I’ve been hearing rumors lately that UCLA could be implicated in the ongoing college basketball corruption scandal. So, when I read this morning’s bombshell report from Yahoo! Sports, I slowly read through the article waiting to see if the Bruins were mentioned.
The good news is that there is still no evidence implicating UCLA that has been made public; however, the information that Yahoo! published today is far from all of the information that’s been obtained by the FBI.
For now, UCLA is still not mentioned and that’s a good thing.
The same cannot be said for the folks from Southern Cal as two Trojans, Bennie Boatwright (and/or his father Bennie, Sr.) and notorious back and groin slapper Chimezie Metu (and/or his adviser Johnny Parker) are among those college players named as allegedly having potentially received loans of at least $2,000 each from ASM.
Boatwright is out for the season with an injury, but it will be interesting to see whether Metu plays against Utah tomorrow or against the Bruins next week.
Boatwright and Metu aren’t the only Pac-12 players discussed in the article. Both Utah and Washington have joined the list of schools with players who may have received extra benefits. In Utah’s case, former Ute and current Laker forward Kyle Kuzma allegedly received at least $9,500 while in school, according to the documents. Meanwhile, in Washington’s case, last year’s number one NBA Draft pick Markelle Fultz allegedly received a $10,000 loan while in school.
Other schools named in the report include, but is not limited to, Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Alabama, North Carolina State, Seton Hall, LSU, and Maryland.
The NCAA was quick to respond with a statement from NCAA President Mark Emmert:
These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York’s indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it’s clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.
Considering that the documents obtained by Yahoo! were just documents from ASM and did not include any documents that may have been obtained from Adidas, this may not be the last bombshell document release in this scandal.
With the NCAA Tournament fast approaching, it will be interesting to see if any schools decide to try to get ahead of this by self-imposing a tournament ban on themselves.
Until the next release of documents, the only thing Bruin fans can do is continue to hope that UCLA is not implicated.