LeBron James Says 'The NCAA Is Corrupt, We Know That'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2018

Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, looks on during the trophy ceremony following an NBA All-Star basketball game against Team Stephen, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won 148-145. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has joined the chorus speaking out against the NCAA. 

Addressing the recent FBI investigation into corruption throughout college basketball, James said the NCAA is a "corrupt" organization. 

"The NCAA is corrupt, we know that," he told reporters. "Sorry, it's going to make headlines, but it's corrupt."

James also discussed the argument that student-athletes get a free education for playing sports:

"I don't know all the rules and regulations about it. But I do know what 5-star athletes bring to a campus, both in basketball and football. I know how much these college coaches get paid. I know how much these colleges are gaining off these kids. ... I've always heard the narrative they get a free education. But you guys aren't bringing me on campus to get an education. You guys are bringing me on it to help you get to a Final Four or to a national championship."

Pat Forde and Pete Thamel of Yahoo obtained documents and bank records showing ASM Sports, former NBA agent Andy Miller and his associate Christian Dawkins making financial payments, entertainment and travel expenses to high school and college basketball players and their families.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported Friday that FBI wiretaps intercepted a conversation featuring Arizona head coach Sean Miller and Dawkins discussing a $100,000 payment "to ensure" Deandre Ayton played basketball for the Wildcats.

Schlabach noted the phone calls involving Miller were "among 3,000 hours of conversations intercepted from Dawkins' phone by the FBI."

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Forde and Thamel's report noted there could be NCAA rules violations involving at least 20 Division I basketball programs and more than 25 players as a result of the three criminal cases being investigated by the FBI.

James bypassed playing college basketball to become the No. 1 overall pick by the Cavaliers in 2003 at the age of 18. The NBA changed its draft policy in 2006 stating that players must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft.

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