-ranging investigating into SCANDAL in college basketball on Tuesday. This particular mission involves schemes in which sneaker companies pay the families of top high school prospects to attend a certain college, and college coaches convince their best players to sign with certain agents and managers as they begin their pro careers. These agents and managers have won the college coaches' trust via cash payments and sponsorship deals from sneaker companies, namely Adidas.

Confused yet? Here's a nice explainer.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York put out the above chart to explain it as simply as possible. As everyone has noted, this is one of those things that was always assumed to happen. Now we have confirmation. Thanks, FBI!

Among those caught up in the case: Chuck "The Rifleman" Person, who is an assistant at Auburn; Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State; Emanuel Richardson of Arizona; and coaches at USC, Louisville and Miami. Adidas is heavily involved. NBA agent Andy Miller's office got raided late Tuesday. They got Person with someone wearing a wire. Louisville was already in trouble. This scandal has been years in the making. This thing is going to be mighty wide-ranging.

It does not, however, go after everyone who unfairly profits off of young basketball stars. Like, for instance, the NCAA itself, or every major program head basketball coach, or most major program athletic directors. These particular coaches allegedly did some real goofy, greedy, and dumb things. Pushing a 19-year-old kid who trusts you to a certain manager because that guy gave you $15,000 is beyond gross. But then so is the entire sport's financial underpinning. The FBI is enforcing the law, of course, and these people allegedly violated it. But I struggle to understand where we draw the line on morals here.

The Lynx won Game 2 of the WNBA Finals in THRILLING fashion. The final 44 seconds were pure chaos. Rebekkah Brunson's steal in the closing seconds may have been the most important play. Sylvia Fowles was incredible with 17 rebounds (a Finals record). Game 3 is Friday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 with the series split 1-1.

BANANA BOAT SIREN! Dwyane Wade will reportedly sign with the Cavaliers for the minimum Wednesday, rejoining LeBron James. Tim Cato makes the argument that Wade should start ... at point guard.

More Cato: it turns out James and Kyrie Irving were just work friends.

Joe Nocera on the FBI investigation.

Mark Cuban lent Puerto Rican spitfire J.J. Barea the team plane so he could deliver supplies to the ravaged island commonwealth and bring loved ones back to the mainland. Meanwhile, Cuban is leaving open the possibility he'll run for president in 2020.

How Lonzo Ball is different.

The new Sports Illustrated cover features Steph Curry locking arms with James and ... Roger Goodell. There are other problems with the cover as well.

Carmelo Anthony speaks on why people of color feel threatened by the president. Magic Johnson speaks on the power of speaking out. Bruce Schoenfeld on the rise of NBA activism.

That fight over European basketball we've been talking about for years? It's at a breaking point as we approach the first in-season FIBA qualifying window. Aris Barkas has a good breakdown of the situation. Emmet Ryan offers up what a potential truce could look like.

Bringing Nerlens Noel off of the bench this season would be a mistake.

And finally: Michael Beasley in New York is going to be quite special this year.