But let's not ignore the connection between the scandal and another collegiate sport polluting the stench.
By selling huge stadiums, selling clothes, corporate sponsorship and media rights contracts, among other sources of revenue, big football and basketball teams are earning millions for their money. schools. These revenues are often used to finance all the sports activities of a school. Despite this shortage of money, the NCAA rules prohibit these football and basketball players from getting compensation above the value of a scholarship and tuition allowance. . At the same time, according to NCAA data, 55% of male basketball players attending the "Power 5" high schools (Big 10, Big 12, ACC, SEC and Pac-12) are black. Power 5 football players are black. The performances of these unpaid players, many of whom come from low-income families, often subsidize sports like tennis, where 48% of male players at power conferences are white and 12% are black. more exclusively whites, like men's water polo (82%) and women's rowing (75%). Only 2% of male water polo players and female rowers of the major conference schools are black.
The dynamics of unpaid and often low-income black athletes in high-income sports generating income that funds opportunities for, in general, white athletes with richer backgrounds in low-income sports such as water polo , is quite disturbing. Add to that the scandal, in which wealthy and often white families allegedly cheat sports opportunities that may not exist without the work of unpaid black athletes, and the case for rethinking the system becomes even stronger.
"This scandal is an example of corrupt, wealthy, mostly white parents, benefiting, in many cases, poor, unpaid black football and basketball players whose athletic talents have actually qualified them for admission," he said. Shaun R. Harper, Professor of Management. and executive director of the Race and Equity Center of the University of Southern California. "This is an example of systemic racism."
At the Harper's School, for example, Donna Heinel, Deputy Director of Athletics at the USC, has received more than $ 1.3 million in bribes to falsify the sporting history. more than two dozen students who wanted to be admitted to the school, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Boston and unsealed. 12th of March. Many students do not even practice the sport for which they were "recruited". According to the lawsuit, Heinel reportedly introduced the daughter of a parent – Napa Valley winemaker, Agustin Huneeus, also charged – a competitive water polo player; his sports profile contained a picture of someone else practicing the sport. USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic reportedly received $ 250,000 in payments for his team to nominate two students as recruits. USC dismissed Heinel and Vavic. According to the indictment, Ali Khosroahin, former coach of USC women's football, and Laura Janke, assistant coach of women's football, received about 350,000 US dollars for their football club Private refers to the children of four Singer clients as USC recruits, even though none of them has played football.
The controversy goes beyond any school.
At the University of Texas, men's football and basketball accounted for 90% of UT's sporting revenue attributable to a team in 2017-18, according to federal data. Football alone generated $ 143,064,180, or 79% of the turnover of $ 180,259,057 generated by the UT teams, making a profit of $ 101.8 million. UT's non-lucrative sports – all other than football and basketball, and many teams made up of a disproportionate number of white athletes – generated $ 15,928,952 in revenues and total $ 33,411,294. It is a shortfall of $ 17.5 million.
According to the complaint, in June 2015, the Center met with William "Rick" Singer, an admissions counselor at the universities of Southern California, who pleaded guilty to organizing a large-scale scandal that resulted in criminal prosecution at the University of California. 39 against 50 people, including wealthy parents who have paid for having cheated on him. tests or poses their children as university athletes and university track and field coaches who have made payments to facilitate the admission of these students to their schools. In essence, the authorities claim that parents will pay their payments directly to Singer through its fictional charity, and that Singer would accept a cut to bribe dishonest coaches. Students designated as sports recruits often benefit one length ahead of the others in the college admissions process, even if their academic qualifications are lower than those of other applicants. No students have been charged.
According to the document, Singer reportedly gave the Center $ 60,000 in cash in the parking lot of an Austin hotel. The alleged tennis player was awarded a UT scholarship to pay for his books. Once on campus, he dropped the tennis team and gave up his scholarship. But he still had his place at UT. The university set fire to his center on Wednesday; he is expected in a Boston court on March 25.
Authorities intercepted Singer describing the fake recruiting scam of high school students as a "side door" in the universities, legitimately admitted as the "gateway" and the "back door" consisting of eight-figure donations plus funds to finance buildings on campus. and things like that.
"There is no side door, give me a break," says Harry Edwards, a renowned sociologist and sports activist who helped organize the salute to the dark forces at the 1968 Olympics. # 39; sewer to the basement staircase. You find yourself in a situation where these coaches, on the account of unpaid black workers, bring wealthy white kids who have less legitimacy on campus than black kids who are often complained about because they are not interested in academics. It's a masquerade. "
Fortunately, the sewer can be repaired. Administrators can begin by ensuring that the athletes who are recruited actually practice the sport in which they claim to excel. "There is no way that any sporting staff member responsible for sports compliance has missed all of this," says Donald Jackson, an assistant professor at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, who represented the athletes. in NCAA eligibility cases.
The next step: invest sports funds responsibly. "It's an opportunity for colleges and universities to look at each other in the mirror," says Angela Reddock-Wright, a lawyer specializing in labor law in Southern California, who represents clients in the classroom. superior. "Make sure athletes who are making a lot of money for schools are supported" – rather than paying for water polo can. The money that could be paid to unpaid black players seems to have funded corruption opportunities for wealthy and white families. So now, more than ever, is not it time to pay the players?