College Basketball: New HBO documentary exposes two big-name Head Coaches

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images) /

The FBI investigation into college basketball has faded with minimal impact. A new HBO documentary reviews more of what happened and what could yet come.

Many college basketball fans were not surprised when nefarious and criminal activity was discovered by the FBI. The average fan has known college basketball has been dirty for decades.

Initially, there was some optimism the FBI investigation would actually clean up the game. Now, most fans believe the investigation had only a slight impact. The NCAA was left to pick up where the FBI stopped. History shows NCAA sanctions in college basketball are too few to counter the believed widespread cheating.

Reviewing the FBI Investigation Results

Source: Yahoo Sports

  • 10 men indicted, including active assistant basketball coaches at Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC, plus an executive for Adidas
  • Former NBA star Chuck Person, an assistant at Auburn, as well as assistants Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, Emanuel “Book” Richardson of Arizona and Tony Bland of USC. Adidas executive Jim Gatto

A former ‘wanna-be’ sports agent, Christian Dawkins got the toughest sentence. Dawkins was convicted of bribing college coaches and sentenced to three months for fraud and a year for bribery.

The other sentences were minimal. Book Richardson was sentenced to three months jail time and two years of supervised release. Lamont Evans received three months jail time. Tony Bland was given only two years probation. Chuck Person was sentenced to community service.

Person pled guilty to a bribery conspiracy charge. The FBI proved Person took at least $91,500 bribe money while an Auburn assistant coach.

If those sentences appear to be little more than hand-slapping, worse is some head coaches avoided penalty because they were not charged. The two with apparently egregious NCAA violations, if not actual crimes, were Arizona’s Sean Miller and LSU’s Will Wade.

Many college basketball fans are aware of the testimony saying Wade disclosed “a strong-ass offer” to a certain player. Pat Forde reported in January,

"At present, the NCAA has delivered Notices of Allegations directly tied to the FBI investigation to at least five schools: North Carolina State, Kansas, Oklahoma State, USC and Texas Christian. Creighton has neither confirmed nor denied receiving an NOA. Other schools currently under investigation include Auburn, Louisville, LSU, Arizona and Alabama."

The NCAA enforcement efforts received a big boost when former financial advisor, Marty Blake decided to cooperate. Again from January, this time from the Los Angeles Times.

"There are pending actions alleging NCAA violations against a number of colleges and universities and Mr. Blazer continues to cooperate with the NCAA’s investigation into corruption."

Maybe the NCAA will continue to investigate and punish violators. If it does, it is hard to imagine how Sean Miller and Will Wade keep their jobs.

Until then, interested college basketball fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the corruption. “The Scheme” will be on HBO, Mar. 31, 8:00 PM CST. In the documentary, Dawkins provides more detail that is, at least, NCAA violation, incriminating for Sean Miller and Will Wade.

Next. State of the Crimson Tide Basketball Program. dark

NCAA investigators and enforcement officers may not conclude there is sufficient proof to sanction Miller and Wade. If so, the already tarnished reputation of college basketball will suffer.