Taylor Martinez’ father owns Corn Fed, a sports apparel company. Corn Fed has licensing agreements with Nebraska, along with Iowa and Iowa State. The agreement began a year before Taylor committed. This particular case seems innocuous, but this raises an interesting loophole. Can money be funneled through a parent’s business?
Casey Martinez’ agreement is with Nebraska. But what if the agreement was with alumni and far less transparent?
Let’s say School A is recruiting a top quarterback recruit. The recruit’s Dad owns a transportation company. Alumni from School A shift a little bit of their companies’ business to Dad’s transportation company. Dad makes an extra $25,000 in profits for four years. It ends up a de facto $100,000 payment for quarterback to attend School A.
It doesn’t arouse suspicion. It’s virtually untraceable, unless someone has specific reason to investigate it. Doubtful the NCAA would wantonly go around checking business records of players’ parents. Even then it’s not illegal, and plausibly deniable that impropriety occurred. Their companies need to transport goods. And, if it’s a prominent school, the kid is really good and you can’t prove the kid heard any evil, the NCAA has no problem with it.
It is discreet. It’s easy. I would be shocked if it’s not already rampant.
[Photo via Getty]