Are agents intractable from college hoops?


College hoops isn’t clean. Ask Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

Nati Harnik/AP
Jim Delany

In a USA Today story earlier this week, he was frank about what he termed a “corruption issue,” or what the rest of us call paying for players. From the article:

“There is a loss of confidence among many coaches that the rules are being complied with. The best way I can describe it is a sense of cynicism,” he told the paper.

“I’m talking about the corruption of the youth basketball program, the money that’s used to influence recruiting. And ultimately the buying of players, either through third parties or through coaches or coaches and third parties — agents. I can’t tell you if it’s three institutions or whether it’s 15. But make no mistake about it; it’s happening.. .. It’s a corruption issue.”

Is every school doing it? No. But every time a school gets caught (like USC) or has a rumor tossed out there (like Kentucky dealt with last week), it’ll get more and more attention.

Problem is, it’ll never get solved because someone will always figure out a way to circumvent the rules. Gary Parrish explains how it’s done:

… would have an agent taking care of a family and seizing control of the recruitment, then cutting a deal with a school’s staff to send the player to the school in exchange for help when it comes time for any other future pros on that school’s roster to formally select representation.
Think of it as a big circle.

The agent takes control of the high school prospect, then sends the prospect to a college coach who repays the agent, not with cash, but by helping him sign players who will later exit the program, at which point the agent sends another prospect to the college coach, and on and on it goes. It’s a never-ending game of “I’ll send you one if you send me one,” the perfect exercise for the coach with a conscience in that it allows him to convince himself that he “didn’t pay anybody” all while directly benefitting from an improper relationship between a prospect and agent.

Parrish says that college football doesn’t need this sort of arrangement because agents generally only deal with players once they get into college. College hoops has a bigger issue because everyone knows who’s headed to the NBA from an early age.

And if everyone wants to play in the NBA, good luck getting rid of the agents who supposedly facilitate the process.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.

According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.

The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.

Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.

The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?