Is it that serious? According to Real Sports on HBO, youth sports generates a remarkable $6 billion dollars a year. In a time when parents are holding their kids back to be more “competitive” in sports, hoping to earn a coveted scholarship, the FBI has shown that competition is not only fierce, it is sorely tainted.
The FBI and Justice Department have launched a massive crackdown on what they have described as the ‘dark underbelly’ of college basketball after 10 people – including four assistant coaches – were arrested as part of a widespread investigation into systemic bribery and corruption involving several schools.
Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona, Tony Bland of USC, and Auburn University’s Chuck Person – a former NBA player and 1987 Rookie of the Year – are the four coaches charged in the corruption scheme, according to court documents.
According to acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan Jim Koon, the investigation was launched in 2015 and focuses on ‘the criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the N.C.A.A.’
Specifically, two schemes were investigated: one in which recruits and their families were paid to go to particular universities and another in which player advisors were paid to persuade those players to sign with certain managers, agents, and financial advisors.
As of now, only Black coaches have been arrested. Will more arrests follow?