first_imgJenny Chung | Daily TrojanOn Tuesday morning, the college athletics world was rocked to its core with earth-shattering news. A long-running FBI investigation revealed widespread corruption in college basketball, resulting in the indictment of 10 men, including Adidas employees, sports agents and four assistant coaches: Arizona’s Emmanuel Richardson, Auburn’s Chuck Person, Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans and, yes, USC’s very own Tony Bland.Bland, like the other three coaches, was accused of “bribery conspiracy,” and “solicitation of bribes,” among other charges. He is alleged to have taken cash gifts from sports agents and financial advisors in exchange for convincing his players to sign with specific agencies once they turned pro. In a press conference, the Justice Department announced that the coaches could potentially face a maximum of 80 years in prison if found guilty of the crimes. When most college sports fans see their school implicated in any sort of NCAA investigation, they are worried, maybe even scared for the well-being of the program they support. But when USC is mentioned in the same sentence as words like “probe” and “potential sanctions,” it feels like the Grim Reaper himself has descended back upon South Central.When I saw the news, I couldn’t help but think of a Kanye West line on the song “Knock you Down.”: “This is bad, real Bad, Michael Jackson.” After USC was hit with crippling NCAA sanctions in 2010 stemming from improper benefits given to Heisman winner Reggie Bush and basketball standout OJ Mayo, it took nearly a decade for both teams to recover. The Trojans football team just returned to national prominence with last year’s Rose Bowl win, after being slapped with a two-year bowl ban and, perhaps more ruinous, a reduction in scholarships. USC was unable to field a full football roster until 2014.Recovery was also a long and winding road for the basketball program. After its sanctions were handed down, it was not until 2015 that current coach Andy Enfield was able to end the team’s five-year NCAA Tournament drought. It was also the Trojans’ first winning record in that time span. Last season, the men’s basketball team took another leap forward. It finished at 26-10, the most wins in USC history. The Trojans went on to make it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as an 11-seed with a major upset victory over Baylor in the Round of 64. Entering this season, there was more hype surrounding the basketball team, since well, possibly ever. The team was set to return virtually all of last year’s core lineup while adding Duke transfer Derryck Thornton Jr. and highly touted recruit Charles O’ Bannon Jr. Media outlets position them as high as top-10 2018 pre-season rankings. Now what was supposed to be a breakout year for a historically downtrodden basketball team is completely up in the air. The best-case (but wildly unlikely) scenario is that further investigation reveals Bland to be one bad egg in an otherwise clean program. However even if that is the situation, ESPN’s Darren Rovell pointed out on Twitter that in 2013, “NCAA said head coaches are responsible for everything,” and can no longer use assistant coaches as scapegoats for violations. It seems like USC basketball is once again on the verge of collapse, along with the entire institution of college basketball. According to the FBI, the party is just getting started. It uttered by far the ominous statement of the day when a spokesperson delivered a message to college coaches around the country. “We have your playbook,” New York FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney Jr. said at a press conference. “Our investigation is ongoing. We are conducting additional interviews as we speak.”Not to sound too football-centric, but even if the basketball program goes down in flames, I can only hope the corruption is confined to that one sport and not the entire athletics department, like last time. USC simply cannot afford it again. It appears as though Athletic Director Lynn Swann is saying and doing the right things as far as handling the issue. He immediately placed Bland on administrative leave and enlisted a former FBI director to conduct an independent investigation. At the very least, USC is prepared for these types of code red scenarios. While it’s disappointing to see USC sports back on the brink of disaster, it’s worth noting that these allegations are much more serious than last time. When it comes to the issue of college athletes being paid, I tend to believe that they should be compensated fairly given the amount of revenue they generate for universities. I did not think it was wrong when Ohio State players traded their game memorabilia for tattoos. I did not think it was wrong for Johnny Manziel to make money off his own signature in an autograph deal back in 2013 when he was the quarterback at Texas A&M. But what Bland potentially did by accepting bribes and capitalizing off of his influence over college athletes is unequivocally and morally wrong, not to mention illegal. Now, as USC fans we wait and hope this is the end rather than the beginning of a much longer, more painful sequel to 2010. Trevor Denton is a sophomore studying journalism. He is also the deputy sports editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, T-Time, runs on Wednesdays.last_img read more


first_img Italian bookmakers face cruel summer as ADM sanctions shop closures July 27, 2020 Share Di Maio’s man Giacomo Lasorella takes leadership of AGCOM August 17, 2020 After decades of decline, Italian horse racing has been thrown a lifeline in the form of the country’s latest Budget Law. Most notably, the turnover-based tax regime that has been so detrimental has been replaced by a new gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax.The GGR tax regime for horse racing is based on that already implemented in the sports betting sector. However, horse racing taxes – set at 43% for retail bets and 47% for online – remain significantly higher than the 18% and 22% that land-based and online sports betting has to deal with.  The situation has been further improved by the loosening of strict laws, with this liberalisation expected to lead to industry growth. Previously, betting on horses was restricted to official betting lists published by Italian gaming authority ADM, but the Budget Law has relaxed this. After sports betting laws were similarly relaxed, the Italian gaming market witnessed sizeable growth, and it is hoped it will have the same effect on horse racing. Additionally, the Budget Law postponed the country’s proposed new betting licenses, so to allow local municipalities time to change their laws accordingly. The existing betting shop and corner licenses have been extended for the full year, against the payment of an annual extension fee of €6000 per betting shop and €3500 per betting corner. A new tender for betting shops and corner licenses also aims to take in €410 million by the end of September. New ADM chief: Italy to keep strictest monitoring on gambling incumbents July 6, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles Submitlast_img read more