Christian Dawkins: NCAA The "True Criminal Enterprise"

Dawkins shared his thoughts on "The Scheme," as well as his involvement in the pay-for-play scandal

April 02, 2020 - 8:43 am
Sean Miller Arizona

USA Today Images


Christian Dawkins dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss the new HBO documentary, The Scheme, which explores the seedy underbelly of college basketball recruiting. Dawkins played a central role in a pay-for-play scandal, ultimately becoming the target of an FBI investigation.

He still doesn’t know how a kid from Saginaw, Michigan, got embroiled in this controversy.

“I can’t answer that question truthfully for you because I still don’t understand it,” Dawkins told JR SportBrief. “I’m not even trying to be biased. I don’t understand how it got here. I still don’t understand it. I’ve tried so many times to try to take the side of the prosecution and try to criminalize our actions – because in my head, truly for something to be a crime, you got to have a victim. Somebody has to be victimized. You can’t use the universities as the victims when they’re reaping the benefits off of these kids’ backs to the tunes of millions of dollars and they’re not paying them anything. How could they be the victim of getting good players? That doesn’t make sense.

“Watching the film makes me emotional,” Dawkins continued, “because it makes me realize the level everything got to do and none of these things should have happened. None of these things should have happened.”

According to HBO, Dawkins “funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to steer recruits to prominent athletic programs.” However, he believes the NCAA is a villain, not a victim.

“I think they’re just sitting on their hands,” he said. “They can change these rules if they want to. They can allow players to monetize their likeness and their name if they like to. Every other citizen in America can do it. This isn’t something that’s going to require major legislative lobbying and restructuring. This is something that is already a basic American right. They’ve taken that from the athlete. That’s just the bottom line. [The NCAA has] taken it to reap the benefits for themselves. So this isn’t something that can’t happen or should be difficult. This is something that could happen and they’re preventing it from happening and the athletes are in a bad position because of it. The people around the business are affected because of it.

“The NCAA, to me, is the biggest villain,” Dawkins continued. “They’re the biggest problem. They are the true criminal enterprise. I don’t know another entity – in this country, at least – that can reap billions of dollars and not pay the government any taxes and also doesn’t pay the athletes anything. I don’t know how they get away with it.”