Parrish: At Least 80 Percent Of Division I Programs Cheat

High-major schools violate NCAA rules, but so do low-major ones, Gary Parrish says, and anyone who thinks otherwise is "playing pretend"

Reiter Than You
March 08, 2019 - 6:57 am
Will Wade LSU

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The FBI has reportedly intercepted a 2017 phone conversation between LSU basketball coach Will Wade and middleman Christian Dawkins regarding an “offer” that Wade allegedly made to a recruiting prospect. The prospect in question is believed to be Javante Smart, a freshman guard at LSU and a former top-50 recruit.

While such allegations are nothing new in college basketball, just how many Division I schools violate NCAA rules? 

“It’s probable impossible to say, but I wouldn’t put it anywhere lower than 80 percent,” CBS Sports college basketball insider Gary Parrish said on Reiter Than You. “You look at Brian Bowen, the young man at the center of the scandal that got Louisville in trouble; we know there was a market for him, and we know that the market was established at $100,000 that Adidas was willing to give his father. Brian Bowen was just a guy. That’s not even a one-and-done player. He was a borderline top-30 recruit. That’s not Marvin Bagley or Deandre Ayton or Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett. So if the market is set there for that guy, what’s happening above it?”

And below it. Or, more specifically, at non-national powers.

“Though it’s most competitive at the top of the sport, these low-major coaches are fighting for their careers just as much as the high-major coaches are fighting for theirs,” Parrish said. “Just because the high-major coaches are making $2- and $3 million a year doesn’t mean that the $175,000 a year to the low-major coaches doesn’t mean something. That’s how he pays his mortgage. These guys, they cut corners and break rules for the same reason the high-major guys do – because you’re trying to keep the job you got. You’re trying to win at the level you’re at.

“So I do think cheating is obviously more severe at the highest levels of the sport because that’s where you got agents and shoe companies involved as well,” Parrish continued. “But it happens at all levels of the sport, and anybody who’s ever pretended otherwise was just playing pretend.”

LSU (25-5) is ranked No. 10 in the country and having its best season in years. Smart is averaging 11.5 points and 2.5 assists per game for the Tigers.