NCAA violations rock collegiate sports

Blake Rutenberg, Staff Writer

More than 20 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I programs are now under investigation after Yahoo Sports published an online report consisting of extensive documents which ultimately brought to attention that both current and past players broke NCAA rules by receiving impermissible benefits.

The NCAA’s purpose is to govern competition to ensure that competition is “fair, safe, equitable, and sportsmanlike,” all schools are required to abide by NCAA rules and their are serious consequences for any form of a violation. Schools are not allowed to give out; benefits, discounts, loans, promises of financial aid postgraduate, etc.

One of the biggest alleged violations was found via an FBI wiretap that caught Arizona head coach Sean Miller, and Christian Dawkins, a sports agent, discussing a $100,000 payment to ensure DeAndre Ayton landed with the Arizona Wildcats. Division I and II schools are allowed to give out “full rides” but are not allowed to give players additionally money after that. Ayton’s name is also being thrown up to potentially be the number one National Basketball Association (NBA) draft pick. Miller did not coach the following game against Oregon amid the growing scandal, and according to Bleacher Report, he felt it was in the teams best interests to do so.

Student loans were another thing that caught the attention of the NCAA. Giving cash loans or any other form of benefits is not allowed by any collegiate school. The former standout from North Carolina State (NCST), Dennis Smith Jr. allegedly received $73,500 in loans from an agency prior to attending the school. If these allegations are proven then Smith would have been ineligible for the one year that he was at North Carolina State and the school would be stripped of their 15 win season. NCST Athletic Director Debbie Yow also released a letter previously send to Smith, dissociating him from the Wolfpack and forbidding him from contacting any current NCST athlete or offer any benefits.

In addition to this, under the report released by Yahoo Sports, Bennie Boatwright “and/or” his father received $2,000 from an agency. University of Southern California (USC), agreed to complying with the NCAA for the full duration of their investigation. Head coach Tony Bland was put on administrative leave in September, before consequently being fired in January by USC due to his suspected involvement in the scandal.

The report released by Yahoo Sports caused a lot of controversy over the last two months and NCAA investigations are still an ongoing process. This series of investigations cost Louisville head coach Rick Pitino his job. Pitino had been placed on leave back in September, before the board of the schools athletic association voted unanimously to fire the coach due to suspicions.

Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers, a 6’9” forward, was included on the list of names included in the explosive document released by Yahoo Sports. Yahoo Sports detailed that Kuzma received $9,500 in advances from the ASM Sports agency during his time at Utah. Receiving advances is a major violation by the NCAA. According to the Los Angeles Times, Kuzma is “not going to say anything,” but will instead focus on furthering his career with the Lakers.