The University of Missouri men’s basketball program is the latest sacrifice to be offered at the NCAA’s altar. An internal investigation has revealed that the university violated multiple NCAA bylaws, and the men’s basketball team will have to forfeit an entire season’s worth of wins as a result.
So what sins did Mizzou commit? The same ones that we all know are committed by major athletic programs every single day. One donor hooked some athletes up with some cash and swag:
A donor (Representative #1) to MU Athletics provided impermissible benefits to three men’s basketball student-athletes and one prospective men’s basketball student-athlete from 2013-2014. The impermissible benefits included compensating student-athletes for work-not-performed at a business through a summer internship program. Through the internship program, the donor also provided other impermissible inducements and extra benefits including housing, cash in the amount of $520, local transportation, iPads, meals and arranged for the use of a local gym for the student-athletes, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Another gave some athletes a good deal at a hotel and a boat ride:
A second donor (Representative #2) was discovered to have provided impermissible benefits to 11 student-athletes and three members of one student-athlete’s family from 2011-2014. The benefits included providing student-athletes with a “friends & family” reduced rate at a hotel as well as meals and a ride on a recreational boat. A Missouri men’s basketball student-manager also provided transportation for multiple student-athletes to the hotel from the Missouri campus, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
One assistant coach even had the audacity to help a player find some rental housing:
A former associate head men’s basketball coach assisted in the relocation of a prospective student-athlete by providing the phone number of the prospect’s mother to a donor (Representative #2) to arrange for rental housing. The family paid a market rate for the rental. However, the actions of the former associate head coach are in violation of NCAA bylaws.
How will we, as a nation, ever forgive the University of Missouri for this?