Scandals Abound in Big 12 Hoops

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Scandals Abound in Big 12 Hoops
A couple of potential scandals are brewing in Big 12 country as both Kansas and Oklahoma are implicated in some shady dealings.

Yahoo! Sports broke an incredible story this morning involving ticket scalping by individuals tied to Kansas.  Substantial evidence, via testimony of one of the key actors (David Freeman) and an investigation by the FBI and IRS, implicate representatives of the Kansas athletics department and ticket office in not only ticket scalping, but "theft, tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes."  The article was written by Jason King, Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel.

There is no way out of this for Kansas in that there is virtually no possible scenario whereby the Jayhawks athletics department avoids major penalties.  In particular, the KU basketball program could be slapped with sanctions.

According to the article, the scalping is not limited to Kansas:
"Freeman said [David and Dana Pump]– who advise schools on coaching hires and run traveling summer teams across the country – were conducting similar operations with colleges around the nation and often scalped tickets they received from college head coaches."
A very disturbing aspect of this story is that it ties into recruiting and the AAU circuit.  Based on the actions of the Pumps and the traceable connection to Jayhawk recruiting, it should be clear even to the casual observer that Kansas could face some recruiting violations to go along with the scalping issues:
"...summer traveling teams financed by the Pump brothers have featured at least nine players who went on to play for the Jayhawks. Among them were nationally recruited players Mario Chalmers, David Padgett, Omar Wilkes, Tyrel Reed, Elijah Johnson, Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Brady Morningstar."
The Associated Press is reporting that Oklahoma is conducting an internal investigation of the Sooners' basketball program.  Only four years after Kelvin Sampson's program was busted for recruiting violations, OU, now coached by former Duke guard Jeff Capel, is again facing big trouble:   
"Oklahoma's athletic department has opened an investigation following reports that basketball player Tiny Gallon received money from a Florida financial adviser.
Spokesman Kenny Mossman confirmed in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Wednesday night that Oklahoma is 'investigating matters that the public may be aware of through recent reports in the media.' He did not provide specific information about the investigation.

TMZ.com reported earlier this month that Gallon received a $3,000 bank transfer from financial adviser Jeffrey Hausinger."
There is nothing to indicate that Jeff Capel had knowledge of the payment, but in the event the allegations turn out to be true, Capel, as the leader of the program, will be held responsible and will the suffer the consequences.  To make things worse, the alleged payment took place while Oklahoma was already on probation for Sampson's wrongdoings.  If a booster was involved, or if anyone on the Oklahoma staff was in any way involved, or knew about it and took no act to discourage it, then Oklahoma can expect to suffer major penalties.

Despite the fact that Kansas and Oklahoma have most likely committed some egregious violations, it remains to be seen how the NCAA will handle these situations.  As shown by the Reggie Bush scandal at USC the NCAA doesn't always hammer big-time programs for their indiscretions.  In light of these situations and some of the revelations that have come out regarding William "Worldwide" Wesley's impact on recruiting, the NCAA would do itself a favor by getting serious about working to protect the integrity of college basketball.

*For more insight on Worldwide Wes, check out StateFans Nation
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