Posted By: Robert Freeman
College athletics is a very profitable business for universities. Winning championships can earn a lot of money for the school and increase the amount of applicants wanting to attend that university. How do schools win championships? Investing time and money into recruiting is a very large portion of that answer. Having any advantage for the top recruits can be the difference between a championship season and an average season. But when does that advantage go too far? In regards to the recent allegations of the Louisville basketball program, that is too far. If you are not familiar with the story, a former University of Louisville basketball graduate assistant coach allegedly hired escorts to sleep with their top recruits on their visits. One of the escorts broke the story a few months back. It is unknown whether Rick Pitino, the head coach, knew about such occurrences. Either way, paying escorts to sleep with the top recruits in the country is irresponsible and lacks integrity of college athletics. In no way should this have been an answer for commitments from the best high school players in the country. Louisville basketball did win a National Championship since this started but right now, was that recruiting tactic worth it? Many people could and probably will lose their jobs, respect, and integrity.
Following the reveal of the scandal, former NBA and University of Michigan player, Jalen Rose said recruiting visits were like bachelor parties. He also said “If I was’t getting laid, I’m not coming.” Showing a recruit a great time on campus is something that all universities try to do, but there is a right way and a wrong way. Louisville did it the wrong way. Paying money for escorts and strippers so recruits would commit is outrageous. Later in the interview he acknowledged that no escorts were apart of any of his visits, but girls were definitely present at the parties he did attend.
As for the future of college athletics, I think something will be done to the University of Louisville basketball program and to recruiting high school athletes all together. I am not sure what potentiallly could be done to restrict recruiting rules because there are a lot of rules already but things could change in regards to supervisions of the recruits during the evening and the time spent on campus. The biggest change I would love to see is for college athletics to get back to doing things the right way. Winning championships is a priority but focusing on academics and not the business side of college sports could help change the culture of college athletics. Focusing on graduation and not the amount of money a team could create is beneficial.
Schrader, S. (2015, October 20). Jalen Rose: Recruiting visits like bachelor parties. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved from http://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/wolverines/2015/10/21/jalen-rose-louisville-basketball/74335648/
Louisville escort describes parties [ESPN]. (2015, October 20). In Outside the Lines. Bristol, CN. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=13933268