Thursday, August 9, 2012

IU's Glass And How to Clean Up Basketball Recruiting

Basketball recruiting has a problem.

Yes, that’s shocking. Imagine that college coaches would push the limits of what the NCAA allows, and then blast past it.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo recently told USA Today that cheating is probably 20 percent of the game, and that, in essence, cheating is involved in 14 of the nation’s top 20 recruits. ESPN announcer Dick Vitale told Louisville TV station WDRB’s Rick Bozich he’s “embarrassed” to be part of the game and thinks a basketball “czar” with the appropriate power is needed to clean up the mess.

It’s human nature, of course, the desire to win and damn the cost. IU faced that reality with what was a much lesser sin -– impermissible phone calls under former coach Kelvin Sampson.

Indiana athletic director Fred Glass has a solution, and if it seems harsh and extreme, well, maybe that’s necessary given the level of corruption that exists.

“I would encourage the NCAA to hire a bunch of former FBI guys that know how to follow the money,” Glass said. “I think we get caught up in the number of phone calls and stuff that isn’t a big deal. I think the really corrosive thing is people getting paid to play, to have official visits, to have unofficial visits. I think you need to hire guys that know how to find bad guys that know their way around tracking money. That’s what I’d do.”

If that means having subpoena power, so be it.

“If we’re serious about cleaning that up,” Glass said, “we need to have some people who have a real ability to track money and require people to give them the information they need to do that.”

As far as how bad the problem is, Glass didn’t mince words.

“It’s terrible, man. I mean, it’s gross. I always had a sense of how gross it was before I had this job. I have more of a sense now. I think A: because I’m closer to it, and B: it’s gotten worse in the few short years I’ve been here.

“I think it’s a very serious problem that potentially challenges the nature of the game. I applaud the NCAA, the basketball focus group which was formed to take a very aggressive approach with that. I don’t know about czars or not czars, but I think extreme situations call for extreme measures, and we ought to figure out what we can do about it.”

Football recruiting has its own recruiting issues, but is it as bad as basketball? Glass doesn’t think so -- yet. One potential problem is the explosive growth of summer 7-on-7 leagues -- it’s HUGE in Texas -- that are coached by parents or former players or, in some cases, the football equivalent of AAU basketball coaches.

“My perception is worse in basketball than football, but football is catching up with 7 on 7 leagues, all that stuff that’s the corollary of the AAU situation for basketball,” Glass said. “Now in and of itself it isn’t a problem, but it creates a vehicle for a problem.”

Glass was speaking during Thursday night’s final IU Tailgate Tour stop. This one was at Memorial Stadium. He was asked about how the Hoosiers can get out of the mess of having 14 players and 13 scholarships. Was there a way to get out of it, at this point, other than having a player leave/transfer.

Glass’s response: “I don’t know of anything other than the same rules that you know of.”

So now you know.


  1. CZARS were in Russia, Russia was Socialist. This is America we are Democratic at least for a while longer. O'bama started the Czar crap, we don't need any Czars here in the USA. I totally agree with you that cheating has got completely out of hand. The money the Universities make off of these kids is unreal. They should all be paid a certain equal amount. The Universities should all contribute to the fund that pays them from their atheletics profits. If they all got a good salary, and all pay was made equal then they wouldn't go to the highest bidder. If they are talented enough they can make the big money later. Oh and if you want to have somebody police the program , we can call them Chief,The Main Honcho, CEO, President, Director of Special Operations anything but Czar. Thank You

    1. Stick your politics elsewhere: Reagan (I even showed respect by spelling his name correctly) named the first drug czar.

  2. And while we're at it, IU could lead the way by refusing to recruit any bball prospect before he has reached the beginning of his sophomore year in high school. The amount of drool many of these supposed big-time coaches emit over baby-faced 8th graders is both predatory and disgusting.

  3. The FBI might find that the money trail could lead to the NCAA. Maybe thats why it's not done.