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Sunday Conversation: The FBI descends on the NCAA

College basketball this weekend was focused far more on potential courtrooms than on basketball courts.

NCAA President Mark Emmert Press Conference
This definitely looks like the face of someone in tune with young people
Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Joel: So, only one place for this to start: how about that FBI?

Bryan: I agreed with you until Creighton won. Now there are two places to start.

The FBI stuff has been kind of weird in its timing, don’t you think? We are 2 weeks away from Selection Sunday and all of the sudden a bunch of major programs are in some state of upheaval over this thing. Very bad for Arizona, probably a bit worse for Seton Hall than everyone else, but I don’t really think there is anything for X to worry about until the other possible shoe drops.

Brad: It might be bad for MSU as well, depending on what happened with Bridges. There’s been a lot of virtue signaling on this, but it’s a non-story. Some people took some money from an agent who was trying to recruit clients. I’ll be honest, I don’t care. At all. If the agents were funneling players, that’s one thing, but the payment we are all most familiar with came to the father of a player who had already been at the school for three whole years. Again, it’s a non-story that the media jumped on for God knows what reason.

Bryan: I think that is the case in most of the instances that have been brought up. The other thing to keep in mind is that Dawkins was fired for claiming 42k in false expenses before, so we don’t even know if this ledger is a reflection of reality or not.

Joel: I’m glad the schools have been playing the kids through all of this. If the NCAA can prove violations, they should. If they can’t, the schools shouldn’t punt on their seasons because somebody’s mom had lunch with an agent or whatever.

The thing with Arizona is a bit different, as getting $100K to go to a school is obviously a big deal. By and large though, I’m with Brad. I don’t care if agents are recruiting eventual pros while they’re still in school. Leaving aside whether or not they should be getting paid, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be profiting from their likenesses and setting up their futures.

On the court, I think X isn’t going to stumble down the stretch. Georgetown scared me more than Providence at home or @ DePaul does, and the Muskies handled it with relative aplomb. Even down at the half with Trevon absent, it never felt like it was going to not be a win. One nine-possession defensive lockdown later, the game was in hand. This team is crazy deep and extremely versatile.

Bryan: I don’t think they will either, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the next two games. This is a huge opportunity for these guys and I don’t think you would be a real fan if you weren’t emotionally invested in seeing them finish the job.

Brad: I’m with Bry in being nervous. It’s not about the numbers, but rather that we are on the cusp of winning one of the premier conferences in college basketball. X has been stepping up over the last decade, this is that next big step to take. Plus, it’s almost March, and that always brings with it that little charge every time a game starts.