The main topics of the ACC and the Big 12 media days were the investigations of the current FBI and the subsequent corruption processes around university basketball, with some of the biggest names in sport working to minimize the pervasiveness of the scandal before a jury reached its verdict later Wednesday.
"I might be naive, but I've been in college basketball for 43 years and I've never been asked for money and I've never asked anyone to give money to anyone," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said, echoing to the comments of Roy Williams of North Carolina and Mike Krzyzewski of the duke. "It's very damaging what happened, and it's not good for university basketball."
Last season, four assistants from Division I and several people affiliated with Adidas were arrested in the context of a sports corruption investigation.
Last Wednesday in New York, a jury sentenced the three defendants charged with pay-per-play schemes to influence high-profile basketball recruits to participate in Kansas, Louisville and NC State. Adidas employee James Gatto, the former Adidas Merl Code consultant and Christian Dawkins, former NBA agent Andy Miller runner, was convicted after the criminal trial three weeks before the federal court.
During the trial, T.J. Gassnola, a former Adidas consultant and key witness, said he arranged the payments to the families of the former Kansas player Billy Preston and the current player Silvio De Sousa, who was suspended indefinitely. Gassnola said that neither the trainer of the Kansas Bill Self nor the assistant Kurtis Townsend were aware of payment agreements, but a lawyer for Gatto said that the payment to De Sousa's family was requested by Self .
Multiple text exchanges between Gassnola, Self and Townsend were presented as evidence during the trial.
I was asked about the Big 12 media day trial on Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri.
"I know you guys want to talk about basketball with me, but before we can get to that, I just want to let you know that due to the ongoing New York trial, I will refrain from any comment directly related to the process due to the fact that I he was given a mandate, and I will certainly honor him, "said Self before the jury reached its verdict on Wednesday afternoon.
Concluded the trial, the coach of the Basketball Hall of Fame should issue a statement later on Wednesday, Kansas said.
Commissioner 12 Bob Bowlsby said he talked to Self on Tuesday evening but didn't ask him about the charges because "I knew he wouldn't be able to answer". Bowlsby also stated that the conference would not be involved unless the charges in the process become "factual".
"It certainly won't affect any results," Bowlsby said. "There are many things that are questioned by the media or come out anecdotally and have nothing to do with what is happening in the classroom. We will just have to wait and see. We will respond appropriately."
Williams said the evidence that emerged during court proceedings concerning the North Carolina player, Nassir Little, claimed responsibility for the family; text messages between Dawkins and former AAU coach of Little, Brad Augustine, seemed to show no transgression. Krzyzewski downplayed any involvement of one of his freshmen, Zion Williamson, last week, stating that recruit n. 2 of the nation was subjected to careful checks by the NCAA.
Both Williams and Krzyzewski raised their eyebrows last week suggesting that payments to players around college basketball were rare, with Duke's coach calling the process "a step backwards" in the general sphere of sport .
Krzyzewski further clarified his "blip" comment on Wednesday.
"I should have explained it more. For me, as a military man, an acoustic signal means an acoustic signal on a radar. And an acoustic signal, of course, can be horrible. But it is not the entire radar screen. And this is the point "told ESPN. "My feeling is that there have always been beeps and it always will be. It's serious, but hopefully there won't be many. In the context of the things I do, I'm not aware of the beeps. I've been hurt. from a blip.
"When we lose a boy, and we are dealing with the best boys in the country, we have not lost a boy because we feel that someone has done something illegal. So for me to comment on the entire state of university basketball in that respect is inappropriate, I think. "
Jeff Capel, former assistant of the Duke and current coach of the Pitt, said that these comments probably reflect direct knowledge of Krzyzewski's situation.
"If it's something that hurts our game, I think it's a big problem," said Capel. "But I don't think everyone is involved or they would know the details of what happened in the process, and they wouldn't know it because they're not so involved in recruiting."
Williams agreed that there were problems in the sport, but he observed the small number of coaches in difficulty compared to the sport as a whole.
"We have some things we should worry about. We have some bad things," Williams told ESPN. "But I think the glass is very full. I think summer basketball, for example, has had some fantastic experiences. I think the game is pretty good.
"Four coaches. Initially, four coaches. We have 351 division schools I. Each of them has four or five coaches. So we are talking about 1,400, 1,500 people. In any element of society, you pull out four bad situations 1500, most of the people would take it ".
Bob Huggins of West Virginia offered similar comments, stating that FBI investigations should not influence the collective perception of university basketball.
"If, in fact, that I don't think has been proven yet, something like this happened, they shouldn't have happened," Huggins said. "But are you talking, what? Four or five schools, at most? … If things have happened, we all know they shouldn't have happened, but that doesn't affect the state of our game and the way people do own business ".
After the verdict was announced, Krzyzewski said he would need time to digest it and what it means, but his initial thoughts were that the verdict was good for sport.
"It's always good if someone does something wrong, they are discovered – and they are held responsible for it," he said.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said that the more information and dirt emerged from the process, the better long-term sport will be.
"We had a subterranean world. Somehow we had this as part of culture, and as a coach, or we dance or make decisions to avoid it," Brey told ESPN. "And again, I think most of our coaches do a great job. But we have an item that is out there, and right now, I think it has damaged the game a little, damaged. the profession of coach. My feeling is, let's get it all out, let the NCAA deal with it. I think we'll have to broadcast everything, man. I think in three or four years, we can find ourselves in a better place.
"My feeling is to blow it all up. Take it out."
ACC commissioner John Swofford said his league continues to evaluate the appropriate ways to implement the results of the Rice Commission, but much of the assessment of the major impacts of the FBI investigation may not be known for years. The committee suggested significant changes in the way the NCAA punishes complex and serious infringements and recommended high school and college players to sign with agents to better understand their prospects of becoming professionals.
As the consequences of the trial unfold, Boeheim and Williams were among the coaches who offered support for an Olympics-style compensation model for players, under which they could use their names and similarities to earn money but would not have been compensated directly by the schools. Williams said he discussed it with the former NFL star Peyton Manning, who complained about the significant number of shirts sold with his number during his tennessee days, for which he received no financial advantage.
"I am not in favor of compensation," Williams said, "but if you use the resemblance of a child, I am very much in favor of it."
Swofford stated that the topic was discussed among the commissioners of the conference, but was presented as they look at how the FBI investigations take place. This was a common refrain from sports executives, even as coaches work to repair the image of sport.
"We hope to find a collective way to deal with this subculture that has had a bright light and clean up that aspect," Swofford said. "I don't know how prevalent it is. I don't think it's terribly prevalent."
Jeff Borzello of ESPN contributed to this report.
. (tagsToTranslate) Jim Boeheim (t) Roy Williams (t) Mike Krzyzewski (t) Jeff Capel (t) corruption scandal (t) Men