College basketball was in the news way too much last week. For all the wrong reasons. It can never be a good thing when the FBI gets involved in NCAA business.
It’s a mess. And it’s not isolated. A federal bribery investigation of assistant coaches at four top-tier basketball schools — Auburn, Southern California, Arizona and Oklahoma State — was announced last week. Louisville also put coach Rick Pitino on unpaid leave in response to a related scheme alleging agents promised the family of a Louisville prospect it would get $100,000 from Adidas if he signed with the
Like a lot of coaches, Villanova’s Jay Wright watched from afar and wondered about what might be coming next.
For the most part, Villanova appears to do it the right way. That didn’t stop some people from asking whether the program will ever become part of the conversation.
“I heard that too,” Wright said Friday afternoon at the Davis Center, right after his team’s first practice. “Thank God no one has contacted us. It’s just a shocking time for our sport right now, for everybody.
“Obviously, seeing all of it, when anything like that happens you always check your own house, you know. You want to make sure. As far as we know here, everything is in order. It’s sad for our game. It’s sad for the guys [involved]. But you have to stay focued on yourself because you can’t control any of that.”
The Wildcats recently lost out on big-time prospect Jahvon Quinnerly, who went to Arizona instead. But top assistant Emmanuel Richardson has now been indicted on federal charges of appearing to accept bribe money and diverting it to Quinnerly’s mother. Yet there’s nothing Villanova can do about that except to try and be true to itself.
“The first thing you do is talk to your guys,” Wright said. “Is everything all right here? Do you see what’s going on? Is there anything we should know about? I don’t profess to know anything about anyone else’s program. We always try to keep an eye on everything we’re doing. And when something like this happens you go even deeper.
“It’s seems like we’re good right now.”