Now I know that Wendell Carter's mom ate at Longhorn Steakhouse, Brice Johnson and his HS coach enjoyed some of that yummy pre-meal crusty Carrabba's bread and Tony Bradley and his dad got some pizza. So what?
The only suspense in the whole matter was snuffed out this afternoon, as Duke released a statement saying that they'd investigated and determined that Wendell Carter's eligibility was not in question. He'll play Saturday and the rest of the season as Duke chases an ACC and then national title.
Dennis Smith Jr.'s case is obviously entirely different given the dollar amounts involved. Upward of $75,000 is an awful lot of money and if proven, would obviously make his one season at NC State an ineligible and largely forgettable footnote.
That he got that kind of money from an agent he didn't even sign with certainly makes you wonder how much bounty he collected all told.
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None of it surprises me. I can't even dredge up any moral indignation despite my best efforts. Is it wrong to capitalize on your talents financially, even if the NCAA says you can't? More and more, I don't think so. If some slimy agent is handing out money, he deserves to have it taken.
Whether the NCAA will get involved at State is the open question. The school did what it could, formally disassociating itself from the agent at the center of the probe, Andy Miller, back in 2012.
Mark Gottfried and his assistants would have the answers about the integrity of the recruiting process. Given the info we have right now, it wasn't State's fault in my mind that DSJ was getting paid while in high school.
I don't imagine Dennis will care to talk about things with any NCAA investigators now that he's in the NBA, and why would he?
None of this stuff today in fact, has any real bearing on the schools themselves. Maybe we see more coaches implicated in time. Maybe among the 4,000 phone calls the FBI recorded, there is concrete evidence of corruption at the school level. That didn't arrive today.
These are systemic issues. Big-time players get big-time benefits before college and if they're really good, afterward as well. That they're expected to remain financial Quakers while in college or leading up to college seems impractical and unenforceable.
The NCAA can either play a role in figuring out an alternative or keep figuring out how to look the other way.