NOW THAT the NCAA has revealed that it is investigating its investigators, isn't it time to end this fraud once and for all. One of the great political mysteries is how an organization that generates ridiculous amounts of cash for the television rights to the NCAA basketball tournament and oversees a never-ending arms race among its member schools in search of endless revenue streams is able to maintain its tax-exempt status.
Seems that everybody gets paid expect the players, aka, the "student-athletes." This has been a sham for years now. The commercial world has changed and nearly everybody gets paid in that world, except the actual college performers who generate all that revenue.
The NCAA fat cats, including its imperious president Mark Emmert, still seem to be concerned about players perhaps getting "extra benefits" but not the least bit concerned about how it looks that they get benefits, extra and otherwise, that are never revealed.
With all these lawsuits coming at the NCAA from so many directions, you wonder how much longer all that they do can remain hidden from public scrutiny. And once the public understands just how diabolical it all is, you wonder how long it will take the whole thing to unravel.
I love the NCAA Tournament as much as anybody, but just the basketball. Sadly, it has become much more about commercial opportunities than actual games, the search for money instead of the search for a champion. It is a fraud built on this outdated ideal of amateurism and sold to the public as something it never really was, and certainly is not today.
When the BCS Cartel and the big conference commissioners that have hijacked football are starting to look like the good guys, something has gone very wrong. With the bozos running the NCAA now desperately trying to cling to the power they have accumulated through the decades as all those lawsuits wind through the courts, one can only hope the end is near for the frauds that purport to care about college athletics.
Annual assistant update
I count 16 former Big 5 assistants (without including Jerome Allen, Jay Wright, Phil Martelli and Fran Dunphy) who have head-coaching jobs this season. If I missed anybody, let me know. Here is my rundown, school by school.
Paul Hewitt (George Mason): He is one of my favorite people in the business to talk to about basketball issues. GMU, which hosts Drexel Thursday, is 12-8, 5-3 CAA
Joe Jones (Boston University): The Terriers are 11-10, 5-3 America East. They will head for the Patriot League next season.
Patrick Chambers (Penn State): The season tilted way off course when first team All-Big Ten point guard Tim Frazier tore his Achilles' in the season's fourth game. So Chambers is coaching a team without much talent in a league with the most talent in America, a bad combination. PSU is 8-12, 0-8 Big Ten.
Mitch Buonaguro (Siena): It has gone bad for the Saints since Fran McCaffery left for Iowa. They are 5-16, 3-7 MAAC.
Paul Cormier (Dartmouth): One of America's youngest teams had Harvard beaten in Cambridge until giving it away at the end and losing in OT. Dartmouth is 4-12, 0-2 Ivy.
Chris Walker (Texas Tech): When Billy Gillispie imploded just before the season at Texas Tech, Walker took on a very difficult task. Tech is 9-9, 2-5 Big 12.
Fran O'Hanlon (Lafayette): Nobody's offense looks smoother than Coach O's. Just went to Lehigh on Sunday, hardly missed and won easily. Leopards are 10-12, 3-2 Patriot.
Fran McCaffery (Iowa): This team would be good enough to win a lot of leagues, but the Big Ten is brutal. The Hawkeyes are 13-7, 2-5 Big Ten.
Steve Donahue (Boston College): Left with just about nothing following his first season, he is still in the middle of rebuilding in his third season. Eagles are 9-10, 1-5 ACC.
Matt Langel (Colgate): Has his team on the upswing after starting from scratch last season. They are 8-13, 2-3 Patriot.
Mike Martin (Brown): The Bears went 8-23 last season. They are dramatically improved in Martin's first season, 7-9, 1-1 Ivy
Monte Ross (Delaware): This is his most talented team, but after winning at Virginia and nearly beating Kansas State, the Blue Hens have been up and down. They are 9-11, 4-3 CAA.
Matt Brady (James Madison): Has his team playing well midway through the conference season. JMU is 12-10, 6-3 CAA.
Mike Rice (Rutgers): Got suspended briefly for acting like a madman at practice. Scarlet Knights are 12-7, 3-5 in the Big East.
The Explorers are having a great season and so are two of its former assistants.
Joe Mihalich (Niagara): My oldest friend in the business has the Purple Eagles at 13-8, 9-1 in the MAAC. I always knew he would be a terrific coach if he ever got a chance. Since Niagara gave him that chance in 1998, he has proved it.
John Gallagher (Hartford): Could have listed Gal at Penn where he also coached. The Hawks, playing almost all freshmen and sophomores, are 11-9, 4-3 America East.
I could have put Langel on this list as he worked for Fran Dunphy at Penn and Temple. Bottom line, John Chaney coached it like nobody else. And that is hard to pass on.
The Pitino assistants
Louisville had a really bad week, but nobody's coaching tree is like Rick Pitino's. Over the years, 25 of his former assistants and six of his former players have become head coaches. Some, like Florida's Billy Donovan, are on both lists. At the moment, nine former assistants are head coaches.
Pitino has one national championship. His assistants (Donovan two and Tubby Smith one) have three more.
How is it possible that this man is not in the Hall of Fame?