Yahoo! Sports released a lengthy report on Friday detailing possible recruiting violations for at least 20 division I men's basketball programs – Ohio State was not mentioned in the report.
The report mentions a number of premier programs including Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina, Xavier and features two Big Ten Schools: Michigan State and Maryland.
The timing of this report could cause a number of eligibility issues as we head into the NCAA Tournament as it features some of the nation's top players including Michigan State's Miles Bridges, Alabama's Collin Sexton and Duke’s Wendell Carter.
From Yahoo! Sports:
The documents tie some of the biggest names and programs in the sport to activity that appears to violate the NCAA’s amateurism rules. This could end up casting a pall over the NCAA tournament because of eligibility issues. There’s potential impermissible benefits and preferential treatment for players and families of players at Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC, Alabama and a host of other schools. The documents link some of the sport’s biggest current stars – Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Duke’s Wendell Carter – to specific potential extra benefits for either the athletes or their family members. The amounts tied to players in the case range from basic meals to tens of thousands of dollars.
NCAA president Mark Emmert released a statement Friday morning to address the latest developments in the corruption probe.
“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules,” the statement read. “Following the Southern District of New York’s indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it’s clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.”
Of course, Ohio State's absence from this report does not necessarily mean the program is completely absolved from any recruiting wrongdoings, but it is good news.
Bro every visit, he made my family pay to come to that tailgate. Lmao— Sam Thompson (@SlamIAm12) February 23, 2018
This also adds another storyline as we head into the final weekend of regular season Big Ten play. With his eligibility in question, is there a chance Bridges will not play during Michigan State's road battle with Wisconsin as the Spartans try to wrap up the Big Ten title?
If that's the case, this weekend's race for the Big Ten crown just got a lot more interesting.