“The NCAA is one of the worst organizations, maybe the worst organization, in sports. They certainly don’t care about the athletes,” Van Gundy said before his team squared off with the Charlotte Hornets, responding to a question about an FBI investigation into alleged corruption throughout the college sports association that involves coaches, agents, and athletic apparel companies. “They’re going to act like they’re appalled by all these things going on in college basketball. Please—it’s ridiculous, and it’s all coming down on the coaches.”
On Friday, ESPN reported that Arizona head coach Sean Miller had been caught on wiretap discussing a payment of $100,000 to land star center DeAndre Ayton.
“Coaches aren’t blameless, but it starts higher than that. Start with the college presidents,” Van Gundy said. “They have said it (with their actions): It’s all about money. And if they say anything else, they’re being hypocritical. … There are a lot of people that, other than (misdeeds) being in the media, are pretty happy with the way things are going. The men’s basketball tournament is making huge money and funding the rest of the budget for the NCAA. They don’t want that to go. They want to keep these great players coming in.”
The Detroit coach, who spent one season as a head coach in the college ranks at the helm of the Wisconsin Badgers in 1994-95, also went after basketball’s so-called “one-and-done” rule, which prevents players from entering the NBA draft unless they’re 19 or a year removed from high school.
“You can turn 18, and go to work anywhere else,” Van Gundy noted. “I think a lot of it was racist, quite frankly. I’ve never heard anybody be up in arms about letting kids (of the same age) play minor-league baseball. Or they’re letting these kids come out and play minor-league hockey. They’re making (little) money, and they’re white kids, mostly.
“You’ve got a black kid wanting to come out of high school and make millions, and that’s a bad decision?”