While you were getting ready for Kentucky-Ole Miss on Tuesday, the three men caught up in the college basketball corruption trial were given their sentences. Jim Gatto, Merl Code and Christian Dawkins were handed light sentences for their roles in defrauding universities by paying college basketball recruits — Gatto got nine months, Dawkins and Code each got six. There will be an appeals process before they serve their time, if they serve any at all. Good luck to them.
But we’re not here to discuss the crimes of Gatto, Code and Dawkins right now. We have more important things to share from the trial, like Dawkins’ attorney calling Louisville, “one of the most non-compliant and dirtiest basketball programs in the history of the NCAA.”
It’s right here in Yahoo’s story from the trial:
“I’ll never forget that,” Kaplan said. “They knew it was wrong and they were covering their tracks. And they were making sure they were covering Rick Pitino’s tracks. Why were they covering Rick Pitino’s tracks? Because they knew he was out if he did know.”
Pitino was fired anyway when the federal charges were first announced. He is the only head coach to lose his job thus far.
Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina State all offered victim-impact statements prior to sentencing. Louisville even claimed the case had demoralized alumni and defeated the fanbase. But as Moore noted, two of Louisville’s own assistant coaches were involved in possible NCAA violations, “yet they have not yet been prosecuted.” And if the school wasn’t willing to fire Pitino after prostitutes entertained players and recruits at parties in the dorm, then how demoralizing could this have been?
“I think the way Louisville handled ‘StripperGate’ was telling,” Moore said after the sentencing.
Haney was even more direct, mocking the entire concept that the Cardinals could be an aggrieved party, labeling it, “one of the most non-compliant and dirtiest basketball programs in the history of the NCAA.” [Yahoo.com]
That’s music to my ears.
But back to the college basketball mess in its entirety, there is a new trial coming this spring and it’s going to bring even more crimes from the sport to light. LSU’s Will Wade and Arizona’s Sean Miller have already been subpoenaed, and you can expect more illegal activity to appear from the shadows as the defense tries to prove its the culture of college basketball, not just a couple of criminals.