'It doesn't appear to be a system that works right now:' What's next for college basketball?

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The FBI released this diagram to help illustrate its investigation. The FBI released this diagram to help illustrate its investigation.

For the first time in the 2017-18 season, ASU Head Coach Bobby Hurley stood in front of reporters. The Sun Devils Coach is excited about finally having some depth on the roster and making a run at his first NCAA Tournament appearance at ASU. 

Like every college coach this week, Hurley was forced to look at the future of his sport.

“It’s a very tough day for college basketball,” said Hurley, entering his third season. “Obviously there’s a lot of people impacted by what’s already happened.  There’s a lot of victims in this whole process.”

The Sun Devils biggest rival, the University of Arizona, is caught in a corruption scandal. Assistant Coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson was arrested on Tuesday, charged with accepting $20,000 in bribes. The FBI probe also appears to show Arizona offering a 2018 recruit $150,000 to commit to U of A. 

“They’re my number one team in the country to start the season,” says Chris Spatola, a former player at Army and Assistant Coach at Duke. 

Spatola now hosts a college basketball show on Siruis XM. 

“It’s even bigger than when I left coaching. It’s amazing how shoe companies are paying for AAU programs. The other thing is agencies. How agents and these financial firms are basically creating investment strategies and creating future strategies around these elite talents… these are grown adults who are basically pimping young adults to make a buck.”

Spatola played AAU ball and is quick to point out that there are still plenty of good people in college basketball. The federal government probe uncovers a world where assistant coaches are paid to steer recruits to a school of a shoe company’s choice.  When finished with college, the recruit is steered to sign with particular agents and financial advisors.

“Nobody expected the FBI to get involved,” says Chris Karpman, the Publisher of SunDevilSource.com. 

“Adidas has been wrapped up in this. If you go to these high level events, at any given class, you'll see shoe company execs, 3, 4, 5 of them sitting court side.  They'll be chasing parents around, trying to establish relationships. One kid is worth millions of dollars to these schools and they're all fighting for market share, and having the best relationships, development of those things.  That's all going on at all times…..I've had coaches tell me behind the scenes they should cancel the season."

Sean Miller hasn’t made a public statement since news of the FBI probe broke. That leaves his counterparts to explain a story that could continue to develop the entire season. 

"It doesn't appear to be a system that works right now. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of conversation about that in the next couple months.”

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