A Flagrant Foul: The Saga Continues for the NCAA’s Recruiting Scandals

A third NCAA basketball coach, Lamont Evans, has pleaded guilty in the high profile, federal recruiting scandal cases that have occurred across the association. Coaches have been accepting bribes from agents to enable their athletes to play for desired programs at various colleges and universities across the NCAA. Furthermore, coaches were also caught accepting bribes for directing players, turning pro, to certain agents and financial advisors.

The coaches are not the only ones engaging in this activity; the athletic departments behind them may also be involved. This form of deviance can be described as organizational deviance, where an organization, such as a basketball program, breaks rules intentionally to attain high staked goals and to advance their programming. Unfortunately, the big name schools often are not even investigated due to their high status in athletics and education. While the efforts of the NCAA to reduce deviant acts are present, they are rarely successful. Moreover, there are seldom any whistle-blowers because most organizations involved see this type of recruiting as simply a strategy rather than illegal. In a sociological context, basketball provides opportunity to those of lower socioeconomic status. These athletes unfortunately get caught in the middle because they are drawn to the money, and when the organization is engaging in this, it shows the athletes that this behaviour must be acceptable. Though the athletes may not be at fault here due to the organizational deviance occurring, it still raises questions regarding the intentions of the athletes at this level. What reasons are they still involved in their sport for? Is it for the love of the game, or the financial gain, which of course only increases as they move up from the NCAA level.

There are multiple cases displaying organizational deviance surrounding the recruiting scandals. With more sentences expected, we may wonder how many more cases there are that have not been brought to light.


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