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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: NCAA Edition

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Will the college basketball scandal and its inability to be even-handed end the NCAA as we know it?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Maryland vs Xavier Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

The ongoing big story in college basketball is the FBI investigation, which continues to reveal more and more unsavory information about players and coaches entangled with moneyed interests outside NCAA rules. So far, no new indictments have been handed down, but a number of programs, including Kentucky, are coming under scrutiny for players taking money from agents. Arizona coach Sean Miller was reportedly recorded in a wiretap making financial arrangements for the services of stud freshman DeAndre Ayton, and is currently sitting out from coaching.

What does all this mean? I really don’t know. The breadth, depth, and sleaziness of it all will surely have a lasting impact on the game. If we are honest with ourselves, we all knew that one day there would be a reckoning in college basketball, because the constant drip, drip, drip of corruption stories has been a seemingly never-ending part of the sport.

The NCAA is in a delicate place right now. If these issues continue to escalate at the pace they have been, many and perhaps most of college basketball’s (and perhaps football’s as well) bluebloods will be implicated in some way. Notre Dame has responded angrily the NCAA’s finding against them in football, and there are rumblings of conversations about colleges breaking away from the NCAA altogether. The further this thing escalates, the louder those rumblings will become.

I have been waiting a long time for this to happen, and I’m sure most of you have as well. We have all been aware of the reality of college sports as they exist at the highest level, and that reality is being exposed more and more. Nobody can imagine football is any less corrupt, either, and the NCAA’s inability to demonstrate anything like even-handedness in its rulings among institutions will eventually be its undoing.

Interesting times? We’re living in them, folks.

Tweet of the Morning

Way to go, Isaac!

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Related: Buzz Williams takes umbrage with Hokies fans over their decorum. Good for him.

Given the well-established precedent for caution in matters of player eligibility, the speed at which high-profile stars like Ayton, Carter, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Kentucky’s Kevin Knox were cleared internally is not without significance. These decisions came down fast. Individual teams’ decisions to push through and allow them to take the court may be indicative of the fact that at this point, with the sport already on the precipice of widespread punishment, there’s little for programs to lose by letting them play, and little to gain for punishing kids who are already victims of a deep-rooted, flawed system. Many will head to the NBA draft in a matter of weeks regardless.

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