The centuries-long NCAA investigation into extra football and basketball benefits at USC will shortly commence gathering dust in the archives. The appeal is denied; sanctions are begun. The drunken brontosaurus that drives the Committee on Infractions' wheel of industry is churning dutifully away at Ohio State, and North Carolina, and Tennessee, and who knows where else. If any parties remain unconvinced "cheating" runs rampant in college athletics, to the point that "cheating" isn't even the right word for what's going on, they are beyond your help or mine.
At this point, we feel like we've heard it all. And yet: Lonnie White's tale of pay-for-play as a Trojan nearly thirty years ago is a compelling read. This one's a page turner in large part because, after the investigations are sealed and coaches clam up, at-large fans of the game aren't privy to the mechanics of how, exactly, the money changes hands. It's not as complicated as you might think:
Imagine an empty lot with a young college football player sitting alone in a parked car late at night. After a few quiet minutes, a luxury sedan arrives and headlights flash.
That’s the sign for the athlete to move. He starts an uneasy conversation with the driver but that chat does not last long before the two exchange bags and part.
Read the rest at The Daily.