College Basketball Podcast: What did this week in federal court mean for Kansas, Will Wade, Duke and Zion Williamson?

It was a busy week in a New York City federal courtroom with wiretaps, text messages and testimony bringing everybody from Kansas to Kentucky, North Carolina to LSU, and Duke to Zion Williamson into the conversation -- admittedly, to varying degrees -- centered around corruption in college basketball. Kansas coach Bill Self has big questions to answer. LSU coach Will Wade has big questions to answer. So Matt Norlander and I got together Friday morning and recorded an 80-minute episode of the Eye On College Basketball Podcast.

We opened on this column -- the one where I wrote about how Self and former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola seemed to, in a text-message exchange, rationalize their cheating by stating that what Adidas was doing for Kansas is no different than what they believe Nike does for Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky. Why did I write the column the way I wrote it? I explained thoroughly.

From there, the conversation went like this:

  • 20:03: It's been a bad week for Bill Self, undeniably, and, at this point, you'd have to be a diehard Kansas fan, or completely naive, or some combination of both, to believe he and his staff weren't aware, at least on some level, of what Adidas was doing on the Jayhawks' behalf. But is Self's job really in jeopardy?
  • 27:40: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called all of this just a "blip" during a press conference Monday and insisted what we're hearing in federal court is "not what's happening" in the sport. The pushback was immediate and intense. And then, not even 24 hours later, a wiretap was disclosed that detailed how Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend and Adidas executive Merl Code once discussed a pay-for-play scheme involving Zion Williamson, who eventually enrolled at Duke. If you believe the two men talking on the wiretap, Zion's stepfather, presumably, was willing to accept impermissible benefits to send the five-star prospect to school -- and Kansas was willing to pay. In other words, there was a seller and a buyer. And yet Williamson still went to Duke for nothing more than what's allowed per NCAA rules? Maybe. But it's obviously a tough look and something Williamson will likely hear about all season from opposing fans.
  • 52:23: LSU coach Will Wade was caught on a wiretap with Christian Dawkins implying he'd be willing to do a deal for a Class of 2019 prospect. When asked about it at SEC Media Day, Wade said he's "never, ever done business of any kind with Christian Dawkins." But what does that really mean?
  • 61:45: The NBA announced Thursday that it will, starting with the current crop of high school seniors, offer select elite prospects $125,000 contracts to play one season in the G League before entering the subsequent NBA Draft. It's a big headline, to be sure. But it probably won't impact the sport in any meaningful way. Simply put, I can't imagine a top-10 prospect free of academic and amateurism issues actually accepting such a contract. It would be shortsighted to do so for lots of reasons.
  • 71:41: The CBS Sports list of the Top 100 And 1 college basketball players published this week. So we closed by spending about eight minutes on that -- and the dumb tweets it produces from fans.

The latest Eye on College Basketball podcast is below. Give it a listen. And if you're not already subscribed, please subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts here. If you are already subscribed, thank you. And #ShoutsToDevanDowney.

CBS Sports Insider

Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories