The sad reality in college sports recently is that off-court and off-field scandals have dominated headlines throughout the offseason. They permeate the news cycle without games taking place and then hang over the respective program’s season like a black cloud.
Unfortunately, the 2013-14 campaign will be no different. There will be scandals that will be discussed throughout the year, even if they are only casually brought up by commentators during certain games.
Read on to see five scandals in particular that will be discussed during the regular season.
It hasn’t been a memorable offseason for the Rutgers basketball program.
First head coach Mike Rice was fired after footage aired that showed him using derogatory slurs, throwing basketballs and even shoving and grabbing players during practices. It was uncomfortable to watch, and the school had little choice but to let him go after the video became public.
Of course the fact that it took public criticism and pressure after the tape aired for the athletic program to finally relieve Rice of his duties instead of merely suspending him is disappointing and a discussion for another day.
Athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned in the wake of the fallout.
Eddie Jordan was then chosen as the replacement, but reports suggest that he did not earn the undergraduate degree at Rutgers that the school’s web site claimed he did. The school is apparently continuing on with Jordan as the head coach, but it was yet another embarrassment in a rough offseason for the Scarlet Knights.
These transgressions will undoubtedly be discussed when Rutgers takes the court.
Per reports that started breaking around the time of the NCAA tournament, Syracuse has been under NCAA investigation for quite some time. What’s more, those transgressions that were/are being investigated are reportedly wide-ranging and major.
It is important to note that the investigation is not related to allegations against former assistant coach Bernie Fine.
With Syracuse joining a new conference and facing off against blue-blood foes such as Duke and North Carolina, it can ill afford many off-court distractions. The Orange did an impressive job of fending off disruption during the NCAA tournament and reached the Final Four, and they will likely have to do the same during the upcoming season.
Anytime a premier program such as Syracuse is under investigation for anything it will be discussed at length regardless of whether the current players are involved or not.
If nothing else, Jim Boeheim can complain about the timing of the next round of allegations come March.
The Pac-12 and its officiating came into the spotlight during the conference tournament when former officiating chief Ed Rush reportedly offered $5,000 or a trip to Cancun if they gave Arizona head coach Sean Miller a technical or ejected him from a game.
Miller was issued a technical during the Pac-12 semifinal game against UCLA.
Rush has since resigned from his position, but his comments and the controversy that ensued will undoubtedly be brought up when questionable officiating or technical fouls occur during Pac-12 play.
The conference conducted an initial review of the incident and concluded the comments were in jest but the league reopened another investigation shortly after.
The second investigation reviewed the tournament and the officiating program as a whole.
Fans love to bring up conspiracy theories when it comes to officiating, and this will only add fuel to the fire in those discussions.
The Miami scandal that has rocked the NCAA and somehow turned one of the dirtiest programs in NCAA history into a sympathetic figure against the inept Mark Emmert and company has been covered primarily as a football scandal for most of the last two years.
However, its tentacles reach to the hardwood and coaches that aren’t even wearing Hurricane green and orange anymore.
Former Miami coach and current Missouri head man Frank Haith had his name involved in the scandal, and it could ultimately end up circling his way again when it is finally sorted out.
His name recently resurfaced in the past few days when a federal judge denied his petition to subpoena Bank of America employees to determine if his financial records were illegally accessed during the NCAA’s Miami investigation.
Just another day in the Miami versus NCAA case.
This case will be discussed during the 2013-14 season when it comes to Miami and Missouri, especially if it is ever settled.
There is not a specific scandal that has taken place under John Calipari’s watch at Kentucky, but that doesn’t mean the previous ones he played a role in will not be discussed during the 2013-14 season.
Keep in mind this is not meant to be accusatory in any fashion.
It’s just a reality of the situation when the lightning rod Calipari lands a top-notch class and wins with it that fans will accuse him of cheating thanks to his history.
While his level of involvement is up for debate, the fact is that banners at Memphis and UMass have both been taken down as a result of actions that occurred during Calipari’s tenure. At a premier program like Kentucky that has such rabid fans and such rabid “haters” this is going to be a topic discussed, even if it is primarily on message boards.
This year the Wildcats bring in one of the best classes of all time, so it will be talked about to a certain extent.
That doesn’t necessarily make it fair, but life rarely is.
On the plus side, if you are a Bulls fan maybe Calipari can ask the same person that took Derrick Rose’s SAT if he can play against the Miami Heat.