All throughout this season, there has been a black cloud hanging over college basketball, an assailant hiding in the shadows waiting to strike. At times, such as when St. John’s beat Duke and Villanova back-to-back, or during Trae Young’s ascension, we were almost able to forget about the impending doom. Almost.
On Friday, yesterday, hearts were broken. Mirrors were shattered. And the very fabric that helps hold together college basketball’s unique landscape began to tear. Tucson, Arizona is the location of this casualty. As reported by multiple sources, including ESPN, Sean Miller is heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a payment of one hundred thousand dollars to secure the commitment of current Wildcat Deandre Ayton. To this moment, there has not been a more brazen example of the omnipresent corruption that lies beneath the waves of college basketball’s calm ocean waters. Rumors are circulating that by Monday, Sean Miller will no longer be the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats. They are the first program to be truly thrust into the depths of darkness by the FBI’s probe.
It’s a hackneyed expression to say that something is “only the tip of the iceberg.” But when the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption was first reported months ago, the saying fit perfectly. Because indictments against assistant coaches and reports of one top-twenty player (Brian Bowen) getting paid for a commitment were only the beginning. These newest developments, the Arizona business and the leger of loans from NBA agent Andy Miller as reported by Yahoo Sports, indicate further revelation of this vast iceberg. But it will get bigger. And bigger. And bigger. Because these problems run deep.
As a fan of a major college basketball program (if you can call floundering UConn, who is dealing with its own unrelated NCAA investigation, a major program anymore), I want to tell fellow fans that this will get better, that the worst has passed and the sacrificial lambs play their roles. But that is simply wishful thinking. The apple is very rotten. According to sources, the FBI has THREE THOUSAND hours of wiretaps as evidence in its corruption case. This treasure trove is the source for the Arizona troubles. There is likely not a major program that goes unmentioned over those juicy conversations. More shoes will drop. And more heads will roll. By the time this investigation is over, and all the dirty laundry is aired out, amateur basketball will not look the same.
Photo Link: https://www.today.com/popculture/arizona-basketball-coach-sean-miller-sweats-through-shirt-first-11-t81141