Posted by Hailey Arteaga.
One of the biggest businesses in America is college sports. Men’s Basketball is the second highest grossing sport of colleges across the nation. According to Business Insider, a Division 1 Men’s Basketball teams alone drive-in an average yearly revenue of $7,880,290 (Gaines). With this much money being streamed to a school each year for a single sport, some critics of the NCAA believe that Division 1 players should receive a salary. However, some schools took this idea to the next level. In a recent scandal, the FBI uncovered around 25 D1 colleges committing acts of bribery and corruption in the sport of basketball in an article written by the New York Post (Masisak). One college under fire for violating the NCAA rule is Seton Hall University. Recently though, the University has argued that they “have nothing to hide” (Braziller). So, who is in the wrong? This post serves as an analyzation of Seton Hall’s past and the basketball allegations that might hurt the business of the athletics department.
The NCAA defines an “eligible” athlete as one that does not accept outside payments because of their athletic status. This extends to a professional agent bribing players with food, rent, cash, etc. (Athnet). Seton Hall was named as one of the schools by the FBI. They reported that the university was paying now New York Nets player, Isaiah Whitehead, extra money to play for the Pirates. Agents discovered a spreadsheet with players past and present from multiple universities indicating the amounts of money they were being paid to attend and play basketball at their schools. The spreadsheet revealed that Whitehead in particular received $26,136 his freshman year and was “setting up a payment plan” (Braziller). This would go against the NCAA rules of amateurism as stated previously. In more recent news however, The Hall came out and stated that they will be bringing in New York City law firm, Jackson Lewis P.C. to disprove the corruption scandal (Braziller). Kevin Willard noted regarding the development that “I have a lot of confidence in my staff and ourselves in what we’ve done in the past. I’m glad the school moved quickly on this so we can move on from it.” With such a strong assurance of the team’s actions, Willard and the university should be expected to move on from the situation unscathed.
If Seton Hall were to be found guilty of the corruption, it would greatly affect the basketball team and success of the athletic department. It could potentially risk the Hall’s ability to compete in the NCAA tournament. The payout for the 2017 NCAA tournament that Seton Hall earned for the Big East Conference last year was $1,711,784 (Kesselring). This means that not only would an inability to compete in the tournament affect the university itself, but also it would affect the entire Big East Conference. Some even argue that Seton Hall could risk their 2016 Tournament Champion Title or even Kevin Willard’s position as head coach. In the end, Seton Hall is risking a lot putting their name in the forefront of one of the biggest, recent scandals to rock college basketball. If found that they have been giving players money under the table, the university will immediately face heavy financial cuts due to their disobedience of NCAA rules, hurting other sports, other schools, and the entire conference.
Hailey is a student at the Stillman School of Business, Class of 2020.