IT HAD TO HAPPEN
The big fat elephant in the room is finally becoming visible for everyone to see. We’ve all known that the elephant was there, for all these years, but no one ever wanted to talk about it, until the FBI got involved. Now the milk has been spilt and there is no putting it back in the bottle.
Few sports fans were surprised to hear about top college athletes being paid to attend a certain school. Perhaps not directly in cash, maybe a mortgage got paid off. One day our star shows up in a new car. It’s been going on since cars had crank up windows.
The whole thing started to come apart when the FBI mounted an investigation built around alleged fraud and bribery perpetrated by a couple of minor league backstage players looking for their piece of the pie and power. The Feds used wire taps, and these guys used the phones, a lot. From the evidence gathered from these wire taps, convictions were handed down against both Christian Dawkins and Merl Code back in October 2018. There was no real defense.
Now these two wannabe middlemen are back in the spotlight. Along with another member of their nefarious fraternity named Marty Blazer, who apparently was some sort of successful financial advisor until he was busted by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misappropriation of funds belonging to various NFL players whose accounts he managed. How’s that for credibility?
With the addition of Mr. Blazer the whole case is now spiraling out of control and threatening to do some real and lasting harm to some of the oldest and most legendary college programs in the country. Blazer testified at the hearings that he had directed payments to various football players from big name campuses like Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Northwestern and even Alabama. “I paid them”, confessed Blazer.
It is obvious that we have come to a fork in the road concerning college athletics. Mark Emmert’s leadership of the NCAA has proved to be nothing more effective than the ostrich burying its head in the sand when danger approaches. They know what’s going on, always have. Now they will have to face the music and explain why nothing has been done up to this point.
Even the defending NCAA Football Championship program at Clemson has come under fire as an off shoot of these hearings. They have an assistant basketball coach at Clemson named Steve Smith a couple of years ago talking on tape with the above mentioned Christian Dawkins, ostensibly about recruiting a basketball player, but, Smith let slip, “That’s why football is so successful, is if you do it and use resources at Clemson, like you can really keep everything tight”.
It’s not ‘tight’ anymore coach. In fact, the whole thing is blown to hell and back and we are going to be living with the repercussions for years to come.