The athletics directors at Mecklenburg County’s two NCAA Division I schools say they’ve taken steps to help ensure their men’s basketball programs won’t be touched by a federal probe into fraud and corruption in college basketball recruiting.
Charlotte’s Judy Rose and Davidson’s Jim Murphy say they and their schools’ compliance officers had already examined their men’s basketball programs for potential rules violations following an FBI investigation, well before the NCAA directed all Division I programs to do so earlier this week.
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“We sat down with coach (Bob) McKillop and his staff and talked about it,” said Murphy. “It gave us all a chance to talk about this and keep us on alert. It’s not a bad idea to go over compliance issues, whatever the reason.”
Rose said she had coach Mark Price and each member of his staff sign a document saying they haven’t participated in any recruiting rules violations – either at Charlotte or in previous jobs.
“We want to make sure our i’s are dotted and our t’s are crossed,” said Rose.
Charlotte and Davidson both have their athletes complete a form that asks about potential violations during their recruitment.
Ten men were arrested as a result of the FBI investigation, including assistant coaches and executives at Adidas, which, according to the investigation, was funneling money to prospects’ families or AAU programs in exchange for the prospect to play at a certain school.
Charlotte has an apparel and shoe contract with Nike; Davidson recently signed with Under Armour.
“Everybody is on high alert,” said Murphy. “It’s a shame everybody is overlaying this template on all of Division I men’s basketball. The overwhelming majority of us are clean.”
Rose is the vice-chair of the Division I men’s basketball oversight committee.
“It’s disheartening,” Rose said. “It makes you feel sick on your stomach. We’re all so invested in this sport. But I’ve thought for years we were going in the wrong direction. These are some signs going on in our industry that are going to hurt our sport and sports in general.”
David Scott: @davidscott14