Blog Entry

Breaking news: College recruiting is still shady

Posted on: July 7, 2009 6:30 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2009 6:37 pm

AKRON, Ohio -- You might think the slew of negative attention that USC and Memphis have endured in recent months would scare college basketball recruiting straight, at least to some degree. But if you think that, you are stupid. And I offer DaJuan Coleman as Exhibit 1A.

Coleman is a star of the Class of 2012.

That means he just finished his freshman year of high school.

He's one of only three Class of 2012 prospects invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy, and on Tuesday he casually spoke about the dangers of being an elite prospect identified this early. "People have offered me stuff, but I don't take it," Coleman told "I know what's good."

If you didn't catch that, what we have is a rising sophomore already being "offered stuff."

And really, that's the problem.

As long as elite prospects can be identified at an early age, there are going to be people offering stuff to those same elite prospects. The O.J. Mayo case will not make it stop. People -- like runners or agents or, in some cases, actual college coaches -- will offer stuff to prospects, to the families of prospects, and to anybody else they think might be close enough to the prospects to have some sort of influence. In most cases, eventually, somebody will take something because, really, how could they not? And then two or three years later, millions will pretend these same elite prospects are "amateur" athletes while willfully (and stupidly) buying into the myth that there is such a thing at the highest levels of this sport.

It's crazy.

And what it highlights is a system flawed to its core, a system that on one end requires agents and runners and coaches to secure elite prospects to get wealthy, and on the other end asks those same elite prospects to never take a free meal, much less a cell phone, car or cash. It's unnatural and impossible to make work. Which is why I always shrug my shoulders when people ask what the NCAA must do to eliminate cheating in college basketball? The truth is that folks won't cease breaking rules until the rules are eliminated, because the alternative is to eliminate the money being made and the money at stake, and, as you know, that's not going anywhere.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Jul 8, 2009
Posted on: July 8, 2009 5:35 pm

Breaking news: College recruiting is still shady

And there you are interviewing a 13/14-year-old. The bad guys aren't the only ones making money off these kids. Fact is Coleman's talent is a commodity. And just like any other natural resource, there's never going to be any shortage of people looking to profit off its use. That's people who want to get paid to influence him, colleges who want to use him to win games and get big pay days, and media who want ratings/web hits/circulation numbers to sell to advertisers.


Not saying you shouldn't be there. I love that you are and I get to read about it. I'm just pointing out that the profiteering off these kids has a lot more layers than just "offering stuff."

Since: Mar 31, 2009
Posted on: July 7, 2009 6:47 pm

Breaking news: College recruiting is still shady

Did anyone think it would change after USC or Memphis this past year? These kids mean major dollars to University's and major dollars to the coaches that can deliver them to campus. With esculating salaries, coaches are willing to take the risk on toeing the line in recruiting in order to get a major million dollar job, or keeping his major million dollar job. It's a shame, but its reality. Some of these kids grow up in very humble enviroments and when money or other 'stuff' is put in fron of their face, its hard for them to say no. I honestly don't know what is going to stop this kind of behavior. It's not going to be from USC or Memphis losing a scholarship here or there, that is for sure.

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