Blog Entry

This is a system problem, not a Beasley problem

Posted on: October 27, 2011 9:49 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 10:07 am

By Gary Parrish

The text message came early Thursday from a longtime college basketball coach.

Here's what it said:

"We have kids going to college who don't want to go to college. If the NBA doesn't want them, then the D-League should be set up for them. But the sad fact is that these kids are getting paid more money to go to college for a year than to play in the D-League."

The text was an obvious reaction to the Washington Post's story on Michael Beasley's lawsuit against his former summer coach (Curtis Malone) and agent (Joel Bell) that has already muddied the reputations of the summer coach and agent and seems likely of vacating Beasley's one season at Kansas State. As my colleague Matt Norlander pointed out, Beasley and his mother have basically acknowledged receiving extra benefits throughout high school and college. Assuming the NCAA follows up, it's hard to imagine a scenario that doesn't involve the NBA veteran being ruled retroactively ineligible just like former Memphis star Derrick Rose was ruled retroactively ineligible and former USC star O.J. Mayo was ruled retroactively ineligible. In other words, the top three picks from the 2008 NBA Draft -- each of whom was a one-and-done prospect -- will eventually be wiped from the official record books. They are celebrated recruits turned permanent stains.

That, my friends, is a system problem.

And it should be noted that the NCAA didn't catch any of them.

The SAT security testing agency caught Rose cheating on his SAT, Yahoo! Sports exposed Mayo, and Beasley basically outed himself in a lawsuit that highlights the underbelly of high-major recruiting. The NCAA initially cleared them all to compete as freshmen, somebody else later discovered a problem, and now Memphis and USC have 2007-08 seasons that don't count, and Kansas State will join them in time. These are messy situations but hardly surprises because the system in place creates such issues.

Elite basketball prospects are commodities well before they're even recruitable student-athletes according to NCAA rules, meaning agents get their fingers in them long before college coaches. They are compromised early on and in many cases have no desire or real need to attend college. But the NBA's one-and-done rule essentially forces them to campus where they have to pretend to be amateurs, and, let's be honest, they're almost never amateurs by the NCAA's definition. Still, there's lots of pressure on college coaches to enroll the best prospects, and so they do even when they know it's risky. Then the coaches, agents, players and, some would say, the NCAA are all left to cross their fingers and hope nobody gets caught because part of the allure of college basketball is the idea that these are just college kids playing for the love of the school.

But it's all horsesh-t.

Complete and total horsesh-t.

The top three picks of the 2008 NBA Draft are proof.

We'll continue to add names to the list until the system is overhauled.


Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:10 am

This is a system problem, not a Beasley problem

Aren't the values associated with the rampant cheating a reflection of our broken political system?  Or perhaps our culture?  Not that this will cure the problem, but basketball should follow the baseball model on professional eligiblity.  The federal government through the IRS should also target and regularly investigate the finances of the well known "middle men" as well as the coaches.

Since: Jun 29, 2010
Posted on: October 27, 2011 3:29 pm

This is a system problem, not a Beasley problem

The NCAA is left waving in the breeze because the NBA changed its own rules.  Obviously there is no quick fix to this situation, but as others have mentioned attached punishment to coaches as well as schools needs to be looked at.  Coaches can not be everywhere at all times, but if a Coach has his own skin in the game it will change the type of individual that is recruited.  This approach will be a step to making coaches accountable for actions that they are involved with. 

Since: Oct 27, 2011
Posted on: October 27, 2011 2:59 pm

This is a system problem, not a Beasley problem

Well the situation doesn't get any better ,when you have some of these big national writers and t.v media types. That rain praise on coaches like Calipari, whom has people like William  world wide Wesley doing the dirty work for him. You have to be a fool or live in a third world country. To not see a coach like Calipari. is not playing fair when some coaches are told by a player ranked 100. He can't sign due to him having a couple of other rated over 100 recruits. already on the team. Hmm!

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 27, 2011 2:50 pm

This is a Beasley problem AND a system problem

The blaming of the system for breaking the law is such a cop-out! Every criminal wants to do the same. Beasley is presumably able to read, as are his parent(s). The law prohibits agents from corrupting young athletes. The NCAA cannot enforce that law against the agents but can and does enforce it against those who take illegal benefits (while still students). The blow-back on Kansas State may or may not be deserved but is consistent. The school hired the coach and the coach recruited the player. The rumors of such transactions are common around certain players and coaches who recruit such players in the face of rumors are wanting to win using illegal means.

This article does not mention the coach, Bob Huggins. It does not mention the assistant coaches including Frank Martin. Huggins has left to coach at West Virginia but the rumors about his ethics have been like an angry swarm of bees around him for many years. Are they true? Of that I cannot say. But the NCAA is unlikely to hold Huggins accountable at WVU fro what he did to get the job at WVU. The system problem is that too few coaches are held accountable. Schools get penalized for what a coach or former coach (see Calipari) did while the coach simply moves on. Coaches know the home that their players came from including its economic situation. Seeing a young player in a new care should raise flags for the coach. But under this system the coach simply needs deniability to survive and thrive. This is where the system is at fault. The one and done rule will likely be exchanged in the next CBA for a two year wait or no wait at all.

Since: Oct 27, 2011
Posted on: October 27, 2011 1:10 pm

This is a system problem, not a Beasley problem

The USA is the only nation that participates within FIBA that does not have an organization responsible for the development of the sport of basketball.  USA Basketball is in charge of putting forward teams for International Competition, the NCAA and NBA look after their own interests and make policy decisions based on what is best for them and not the Sport or the people who play it.  This fragmented system doesn't work and the proof of it is seen every day by coaches on all levels.  It is only masked by recent international success that conceals that a nation of 300 million should have a bigger talent pool than nations of 20-30 million.  Until an organization takes ownership of the development of basketball and looks to create a cultivating environment where those who participate can grow on and off the court, the sport will continue to be plagued by those pushing their own self interest at the expense of our youth and the game we love.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or