UM Compliance Official Discusses Adidas College Basketball Bribery Scandal
A major bribery scandal has erupted on college campuses across the country over contracts with the Adidas athletic clothing company that has had devastating results for several schools.
At the University of Louisville, head coach Rick Petino and the school’s athletic director have both been suspended over the scandal.
At the University of Montana, Senior Associate Athletic Director Jean Gee said UM has had a long-standing contract with Nike. Gee said the starting point in avoiding such scandals is the character and integrity of both employees, school officials and student athletes.
“I firmly believe that we hire the right people here,” Gee began. “I’m not going to speak to the character of those at other institutions, but that’s what we’re all about here at Montana, is hiring individuals with integrity. Whether it’s coaching staff or compliance staff involved with student athletes day in and day out. We do have a very good contract with Nike and we as a compliance staff monitor a lot of things that our coaches do, whether it’s NCAA rules. In this case, it obviously has a lot more to do with breaking the law. I always say, though, that you can have every monitoring system in place, but if someone is looking to break the rules, they will. That’s where hiring the right people with integrity comes into play.”
Gee said all student athletes, nearly 320 in all sports, receive a great deal of education about NCAA rule compliance.
“There are just so many rules, and we instill in them that even if they don’t know if something is permissible, that asking is always the right way to go, rather than asking forgiveness after, because you can have some pretty severe consequences for something that may be fairly innocent in their eyes.”
Gee said she feels for highly recruited athletes, especially in college basketball.
“A lot of these kids are being heavily recruited, especially the top end in men’s basketball because one incredible recruit can make the difference for a program,” she said. ‘For them to realize that their entire dream could go down the drain by accepting that. I hope they have people around them that are looking out for their best interests, and not just on the court or the field, but in life. Maybe they don’t get caught, but the chance of them getting caught nowadays is greater then ever.”
The NCAA itself will be looking into the scandal to determine the rules that have allegedly been violated.