How are we supposed to do any Preseason Previews NOW?
This is more of an exercise of frustration with the disruption of the process and getting fans, alumni and students acclimated to College Basketball Season. Look, for the die-hards who read this publication and follow Georgia Basketball year-round, usually previews are made so that there is a basic understanding of the opposition. There’s only just so much information to squeeze out when it comes to the Georgia Basketball Team, there are tons of articles already here. The schemes and philosophy are covered in detail, the metrics are there and it turns into nauseating hype-oriented clickbait because there’s nothing else to write. Now that this FBI Investigation is happening everything is in flux.
Will a particular coach at a particular program be taken away in handcuffs tomorrow? Nobody knows but the FBI and even they are still uncovering information. It’s very difficult to know how each program will react to be investigated and the associated arrests to follow.
To think that the 2017-18 College Basketball Season will be business as usual would be far too optimistic. Do not think about the NCAA right now, consider that this a matter with the U.S. Department of Justice and the individual universities are public and private entities partially funded by taxpayers. Keep in mind, there could be multiple findings by the FBI in their investigation against a particular program and just because there has been an arrest or a recognition of an issue, it is not the end. Any sort of funny business from the individual Athletic Departments, does not result in a vague ending with a powerless body, it results in Obstruction of Justice charges and facing real prison sentences.
Putting out a preview of a team would be futile right now and possibly several weeks from now. Much has been made about Georgia’s schedule and there is an article nearing completion about the non-conference schedule, but this is now on hold because of the recent developments.
When there is greater certainty surrounding each team UGA will face this season, a preseason preview of the non-conference schedule will be published. Preseason previews of each opponent will not be made this season because it’s Football Season and the traffic from those articles during the past two years did not justify the publishing.
The SEC previews are even more difficult to preview than the non-conference opponents because three have already been involved in the FBI probe. It is suspected that a few more may be revealed in the coming days and weeks. If you follow College Basketball and know the participants over the past three years, it should not be too hard to know who is being referenced. If the FBI was on their game and infiltrated well, they could end up having arrests from as many as four more SEC programs.
Please be patient as more developments are coming. It is better to get it right the first time than to get it wrong early.
On AAU Basketball, Mark Fox and Dirty Recruiting
AAU Basketball is not inherently “dirty”. Every coach recruits in AAU, including Mark Fox and his staff. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or has no idea what they are talking about and is trying to create a false narrative. This has been covered before, Mark Fox goes to Nike EYBL events and is even pictured at them. Mark Fox himself would probably tell the general public that he attends these events, if asked. There’s nothing wrong with attending AAU events as a coach. Every member of the UGA Basketball roster played in AAU Basketball Leagues.
Mark Price, Rick Barnes, Mark Fox, Hubert Davis, etc…lined up at 2015 Phenom AAU event
Who sees you this Summer⁉️ pic.twitter.com/WvK2eah9xt
— Phenom Hoop Report (@Phenom_Hoops) January 26, 2016
Mark Fox and Anthony Grant watching Ga Stars v Southern Stampede. #EYBL
— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) April 27, 2013
Among the many coaches here at Adidas Xplosion, UGA’S Mark Fox is in the building pic.twitter.com/oaafPpmavK
— Kyle Sandy (@KyleSandy355) December 5, 2015
College Football and College Basketball “dirtiness” is different because one is decentralized and the other is centralized. Most of the College Football recruits come from suburban and rural America while the opposite is true for College Basketball recruits, which means greater proximity to “bag men” who happen to be older white males over the age of 50. This lends itself to greater decentralization since the College Football programs have no control of supporters who go rogue. Every SEC Football program has rogues and student-athletes accepting cash from these rogues.
In College Basketball, the desire to be part of the business and the brand of the individual recruit/player drive things, which makes it an issue of exclusive access and influence. Trainers, financial advisors, AAU coaches, apparel executives and runners for agents work out arrangements with assistant coaches for top talent. Not every recruit wants to be a part of this process and many coaches refuse to play along.
The reason why Men’s Basketball recruiting is considered more of a business venture is because the individual brands of the players is far more lucrative than Football.
- Executives want early access and loyalty from the future stars of the NBA.
- NBA influencers generate apparel sales, NFL does not.
- NBA players have a much higher earning ceiling than NFL players.
- The interest in High School Basketball talent is all about the future NBA player, the interest in High School Football talent is a desire to win National Championships.
The Curse of the College Football Bag Man
The Football Bag Man is not a Big Swinging Dick, the Football Bag Man cannot reveal themselves to the public and say a National Championship or Conference Championship is because of them. The Football Bag Man must forever remain in the shadows and once you are a Bag Man, you cannot ever emerge to be a power player. The risk is far too high to the Athletic Department to be a major donor with influence. All it takes is some recognition and a mistake made, which leads to Mr. Bag Man becoming Public Enemy #1.
However, Mr. Bag Man loses influence rather quickly if the rules concerning compensation are changed and student-athletes can receive whatever funding they wish on the outside. The entire world of College Football and Basketball radically change. Who knows? Maybe some College Gymnasts can attract more capital than College Football student-athletes.
Being the Bag Man comes at a social and professional cost. It’s possible in the future, Mr. Bag Man will become Mr. Irrelevant.