So the NCAA says it has "new" information regarding over $30,000 in gifts that basketball star O.J. Mayo allegedly received before and during his minute and a half stay on the USC campus. They plan to get to the bottom of it -- right after they clear up that little matter of Reggie Bush also allegedly accepting cash gifts from agents and runners while in Trojan Land.
I'm shocked, shocked to find that agents and runners are involved in college basketball recruiting here!
The NCAA just happened to be watching TV the other day and discovered that USC had another elite player who was deeply involved with an agent and his runner before he ever stepped on campus.
For decades now, since March Madness became a moneymaker for all involved, college basketball recruiting has been darker and slimier than the bottom of Henry James' refigerator. Unlike football, where sheer numbers is of value, and where identifying the truly gifted at a young age is still a hit or miss proposition, more and more college recruiters are chasing after a select number of impact players.
A college recruiter checks out the latest talent at an AAU basketball tournament.
So you have coaches going after 8th and 9th graders, not only to get a jump on the collegiate competition, but perhaps to cut the agents and the runners off before they have a chance to set up shop with the recruit.
As long as the NBA has an age limit, you will also have situations like O.J. Mayo popping up with regularity. The pattern will be schools recruiting players who don't want to go to school. They will make one and done deals with the stud recruits, and look the other way when said recruit shows up with all the amenities.
Like USC they will be banking of getting a championship run out of their deal. And like USC they probably won't get it, but they could wind up with the nice parting gift of an NCAA investigation.