NCAA: If allegations against Kentucky players and others are true, then we failed

Justin Sayers
Courier Journal
NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks with reporters during a news conference at the NCAA Convention on Friday in Oxon Hill, Md. The NCAA announced Friday, a settlement with Penn State that will give the school back 112 wins wiped out during the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal and restore the late Joe Paterno as the winningest coach in major college football history.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Friday that, if true, a bombshell Yahoo report that details potential extra benefits for more than 20 college basketball players at more than 20 schools — including the University of Kentucky — is proof of "systematic failures that must be fixed."

Yahoo published on Friday a series of documents that detail cash advances, as well as entertainment and travel expenses, for high-profile high school and college prospects and their families at a number of powerhouse college basketball programs.

The documents are part of the investigation into college basketball recruiting that has ensnared the University of Louisville and resulted in the indictment of eight people, including assistant coaches and a former agent.

Related:Now that UK is tied to the recruiting scandal, what does it mean?


The report:UK basketball players among those linked to potential NCAA violations

Among the Kentucky players listed are leading scorer Kevin Knox and former forwards Bam Adebayo and Nerlens Noel.

The report also listed Michigan State's Miles Bridges, as well as former Louisville player Brian Bowen and Markelle Fultz, a former Washington player who was the No. 1 pick in last year's NBA Draft.

In his response to the story, Emmert said "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."

He also pointed to the NCAA's "Commission on College Basketball" — an independent group formed as a result of the indictments that sparked the investigation into potential fraud in college basketball — as efforts the group has taken to clean up the sport.

"With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever," he wrote. "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."

Justin Sayers: 502-582 4252; jsayers@gannett.com; Twitter: @_JustinSayers. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/justins.