People Need To Wake Up When It Comes To Nefarious Activity In College Sports
The biggest news in sports right now is the resignation of Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, and people need to realize the bigger picture of illicit actions in college sports.
I spent my freshman year of college with the basketball team at Montana State University, which is division one for basketball and division one-FCS for football. I later attended the University of Wisconsin, which is a powerhouse in basketball, football and hockey. I have lived a blessed life when it comes to my access in the sports world. I grew up surrounded by elite athletes and that network only grew larger in college. This has also led to me realizing that things behind-the-scenes of big sports programs are way worse than the public realizes.
Freeze is being dragged through the mud because he called a Florida-based escort service, and despite the fact he claimed it was an accident, it was enough to end his tenure at Ole Miss. There is plenty of public outrage at a coach calling an escort service, and it’s certainly not the best look. However, it’s nothing compared to what goes down at plenty of college programs.
To be clear, most collegiate and professional athletes I know are good people. I know athletes from several different schools and sports at the highest levels. They don’t actively go looking for trouble. It’s an important distinction to make. Not everybody playing sports at a high level is causing problems, but at some point people have to open their ears to the music.
I have personally seen athletes receive illegal benefits. In some cases it was as simple as free drinks or a meal. Nobody really cares about these minor NCAA infractions because most people agree the athletes likely deserve it. However, I’ve also seen and know of athletes who have received benefits such as cash and cars. Does receiving any of these benefits make them a bad person? Of course not. Lots of people would argue that the players have done more than enough to earn all of those items, especially poor young men without any resources.
Cam Newton’s father was even infamously accused of seeking money for his son’s services during college. Trust me when I say Newton’s father wasn’t the first one to ever allegedly do that.
It’s also not unheard of for recruits to visit strip clubs or have women arranged for them on recruiting visits. As I previously pointed out, Oklahoma State infamously was accused of using sex as a tool for recruits and athletes. Is it against NCAA rules for a basketball player to engage in as much sex as he wants? Of course not, but it is an extreme violation for any school to arrange for sexual encounters.
Drugs are also a huge problem with some teams. I was once told by an All-American basketball player that if his team was drug tested not a single player would pass. Some would ask how it’s possible for players to continue playing despite their drug use. It’s pretty simple. Coaches sometimes give heads up on upcoming drug tests.
I once saw a basketball player, who I would consider a reasonably good friend and a very good person, with a treasure chest of different drugs. He never missed a single game or failed a single drug test.
And the drugs hardly scratch the surface. Drug consumption is common among athletes and non-athletes alike in college.
However, it can get much more sinister. Two athletes at Montana State a few years before my arrival infamously murdered a Bozeman, Montana resident, and it was revealed several people were involved in a massive drug ring. The story went on to become a huge Sports Illustrated piece. The effects of that killing and drug operation were felt for years at MSU and were still discussed nearly every day I was there.
Freeze got the boot because he called an escort service. He’s certainly not the greatest or most moral coach. He’s had players admit to infractions before, but they’re pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.
Perhaps people should be less concerned about Huge Freeze calling an escort and be a little more concerned with actual problems going on in some of these athletic departments.
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