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On one phone call secretly recorded by the F. Obviously … that helps our potential business. Another defendant, Christian Dawkins, 25, is a Saginaw native whose father was a college star at Tulsa and later the high-school coach of Draymond Green.
Dawkins was not much of a player himself, but after high school he quickly became an energetic hoops impresario. He dressed in bespoke suits, carried three cellphones and held court at N. He worked first for a money manager who tended the finances of pro-basketball players and then for a top N.
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His role for each of them was to recruit players, according to prosecutors, including high-school kids with pro potential. His words, captured on the F. Some payments to high-school players or their families were concealed by routing them through the bank accounts of the nonprofit teams they played for. All have pleaded not guilty.
On June 3, he finally announced his decision on Twitter. His father followed up with a tweet of his own. Pitino said he was shocked. Bowen had visited Louisville and met with coaches for the first time just the week before he committed himself to the school.
LIFE Shoots Old-School College Hoops
When Bowen and his parents visited Louisville, they were accompanied by Dawkins, who sat in on their meeting with Pitino. In other conversations secretly recorded by the F. Identifying Bowen Sr. Pitino, who had been in college coaching for 40 years, told me that he thought Dawkins was just a family friend of the Bowens when he came to campus and that he did not know what business he was in.
He vehemently denies being involved in any arrangements to pay Bowen or any other player to get him to enroll at Louisville. Whatever Dawkins and others said about their influence with him was just boasting, he said; they were hustlers trading on his name.
Hoop Crazy by Clair Bee
When Pitino was fired by Louisville last fall, the university cited the F. Pitino said these parties, which took place in the basketball dorm over the course of four years, occurred without his knowledge — like the recruiting violations. Pitino was subdued when I talked to him in January. Pitino has filed a lawsuit that is still pending against the University of Louisville Athletic Association, a school-related entity that was technically his employer; he claims he was wrongfully terminated.
T he Justice Department announced the arrests and unveiled details of its investigation of college basketball recruiting on Sept. Bowen was immediately told by Louisville officials that he could not compete or practice with the team. He had been participating in workouts and playing in pickup games with his future teammates in advance of the start of full-squad practices, which were less than a week away.
About two weeks later, he was summoned to New York to be interviewed by federal law-enforcement agents. His family found him a lawyer, Jason Setchen, who often represents athletes in disputes with the N. This, however, was more serious. They walked all over the city. They went to sneaker stores. To Chinatown. To ground zero and the Sept. The next day, Bowen was sitting in a conference room full of F.
What did he know? Did he personally take any money? Why had he delayed his choice of school for so long? What did he know about conversations between his father and Pitino? Between his dad and other Louisville coaches? How about other kids in his recruiting class? Did he have information on how they made their choices and why? It was all unfamiliar, disorienting, terrifying.
Bowen told the federal agents that he had not received any money. Ben Cosgrove. Mar 07, All rights reserved. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Sign In. TIME Health.
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TIME Labs. The Goods. TIME Shop. Press Room. The Most Influential People. These and other accounts chronicle not only the specifics of the scandal but also the human costs for the players and coaches involved. Two players embroiled in the scheme, Sherman White and Ed Warner, were singled out to receive jail sentences.
Both were shut out of playing in the NBA. The other players involved were expelled from school, given suspended sentences, and placed on probation. They, too, would be banned for life from the NBA. Most struggled to rebuild their lives, while maintaining that their youthful transgressions had been blown out of proportion. The coaches fared better. Like everyone else, the coaches heard rumors and accusations about fixes and payoffs but maintained that they had never believed that their own players would be involved.
An independent panel exonerated him, though, allowing him to continue his career he retired in In , City College named its gymnasium in his honor. McGuire, whom some saw as fortunate to escape the scandal, decamped the next year from St. He then lost his job in in a dispute with the chancellor over accusations of recruiting violations and rumors subsequently proved of point-shaving by his players.
Clair Bee was the only key figure to achieve redemption, and he did so through a most unlikely path. The scandals effectively ended his career as a college coach and deeply damaged his reputation. When LIU suspended its basketball program in , the school assigned him to a desk job in the financial office. At the trial of the accused players later that year, the presiding judge ripped Bee as an exploitative coach—his salary had tripled during the ten years preceding the scandal, while the athletes he recruited received little in the way of a college education.
Bee and the university. He watched his hapless team lose three-quarters of its games between the and seasons, a record so bad that it led to the dissolution of the franchise. Bee then abandoned coaching and moved upstate to Cornwall-on-Hudson, taking a position as athletic director at the New York Military Academy. And he began churning out new installments of his Chip Hilton sports novels—23 in all, between and a 24th came out posthumously in The series offered an inspiring, idealistic vision of sports, portraying athletic competition as an arena for heroism where young men formed friendships and competed in the face of obstacles that challenged their skill, honor, and courage.
Murray Sperber, in his book Onward to Victory: The Crises That Shaped College Sports , portrayed Bee as a hypocrite for criticizing in his fiction many of the practices that he was accused of during his coaching career. In a late interview, Bee declared that the Chip Hilton series was the professional accomplishment of which he was most proud. The coaches and most of the star players are gone. The old Garden was demolished in and replaced by an antiseptic modern structure at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue. The genre of character-building sports fiction went out of fashion decades ago.
A second point-shaving scandal in , involving players and students from Columbia, St. Meanwhile, the commercialization and professionalization of big-time college sports, a source of much handwringing in , has proceeded without interruption, spurred along by impressive television revenues, ticket sales, and merchandising. On the positive side, the vast financial stakes in college sports today may provide sponsors and participants with incentives to prevent the gambling scandals of and On the negative, as we have seen in the current scandal and others from the recent past, money and ambition continue to motivate other forms of cheating and corruption.
Their teams play to small crowds in campus gyms and are rarely noticed even by the local press. Most of those fans would be surprised to learn that there was once a time in New York City when the college game was king, when the Garden hosted big games throughout the season—and when the City College Beavers and LIU Blackbirds stood atop the basketball world. Simon Foundation. AP photo. Send a question or comment using the form below.
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