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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Kennedy speaks on college basketball scandals, FBI investigation

Head+Coach+Billy+Kennedy%26%23160%3Bspoke+on+the+ongoing+FBI+investigation+in+college+basketball+Tuesday+morning.
Photo by Photo by C. Morgan Engel

Head Coach Billy Kennedy spoke on the ongoing FBI investigation in college basketball Tuesday morning.

College basketball was shaken last month by the ongoing FBI investigation that rocked several top-tier programs with allegations of using improper recruiting methods with major athletic shoe companies through fraud and corruption.
Texas A&M head basketball coach Billy Kennedy summed up his reaction to the findings in one word – surprised.
Surprised it took so long to crack down on the scandals within the billion-dollar industry.
“I’m involved with recruiting on a daily basis. I would hope to know that I would know some of that was going on. It’s disappointing,” Kennedy said Tuesday morning. “There’s a lot of slime in our game.”
Four schools directly involved – Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and Southern California – each appear on the Aggies schedule this season. The main sportswear company tied into the allegations, Adidas, sponsors A&M.
One day after the investigation was uncovered, fellow Adidas-sponsored school Louisville placed head coach Rick Pitino on unpaid administrative leave after the school received complaints about a current player being involved with the scandals.
“I’m not totally surprised because it’s some of the programs that have great players. Great players are hard to get,” Kennedy said. “I’m not saying they cheated on all of those players by any means, but it’s really surprising that the FBI got involved.”
As for A&M, Kennedy said he and his staff has followed all the rules, noting freshman T.J. Starks is the lone player on roster to even play on an Adidas travel team while in high school in Dallas.
“I just know we’ve done it the right way. We’ve always done it the right way,” Kennedy said. “We’re not perfect by any means, but we don’t have any of the players because of adidas.”
Kennedy noted that staying true to the code has been tough over the years while recruiting many kids from families of low-socioeconomic backgrounds that are sometimes dependent on their success as a player.
“It’s been difficult for years, something that’s been going on for a long time. It’s been going on ever since I’ve been in the business,” Kennedy said. ”You can get blown out of the water in recruiting real quick and it’s a variety of ways that can happen.
According to Kennedy, the next step in cleaning up college basketball may be finding ways to amend rules already in place.
“The NBA one-and-done rule that’s in place now probably needs to go back to let kids come and go right away or be in college for two years,” Kennedy said. “Those are some things that may help some of it.”
For now, Kennedy said that coaches need to step up and find solutions to solve these problems.
“There’s a lot of things that can be done and changed,” Kennedy said. “We’ve got to adjust to those times and figure out a plan.”

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