Wait just a minute. What did I just hear? A major scandal involving college basketball? Money being funneled through coaches, agents, shoe companies, money managers to recruits?
Who would have ever expected something like this?
Well, only those with even a passive interest in college sports. Folks, college basketball has been dirty for decades and I think by now just about everybody is aware of that. But with the news of this scandal today I think we're going to hear more about it that ever before. This time it's not some soft NCAA investigation into a rogue program, it's an FBI probe three years old covering the gamut -- from shoe companies to the players. People are going to go to prison before this is finished.
It's about time somebody looked into this mess.
I have been in the business of following sports and writing about them for a long time and I have to go back at least 30 years to remember the first time I heard a story about illegal inducements being paid for a university to obtain a high school basketball player. Since then, there has been story on top of story. Former college coaches laugh about them over dinner and drinks. Why didn't I write about them? There was never proof. I didn't want to get sued -- and these guys have learned to cover their tracks pretty well. The NCAA has never seemed serious about putting a stop to it.
The first story I heard was about a well-known player who was recruited by a college entirely without contact with that player's high school coach. Which seemed crazy. But what happened was the player's AAU coach and personal workout coach was the one in contact with the colleges. He brokered the deal. That coach eventually hand delivered the player to a college and guess what?
That AAU coach soon showed up as a paid counselor/coach at the college's summer camp for kids -- at a rumored salary of $10,000 a week, which was way above the going rate for such things.
I've heard stories of players getting cars, money being passed through the hands of girlfriends or relatives and even brown paper bags full of cash being left for players at a secret location.
It's a nasty business that turned me off to college basketball -- even college sports in general -- years ago. And now, perhaps, there might be a chance to dive into the cess pool and see what can be done about the problems.
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#DoSomething, #DidNothing, and now #FireTaggart.
The former Oregon Ducks football head coach and now Florida State Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart is off to a rough start at his "dream job" falling to a 1-2 record so far this season. Who knows what the reason is: if departed FSU coach Jimbo Fisher left Taggart in a hole or if Taggart's coaching methods are questionable, but the fans are taking the #FireTaggart campaign to Twitter and now GoFundMe.
The reason for this GoFundMe account: "To buy Willie Taggert out of his contract so that FSU doesn't go bankrupt trying to hire a real D1 Coach." The author even spelled Taggart's name wrong.
After being dismantled by Virginia Tech in week one 24-3, a win in questionable 36-26 win week two over Samford, and a 30-7 whooping in week three at Syracuse, Taggart is on the hot seat just three games into his first season as head coach.
As of September 17th, 2018 at 11:25 AM, the account has raised $61 by eight people. The goal is to raise $21.2 million dollars.
Willie Taggart left Oregon for Florida State after just one year in Eugene, and fans of Oregon weren't very happy about it. But the sour taste he left in the mouths of fans is a little sweeter after the blowout loss his Seminoles suffered at the hands of Virginia Tech last weekend. FSU is not off to the start it had hoped, Taggart is not off to the start he had hoped, but for Duck fans, they are both off to the best start imaginable. During and after the game, Twitter was on fire. The trolls came out in force and it was hilarious. Just take a look. #DoSomething, amirite?!
Has there ever been a better defensive lineman in the history of the Pac-12? The answer is no. Steve Emtman was the best player on a hard-nosed, national title-winning defense at Washington and is the only player in school history to be selected No.1 overall in the NFL draft.
Emtman was a two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, won both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1991, and was a Consensus All-American in 1991 as well.
This was a guy that would laugh at a triple-team as the plowed through the offensive line, forced a fumble, and recovered the ball all without breaking a sweat.
Emtman is No.2 our list, but No.1 in the hearts of Husky fans.
Lincoln Kennedy anchored the offensive line for one of the most successful runs in University of Washington history. Kennedy played for the Huskies from 1989 to 1992, leading them to four-straight bowl games including three-straight Rose Bowl appearances. In 1991 the Huskies went an impressive 12-0 and were co-national champions.
Kennedy was a two-time winner of the Morris Trophy, given annually to the best offensive and defensive lineman in the Pac-12. In 1992 he was named winner of the Jim Parker Trophy as the best lineman in the nation and was a Consensus First-Team All-American.
Kennedy would go on to play 11 seasons in the NFL, splitting time between the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro.
In 2004 he was enshrined in the University of Washington Husky Hall of Fame, and in 2015 joined the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Chip Kelly era at UCLA will be without some key pieces of the roster when the Bruins take on Cincinnati this weekend after Kelly suspended six players for the season opener, the school announced Monday.
Offensive lineman Boss Tagaloa, tight end Devin Asiasi, running back Soso Jamabo, defensive linemen Osa Odighizuwa and Moses Robinson-Carr, and defensive back Mo Osling all face suspension due to violations of athletic department policies. The violations have not been specified.
During media availability on Monday, Kelly stated that Tagoloa, Asiasi, and Jamabo will be suspended for multiple games, but did not specify the length of each suspension. According to the Associated Press, Tagoloa and Asiasi are facing three-game suspensions, while Jamabo is facing a two-game suspension
One name on that list that should be a familiar to football fans here in Portland is Osa Odighizuwa. Odighizuwa was a star at David Douglas High School and was the No.3 prospect in the state prior to committing to UCLA. His brother, Owa Odighizuwa, was also a David Douglas product before he landed at UCLA in 2010 and is currently a free agent in the NFL.
In 1977 Warren Moon forever cemented himself as a legend of Washington football. Moon had the best year of his college career, passing for 1,584 yards and 11 touchdowns, and was named Pac-8 Player of the Year. But even better than his personal accolades was what he did for the UW football program. That season the Huskies went 10-2 and Moon helped lead them to an upset victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. It was the first Rose Bowl victory for Washington in nearly two decades.
For as good as he was in college, Moon was even better in the pros. He spent the first six seasons of the pro career in the Canadian Football League, leading the Edmonton Eskimos to a record five consecutive Grey Cup victories. The NFL took notice, and Moon made his NFL debut in 1984 with the Houston Oilers.
Moon would spend the next 17 years in the NFL where he would pass for 49,325 yards, 291 touchdowns, and was named a nine-time Pro Bowler.
In 2006 he was immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Mel Hein is without a doubt the greatest lineman in Washington State history, if not football history. He helped lead the Cougars just their second Rose Bowl in program history and did so playing both sides of the ball. In a game against Idaho, he once intercepted the ball eight times. He was an All-American in 1930 and dominated anyone he challenged him, no matter what side of the ball he was on.
Hein left Pullman and found great success in the NFL. He was a two-time NFL champion with the New York Giants, was an eight-time All-Pro, and was named league MVP in 1938.
Hein is enshrined in the Pro Football, College Football, and Washington State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Drew Bledsoe. What can’t this man do? Bledsoe burst on the scene as WSU in 1990 and quickly became of the face of Cougars football. Bledsoe passed for 7,367 yards and 46 touchdowns over his career, and led WSU to a 9-3 record and a victory over Utah in the Copper Bowl his senior season. That final year on campus he was also voted Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.
His success at WSU earned him the distinction of being the No.1 overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Bledsoe played 14 seasons in the NFL, passing for 44,611 yards, 251 touchdowns, was a four-time Pro Bowler, and won one Super Bowl.