Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa was suspended for two years because his guardian allegedly sought money for his services. Miami’s Dewan Hernandez was suspended this season and 40 percent of next season for also allegedly entering into an agreement and accepting benefits from an agent.
There was no evidence De Sousa was aware of his guardian’s plan. There was also no evidence Hernandez received any payments. Yet, the NCAA hammered both. Hernandez has opted to go pro. De Sousa may as well.
Now, for the head coaches whose programs were involved in the FBI investigation into corruption into college basketball, there are allegations assistant coaches were working with agents, sneaker company executives from Adidas and financial advisers to steer players to their respective schools in exchange for large sums of cash, and accepting handouts to push those players back to the professional moneymakers when turning pro.
Crickets. Nothing but crickets from the NCAA.
Nothing has happened to Sean Miller of Arizona or Andy Enfield of USC. Bruce Pearl of Auburn is sitting pretty. So is Bill Self of Kansas. Those coaches are back recruiting at an elite level like nothing happened, while the assistant coaches USC (Tony Bland), Arizona (Emmanuel “Book” Richardson), Oklahoma State (Lamont Evans) and Auburn (Chuck Person) were all arrested. Bland has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, and so has Richardson and Evans. Person’s hearing is coming up in June.
Meanwhile, players have had their college careers ruined or postponed. The only head coach to feel the wrath was Rick Pitino, and he was fired “with just cause” by Louisville. The NCAA had no part in that.
While there may not be any concrete evidence directly tied to these coaches, whatever happened to the so-called responsibility for coaches to monitor their programs? Head coaches are supposed to be aware of their assistant coaches’ activities and promote an atmosphere of compliance with NCAA rules. According to NCAA enforcement charging guidelines, “ultimate responsibility for the integrity of the program rests with the head coach.” Instead, it seems the NCAA hopes this all just goes away without having to dole out any punishment.