Georgia Tech self-reported some NCAA violations last week and suspended Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie indefinitely. According to the school, the two players accepted less than $1275 worth of impermissible benefits combined. It wasn’t that big of a story because it was a small amount of money and it involved a school that hadn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2010.
The story probably would have gone away except for a Larry David-esque breach of etiquette by Yellow Jackets coach Josh Pastner. Let this story be a reminder that you should always wish a happy birthday to the guy providing impermissible benefits to your players. It’s common courtesy! Anyway, here’s what happened.
Georgia Tech reported that Okogie had accepted benefits totaling less than $750. Ron Bell presented CBS Sports with documents showing he spent $733.40 on Okogie. Georgia Tech reported that Jackson had accepted benefits totaling less than $525. Bell presented CBS Sports with documents showing he spent $584.40 on Jackson. So they were close, but Bell really wants to drop the hammer on his former friend. Via CBS Sports:
He said he also spent “about $500” on groceries for the players when they stayed at his house from May 9-13, and he provided photo evidence of Okogie and Jackson in his swimming pool. The NCAA should also be considering, he said, a 220-mile roundtrip ride from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Bell’s house in Tucson, which Bell said he provided for both players, as an impermissible benefit. And after adding up other various expenses, including a $120 meal Bell said he had with Okogie and Jackson at a Houston’s in Atlanta, the 51 year-old who works in the real estate business concluded he’s definitely given Okogie more than $750 and Jackson more than $525 in impermissible benefits.
“It’s not even close,” Bell said.
Actually, it is kind of close, but Bell wanted some impermissible benefit coordination.
Though, he probably should have stayed anonymous. You’re either anonymous or you’re not.
But now we know that Bell is a spurned friend and he wants credit for the big benefits.
And he is not following the golden rule.
You know what Pastner really could have used? An accidental text on purpose saying what a horrible friend he had been to Bell and that he really wished he had sent him a birthday e-mail.
Not that he would have expected a reply. The birthday shouldn’t be a job.