With the recent NCAA scandal all eyes have been on Louisville. Their coach, Rick Pitino, and AD, Tom Jurich have been put on leave and with the FBI now involved, there’s an elephant in the room: the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell. There is no bigger folk hero in a Jazz uniform for us here at the Dunk than Donovan Mitchell. But Mitchell’s timeline at Louisville leaves the rookie point guard in an awkward position.
Donovan Mitchell gave his comments on the situation while avoiding talking about past coach Rick Pitino:
“What is lost in all of this is the players [sic] lives. It pains me to see my brothers for life going through this! This is deeper than basketball. This is real life. I know the work they’ve put in all summer working their butts off trying to be the best! I love y’all man and at the end of the day we have a brotherhood forever. God has all of you covered and at the end of the day you will prosper! ✊ #L1C4”
Donovan’s looking out for his friends who are still on the team who still have to figure out a way to play through a season when they currently don’t have a coach. However they got there, they’re stuck in the middle.
The NCAA scandal is a mess of morality. Exploiting players for ungodly profits is wrong. That’s what the NCAA is now doing. Lying to administrators and school officials is wrong. That’s what Coaches and Athletic Directors were doing. Exploiting underpaid assistants and runners to get access to players when you shouldn’t be able to is wrong. That’s what shoe and apparel companies are doing.
Which leaves us to the players in these situations. If you’re a player who has been offered a good amount of money to play somewhere and you see the system is broken and a lie, what motivation is there to take the higher ground? If you are a player that takes the higher ground in this messy underbelly of the NCAA, are you really gaining anything? The only people who gain through the pious act of a youngster doing the right thing are the officials, sponsors, and universities who profit off of their selfless “amateurism.”
This whole thing is a mess because the NCAA refuses to pay players their rightful due and has created a system where—for some ungodly reason—it’s wrong to pay an 18 or 19 year old what their worth is to their operation.