The Scheme on HBO

WindyCityGopher

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Has anyone watched The Scheme on HBO that details the FBI investigation into payment of college basketball players, and centered on Christian Dawkins? Excellent documentary of a truly wild story. I heard the Feds' case was weak throughout the trial, but the behind-the-scenes story was pretty astounding of how the FBI effectively set Dawkins up in order to snare big name coaches for taking payments, then basically blocked those coaches from testifying, and completely walked away from even pursuing them for prosecution...I mean, my God, they have Sean Miller and Will Wade on wiretaps openly discussing payments of tens of thousands of dollars to players, and nothing happened to them, either with the law or NCAA.

I'd like to hear other thoughts on the show, the story and the overall insanity of an intersection between big time college athletics and seemingly never ending flow of cash. Prepare to come away feeling the need to take a shower after all that slime.
 

skiumah1

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For what it's worth, I've got Dick Vitale on twitter saying he's heard from legitimate sources that punishment is coming for both LSU and Arizona in time. Dick is a bit older now as we all know...but I'm still biting.
 

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I fear pandemic will distract NCAA from all of this. Maybe budget cuts will eliminate the COI and the enforcement group? COI was pretty worthless before, so getting rid of it would mean less money spent and not really losing anything.;)
 

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For what it's worth, I've got Dick Vitale on twitter saying he's heard from legitimate sources that punishment is coming for both LSU and Arizona in time. Dick is a bit older now as we all know...but I'm still biting.
I read between the lines of his tweet that the NCAA would like to have let this thing fade away but that the HBO series will make that more difficult or impossible.
 

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I read between the lines of his tweet that the NCAA would like to have let this thing fade away but that the HBO series will make that more difficult or impossible.

Media still has a role to play. And they can play it well if they do their jobs. No HBO for me, but I read enough about that I needed a shower after being connected.
 

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Has anyone watched The Scheme on HBO that details the FBI investigation into payment of college basketball players, and centered on Christian Dawkins? Excellent documentary of a truly wild story. I heard the Feds' case was weak throughout the trial, but the behind-the-scenes story was pretty astounding of how the FBI effectively set Dawkins up in order to snare big name coaches for taking payments, then basically blocked those coaches from testifying, and completely walked away from even pursuing them for prosecution...I mean, my God, they have Sean Miller and Will Wade on wiretaps openly discussing payments of tens of thousands of dollars to players, and nothing happened to them, either with the law or NCAA.

I'd like to hear other thoughts on the show, the story and the overall insanity of an intersection between big time college athletics and seemingly never ending flow of cash. Prepare to come away feeling the need to take a shower after all that slime.
We watched it too and came away with the same thoughts. We have loved following college basketball through many years even attending many Final Fours but after watching that documentary, watching college basketball will never be the same. If you want to solidify your thoughts read the book “Cheated- The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes and the Future of Big Time College Sports” By Jay Smith and Mary Willingham.
 

skiumah1

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I hope to open up some discussion on this documentary too. This was very interesting and had me going back and forth a little bit about what the perfect system looks like. In the end, I mainly came away with the idea that college athletes should be paid like a professional athlete. The NCAA can still exist but they should no doubt be dishing out lots of money. The NCAA needs to fit into the capitalistic side of our society, they are not a non-profit and should be classified as one.

The problem then becomes, why would these kids do any school work while they're in school? They won't. They'll just have their papers done for them or professors who try to flunk these kids out because of poor grades or performance will be silented and not ackowledged.


It is amazing the power of the NCAA and the strings that they can pull with all of the money they make. The idea of amateurism is idealistic and sure it would be great if all kids were perfect and able to handle a full academic load responsibly, play big-time college basketball, and not ask to be paid for it. This is not the reality. If kids/families need money, they should go directly into a professional, paid league. It is hard to blame the coaches at the NCAA level paying these kids and families because they really could use the money, there are too many top athletes who are not white-collar suburban kids with a superb family financial situation.

All-in-all, IMO the system needs to be set up where kids that deserve to be getting paid, get paid. I think the best options are 1) For kids to go directly into the capitalistic professional leagues. Seems like a great opportunity for another league in the US to be the bridge between High School and the NBA. The NCAA level needs to be for kids who want to be in school. The level of basketball will go way down, but the spirit would continue to live on and fanship would stay high. The NCAA would be a league for kids who don't have a career in basketball. ZERO tolerance for paying players beyond full scholarship and legal perks (meals, etc.) Or 2) The NCAA could possibly join the capitalistic world and pay the money these kids deserve. I just don't know how you would force kids to do school work in that scenario. It's almost as if the NCAA could create and fund, or have the schools fund, a branch league attached to schools, but kids don't go to class. Basketball would be their major, just like others majors in college prepare you for that profession. Coach as the professor. Seems like this is how the system works now, it's all "under the table". NCAA calls it illegal like it's wrong and sticks to their "amateurism" idea. Really it's just because they want all the money. Very greedy.

The problem is the NCAA has so much terrible money and power over the current system they're trying to hold on, but I think it's going to unravel or they need to change. We need change or an overhaul here.

I'm interested in others thoughts on what they think the best system would so we woudn't continue to have NCAA violations and issues..
 
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Paying players might lessen some of the temptation on the part of the athletes, but it won't eliminate or even reduce the amount of cheating by win-at-all-costs coaches and programs.

At the end of the day, for any sports association to be viable and have a reasonably level playing field, there needs to be rules, and there needs to be enforcement of the rules.
 

skiumah1

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Paying players might lessen some of the temptation on the part of the athletes, but it won't eliminate or even reduce the amount of cheating by win-at-all-costs coaches and programs.

At the end of the day, for any sports association to be viable and have a reasonably level playing field, there needs to be rules, and there needs to be enforcement of the rules.
If the current rules are enforced, hopefully coaches and players just rightfully adjust and go professional or coach elsewhere if seeking money to pay players. This would be the natural solution to allow everything to correct itself. Just seems like NCAA wants it both ways. Requiring a year in college is just blatantly stupid to me and obviously going to cause problems. Requiring anybody to go to school is dumb when they can be making money professionally. It is HUGE that they enforce rules that coaches cannot pay players and punishments need to be high. Everything naturally needs to just adjust after that.
 

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If the current rules are enforced, hopefully coaches and players just rightfully adjust and go professional or coach elsewhere if seeking money to pay players. This would be the natural solution to allow everything to correct itself. Just seems like NCAA wants it both ways. Requiring a year in college is just blatantly stupid to me and obviously going to cause problems. Requiring anybody to go to school is dumb when they can be making money professionally. It is HUGE that they enforce rules that coaches cannot pay players and punishments need to be high. Everything naturally needs to just adjust after that.
For sure
 

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The problem with all of it is that the NCAA absolutely NEEDS these named schools to be able to keep the pipeline going in order for their money to keep flowing as well. That is why they look the other way when Duke or North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky all cheat, pay players, no schoolwork, etc.

IMO, the only way to fix it is to let every school have a certain amount of money they can pay to their roster. Then watch it like a hawk. Have it increase incrementally as you move through the years, freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior. There has to be a level playing field and currently there is NOT.

In fact it sickens me to no end how smug pricks like Coach K, Calipari, etc have been allowed to get away with this for so long. It flat out isn't right.

The only problem with any of this though, is the fact that the NCAA will NOT want to give up any of the money they make or the power they reserve for themselves.
 

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The problem then becomes, why would these kids do any school work while they're in school? They won't. They'll just have their papers done for them or professors who try to flunk these kids out because of poor grades or performance will be silented and not ackowledged.
This is basically the antithesis to the side of the argument that claims people will stop caring about or refuse to consume college athletics if the athletes on the teams aren't students at the school.

They'd be students at the school, for show only. They probably largely are now anyway, for one and done's at least. Do just enough in the fall (and maybe summer) before the spring, then coast the rest of the way.
 

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The system is a mess, but it's largely a mess for a small portion of the population of college athletes. The corruption we're looking at is largely on the high end and a small portion of it. Sending the non-students who have the ability to get paid to play straight to the pros would help a lot if not solve everything. For all the grousing about the greedy NCAA, the system currently does allow a lot of young people to get scholarships for playing sports that could never be supported by tickets and viewers. We'll see an example of just how damaging life without basketball money could be next year when departments all over the country make hard decisions in light of declining disbursements.
 

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It does seem like if you just allowed kids to go play professionally out of high school or at any point during their college career, and enforced the current rules, that would solve it you'd think. If a kid is failing out, he needs to be out and either go somewhere he can pass or go play professionally. NCAA would still be doing ridiculously well financially. That greed is crazy if they won't enforce rules because of that extra money. I get it's a lot of extra money, but come on NCAA isn't going broke anytime soon. Punish coaches, ADs, Presidents heavily for any involvement or knowledge of rules being broken. Have integrity and uphold it. It's an argument whether you make examples of Wade and Miller and give 'em a lifetime ban from college basketball.

I truthfully believe we would have a better brand of basketball if we got kids out who didn't wanna go to class, just wanted to play professionally and make money. Kids staying together longer, developing chemistry and more passion for the school.

NCAA is being ridiculous if they think that they can have the best of all worlds. Hippocrit to a T.
 
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Holy Man

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It does seem like if you just allowed kids to go play professionally out of high school or at any point during their college career, and enforced the current rules, that would solve it you'd think. If a kid is failing out, he needs to be out and either go somewhere he can pass or go play professionally. NCAA would still be doing ridiculously well financially. That greed is crazy if they won't enforce rules because of that extra money. I get it's a lot of extra money, but come on NCAA isn't going broke anytime soon. Punish coaches, ADs, Presidents heavily for any involvement or knowledge of rules being broken. Have integrity and uphold it. It's an argument whether you make examples of Wade and Miller and give 'em a lifetime ban from college basketball.

I truthfully believe we would have a better brand of basketball if we got kids out who didn't wanna go to class, just wanted to play professionally and make money. Kids staying together longer, developing chemistry and more passion for the school.

NCAA is being ridiculous if they think that they can have the best of all worlds. Hippocrit to a T.

I think there are a lot of guys who play college ball that have little interest in class and have zero chance of ever playing for money. It's the nature of sports. At least with that population, you have some leverage over them to do some study.
 

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I think there are a lot of guys who play college ball that have little interest in class and have zero chance of ever playing for money. It's the nature of sports. At least with that population, you have some leverage over them to do some study.
Right, exactly. You're still providing kids with the full scholarships so there should still be the incentive there for 'em.
 

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I haven't watched the series yes, but I'm planning to. Question: is it actually entertaining, or does it feel like homework for CBB fans?
 

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I haven't watched the series yes, but I'm planning to. Question: is it actually entertaining, or does it feel like homework for CBB fans?

Most definitely entertaining and well told. Dawkins is a terrific central character to guide the narrative. It's a highly recommended watch.
 

skiumah1

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I haven't watched the series yes, but I'm planning to. Question: is it actually entertaining, or does it feel like homework for CBB fans?
It's also just 1 2-hour documentary. No series so not too time-consuming.
 

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It's also just 1 2-hour documentary. No series so not too time-consuming.
Good.

I really don't get this idea of taking a story that can easily be explained and told in a single 1-2hr show, and turning into into a multi episode series. Really drags it out and spoils it, for me.
 

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Watched it tonight. Excellent. It flew by. Dawkins is a great character.

Someone above made a comment that they’re worried the NCAA would get distracted by the pandemic.

Haha. It’s quite clear that the NCAA very much wants this to be buried and to go away. As they said in the show and hit the nail on the head: the southern district of NY had all the evidence they needed to charge big coaches, and they simply walked away. Because they were told to walk away. At the highest levels, higher than the FBI, the right people talked to the right people, and they were told to walk away.

College basketball is a joke, if you think it has anything remotely to do with amateurism.

Dawkins didn’t get access to all these players for any other reason than he was paying them and their families, with the hopes that they’d choose him to represent them when they turned pro. It’s entirely driven by paying people off and getting paid. That’s what college basketball is.
 

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Watched it tonight. Excellent. It flew by. Dawkins is a great character.

Someone above made a comment that they’re worried the NCAA would get distracted by the pandemic.

Haha. It’s quite clear that the NCAA very much wants this to be buried and to go away. As they said in the show and hit the nail on the head: the southern district of NY had all the evidence they needed to charge big coaches, and they simply walked away. Because they were told to walk away. At the highest levels, higher than the FBI, the right people talked to the right people, and they were told to walk away.

College basketball is a joke, if you think it has anything remotely to do with amateurism.

Dawkins didn’t get access to all these players for any other reason than he was paying them and their families, with the hopes that they’d choose him to represent them when they turned pro. It’s entirely driven by paying people off and getting paid. That’s what college basketball is.
That is what it is at many places, not all, not most. We do not do it here, Anyone around the game knew Dawkins and his like are scum. He lied when he said he knew every coach and every player at every level. Hundreds of coaches stayed away from him and thousands of players. Knowing someones name does not mean you know them or ever talked to them.
 

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That is what it is at many places, not all, not most. We do not do it here, Anyone around the game knew Dawkins and his like are scum. He lied when he said he knew every coach and every player at every level. Hundreds of coaches stayed away from him and thousands of players. Knowing someones name does not mean you know them or ever talked to them.
The ones who are doing it cleanly deserve high praise. It's just a shame that it amounts to working with one hand tied behind their backs compared to their dirty competitors. And they evidently have to keep their mouths shut about what they know is going on in the programs they're trying to compete against.

And to me, that's what it's all about: not amateurism for the sake of amateurism or some arbitrary definition of proper benefits, but fair competition. Like I mentioned, that's what makes sports interesting and compelling--competition on a level playing field. Without that, it's a joke; it's pro wrestling. That means, whatever you say the rules are, enforce them, and issue real penalties for real violations.
 

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That is what it is at many places, not all, not most. We do not do it here, Anyone around the game knew Dawkins and his like are scum. He lied when he said he knew every coach and every player at every level. Hundreds of coaches stayed away from him and thousands of players. Knowing someones name does not mean you know them or ever talked to them.
The Scheme opened on a blank screen, with one quote hovering for a good 30 seconds, to set the mood. A famous quote by Jerry Tarkanian: "9 out of 10 teams are cheating. The other one is in last place."

And you're telling me that Rich Pitino doesn't follow in his dad's well known footsteps of giving players impermissible benefits. Come on now ...


We obviously just don't pay very much, compared to other places. And that's why we don't get the players we need to compete in the conference.
 
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MplsGopher

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That is what it is at many places, not all, not most. We do not do it here, Anyone around the game knew Dawkins and his like are scum. He lied when he said he knew every coach and every player at every level. Hundreds of coaches stayed away from him and thousands of players. Knowing someones name does not mean you know them or ever talked to them.
Also, why is Dawkins scum? You haven't watched the show and know nothing about his life or who he is.

He's the opposite of scum. He wanted to help poor kids and poor families in poor communities, like the one he grew up in.

It's not illegal to give someone money, in the hopes that they'll pick you later on to represent them if they decide to turn pro. It's against NCAA rules, yes. But so what?? Who gives a crap what the NCAA says and thinks??

Amatuerism was made up, from the very beginning. The concept was conjured out of thin air, in England a hundred years ago, so that rich kids wouldn't have to compete in sports against poor factory workers. End of story. There isn't a single fiber of morality that supports the notion as superior.
 
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MplsGopher

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The ones who are doing it cleanly deserve high praise. It's just a shame that it amounts to working with one hand tied behind their backs compared to their dirty competitors. And they evidently have to keep their mouths shut about what they know is going on in the programs they're trying to compete against.

And to me, that's what it's all about: not amateurism for the sake of amateurism or some arbitrary definition of proper benefits, but fair competition. Like I mentioned, that's what makes sports interesting and compelling--competition on a level playing field. Without that, it's a joke; it's pro wrestling. That means, whatever you say the rules are, enforce them, and issue real penalties for real violations.
Sean Miller and Will Wade are on tape, talking about how much money they offered recruits, back in 2017 I believe.

They have not been fired.

They won't be fired. Arizona and LSU will not be sanctioned with any kind of serious penalty.
 

MplsGopher

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Kerwin, cross them off the list please.
Money talks.

Sean Miller isn't going to be fired and Arizona isn't going to be hit with any serious penalties.

He's been paying players for a long time, like Deandre Ayton.

Kerwin won't get that kind of money, but if he wants to get paid now, at all, he obviously needs to go with a school like Arizona, rather than the U of MN where he won't get jack.
 
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