6. Recruiting Changes
RCS: What about the longer term fallout? How will the culture of NCAA regulation and college recruiting change from even just a single story?
Wetzel: Personally I don’t think it’s going to change very much because there’s so much money at stake. But hopefully with the series of stories, it makes people aware of how things have changed.
I think the general consensus out there, even inside college athletics, is the problem with agents is still some kind of shady runner waiting out the parking lot trying to meet a kid. What we’re trying to show with this story, and a previous story on an agency in New York, Ceruzzi Sports, is just how organized it is, how high tech it is, how much money is at stake.
The last story was about how agents donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the non-profit organizations that fund AAU coaches in an effort to get access to players. This one is how college coaches can use agents to recruit high school players.
We’re not doing the same old, blame the “street agent” stories. He isn’t the problem. The problem is at the top with a lot of wealthy, powerful people orchestrating this thing. This isn’t about who is selling a player, it’s who is buying the player.
If college basketball wants to change, they have to at least be embarrassed that their own coaches are the problem. Whether or not they change, that’s their issue, not mine. They do need to know that using the same blame game model from 25 years ago isn’t going to do anything. It’s way bigger. It’s way more inside, way more brazen and it’s way more sophisticated than most people realize.