Enjoy the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the latest story from Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel seems to say, because it might be the last one before the sport is “fundamentally and idelibly” changed by the ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball.
There’s little room for nuance here. Thamel goes big with his bombshell report, weaving an actual ticking-time-bomb metaphor throughout. While it doesn’t look like more arrests are coming, the match lighting the fuse here is the discovery phase and the amount of information that’s already been collected, including bank records, wiretaps and confiscated computers.
The time-bomb comparison comes pretty easily when you’ve got quotes like this:
“This goes a lot deeper in college basketball than four corrupt assistant coaches,” said a source who has been briefed on the details of the case. “When this all comes out, Hall of Fame coaches should be scared, lottery picks won’t be eligible to play and almost half of the 16 teams the NCAA showed on its initial NCAA tournament show this weekend should worry about their appearance being vacated.”
If you need a refresher the 16 top seeds announced by the selection committee earlier this week were Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue, Cincinnati, Duke, Auburn, Kansas, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Arizona.
Coaches at Auburn and Arizona have already been implicated in the investigation, but go ahead and take your pick of which of the remaining schools make up the "almost half" who need to be worried about the information currently in possession of the FBI.
The other big blockbuster quote here involves NBA agent Andy Miller (emphasis mine):
“If the NCAA is going to get Andy Miller’s bank records, God bless them, I don’t know what they’re going to do,” said another source with direct knowledge of the situation, chuckling at the thought. “You are better off changing the rules. The crazy part of this business is none of the kids are free.”
Well, then. That would certainly change things. It's not as though plenty of people closely associated with basketball haven't always assumed as much, but if there are now "thousands" of documents that can prove it, that would be a different sort of reckoning from any past scandals.
All of that information might come out, none of it might. That's going to be the interesting part. If what Thamel's sources are saying is even mostly true, the NCAA's response, what it does to control the release of any informaiton, what it can do, will be telling.
The Grab Bag
- AD Bill Moos sits down for a lengthy interview with Mike Tobias of NET.
- Here's a good roundup of the 2017 coaching carousel by the numbers.
- An Arizona cheerleader got ejected for heckling an Arizona State player in Tempe last night. Arizona won 77-70.
- ICYMI: Derek Peterson takes an updated look at Nebraska's tournament résumé, and Mike Babcock previews the Huskers' opening weekend of baseball.
Today's Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.