For the most part, this is how the college basketball/sneaker industry operates now: Youth basketball players are put on sneaker-driven AAU travel teams, and then outfitted with a sneaker brand up through middle school and high school. The college basketball offers roll in for the star players. But when it comes time for the player to pick a school, they usually align with the sneaker brand that has been with them since the beginning. It’s not about the university; but rather the sneaker brand that represents the basketball team.
Is that corrupt? Bribery?
Assistant coaches from Auburn (Under Armour), Oklahoma State (Nike), Arizona (Nike), Louisville (Adidas) and USC (Nike) have been named in a massive corruption scheme blown up by the FBI today. Also, this:
More names are sure to leak out as reporters go through the 120-pages of information.
Here’s how the Wall Street Journal framed it:
Federal law-enforcement officials are expected to arrest at least a half-dozen people and unseal charges Tuesday as part of a wide-ranging investigation into alleged bribery and kickback schemes at several of the country’s top-tier college basketball programs, people familiar with the matter said.
When words like bribery and fraud are tossed around … it’s bad news for some coaches and programs.