Mike Bianchi: NCAA football is pillar of integrity compared to NCAA basketball

Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

How do we do it during March Madness?

How do we manage to bury our heads in the sand while simultaneously painting our faces in school colors?

We are either magicians or contortionists.

How else do you explain our ability to raucously stand up and clap our hands while we’re holding our noses at the same time to avoid the stench emanating from the cesspool otherwise known as college basketball?

I hate to be the party pooper and bracket buster and ruin everybody’s fun here, but let’s not forget that arguably the best team in college basketball ― the Alabama Crimson Tide ― is knee deep in the middle of a murder investigation.

But I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. This is, after all, college basketball ― a sport where Ole Miss just hired new head coach Chris Beard, who was fired earlier this season by Texas after his fiance called 9-1-1 and police charged him with felony domestic assault by strangulation/suffocation. The charges against Beard were dropped when his fiance recanted her story.


College basketball ― a sport where coach Kelvin Sampson’s Houston team was the betting favorite coming into the NCAA Tournament. Sampson was fired from his previous college job at Indiana for a laundry list of NCAA violations.

College basketball ― a sport, where defending national champion Kansas is on NCAA probation based upon serious player-buying transgressions that surfaced during the FBI’s years-long investigation into widespread corruption in the sport. Not surprisingly, Kansas’s ultra-successful coach Bill Self not only survived the investigation, the Jayhawks gave him a lifetime contract.

College basketball ― a sport where two other head coaches who were fired amid the FBI investigation ― Arizona’s Sean Miller and LSU’s Will Wade – have resurfaced at other programs. Miller’s new team, Xavier, is in the Sweet 16 and Wade was just hired by McNeese State.

College basketball ― a sport where Rick Pitino is another head coach who was fired (at Louisville) amid the FBI investigation, but he, too, is still working in college basketball. Pitino jumped earlier this week from Iona to St. John’s, which fired its previous coach Mike Anderson “for cause” and refused to pay him the $11 million he has remaining on the contract.


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