College Sports Losing Luster Over Allegations

Katelyn GrabarekSenior Analyst IMay 13, 2008

Only months after the Mitchell Report proved how baseball has been tainted by the use of steroids, the reputation of college athletics was tarnished again.

Former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo was allegedly charged with accepting money from an agency in return for secretly pledging his agent rights to the company.  So it was no surprise to them, when Mayo declared for June's NBA draft, who his agent was going to be.

Unless you haven't turned on the television in a while you know this is not the first allegation to come out of the NCAA, or USC for that matter.  Former running back Reggie Bush was also accused of taking money in a similar situation.

The question is not whether or not Mayo took the money, it is what can the NCAA do to stop this problem and help rebuild their reputation.

With the huge draw to go pro and make money quickly can you blame the athletes?  What would you rather have, college loans or a nice salary check coming in?

The NCAA has taken pride in the amateur status of their athletes and has said they will look into these accusations fully.  Of course Mayo is denying everything. 

In my opinion, there isn't a lot the NCAA can do under their current rules to keep players from taking money unless they really crack down on this situation.

Whether it's the kids not finishing college or taking money before even getting there, this is a major problem.  That money is going somewhere. 

In the allegations against Mayo they were so secretive that the money was never directly sent to him, but rather forwarded to a middle man.  Sure they covered it up well, but clearly not well enough.

These allegations are only harming the great opportunities the NCAA provides.  Is it the kids trusting their "agents" too much or not knowing what they are getting themselves into?

I think it's the first of the problems. I don't care who you are, but if you're going into the NCAA you know the rules and regulations before you get there, and if you don't—you've been living a sheltered life. 

The NCAA needs to find a way to fix this problem—and soon—before college athletics loses its luster even more, and we see more talented athletes leaving for the pros and taking more luxurious gifts which should never be given in the first place.