The utterance of the term “student-athlete” induces a chuckle from those who are familiar with what really drives the highest levels of college athletics — money. With so much at stake for the universities beyond just the publicity that comes with having a winning football or basketball program, the gatekeepers have conveniently snoozed on the corruption that has blatantly occurred over the last few decades. Some of the most notable manipulators of the system from the last 20 years are listed below — these guys exerted their influence over athletic programs without regard for the integrity of the game.
Months of intensive research from Yahoo Sports writer Charles Robinson brought forth the recent revelation that former Miami Hurricanes booster and Ponzi scheme operator Nevin Shapiro provided $2 million-worth of cash, gifts, prostitutes and several other favours — including paying for an abortion — to more than 100 players from 2002 to 2010. Prompted to disclose his activities after his imprisonment for conducting a $930 million Ponzi scheme, it’s clearly questionable as to whether his stories are 100 per cent true. But the evidence provided by Robinson is more than enough to have Hurricanes fans wondering if the program will ever be the same.
The sordid details of Campbell’s involvement with the Hurricanes during the ’80s and ’90s was highlighted in Billy Corbin’s The U documentary, in which the one-time leader of 2 Live Crew openly discussed making payments to players. Most interestingly — and harmfully — he placed bounties on opposing players and threatened to go public with his dealings if Ryan Collins wasn’t named the starter. Campbell has publicly distanced himself from Shapiro by contrasting their respective motives.
3. Willie Lyles
Singlehandedly exposing the evildoers of college football, Robinson published an article in which Lyles, a street agent, admitted that Oregon football coach Chip Kelly authorised a payment of $25,000 for outdated recruiting packages. The Ducks, of course, landed highly-touted prospects LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk from Texas, Lyles’ home base. It was also reported that he requested $80,000 from Texas A&M in exchange for the commitment of former LSU star cornerback Patrick Peterson, who later denied affiliation with Lyles.
4. Lloyd Lake
As with Lyles, Lake took advantage of a player for his own personal gain. After providing Bush with gifts from the conclusion of the 2004 season to the end of the 2005 season, he sued Bush in 2007 for not repaying the almost $300,000 sum he provided. An NCAA investigation that confirmed the relationship between Lake and Bush resulted in USC’s current two-year bowl ban and reduction of scholarships. Bush’s 2005 Heisman Trophy has been vacated, and USC has removed all jerseys and murals displayed in his honour, tarnishing his incredible three seasons with the program.
5. Logan Young
Alabama didn’t fully recover from the NCAA’s early 2000s onslaught until Nick Saban implemented his “process.” The blame for the period of misery is placed on the late Logan Young, who’s more hated in Tuscaloosa than any Auburn Tiger. In 2000, Alabama was competing for the commitment of defensive lineman Albert Means, one of the most highly touted recruits in the country. Young, a prominent businessman from Memphis and Alabama booster, paid his coach $150,000 to secure his services, eventually resulting in a five-year probation including a two-year bowl ban. Convicted on racketeering charges, he served time in jail, and in 2006, he committed suicide.
A program synonymous with the death penalty, SMU has been college football’s poster boy for cheating thanks, in no small part, to the actions of Dallas real-estate developer Sherwood Blount during the ’80s. Already under the watchful eye of the NCAA, SMU athletic department staff members in conjunction with Blount, who was supposedly barred from SMU athletics, organised a $61,000 slush fund distributed to 13 players. The outcome, of course, was two whole seasons without football and another two decades before the program became relevant again.
7. Bobby Lowder
Former Auburn booster Corky Frost may have been a better choice for this list, as he was actually caught on tape setting up a payment plan for infamous (in Auburn, at least) former defensive back Erik Ramsey. Although Lowder hasn’t been directly implicated in such a manner, his influence on Auburn has been less than holy. More of a puppet master, he played a role in the infamous Jetgate Scandal, in which he lent his private jet to then-University President William Walker, Jr. and athletic director David Housel so they could speak to then-Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino while Tommy Tuber ville was still employed at Auburn. His unwarranted clout as a trustee — he recently withdrew under pressure — caused the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to threaten stripping the school of accreditation. However, his departure, along with the collapse of his Colonial Bank, could reduce his influence on the university.
When three college basketball players — David Butler, Anderson Hunt and Moses Scurry — from a university in Las Vegas are photographed in a hot tub with a man named Richie “The Fixer” Perry, you know the NCAA isn’t pleased. Before his infamous affiliation with the UNLV basketball program, Perry served a year in prison for his involvement in the 1984 Boston College point shaving scandal, and 10 years earlier, he was convicted for his part in fixing horse races in New York. Since the scandals of the late ’80s and early ’90s, UNLV has struggled to recapture its glory.
9. Ed Martin
The Fab Five’s greatest accomplishments have been stricken from the record book due to the former presence of Ed Martin. A retired Ford electrician who ran a gambling operation, he provided $280,000 in loans to Chris Webber and $336,000 in loans to Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Keith Bullock, causing the termination of national championship-winning coach Steve Fisher and self-imposed sanctions from Michigan that were accepted by the NCAA. According to NCAA Infractions committee chairman Thomas Yeager, it ranked as “one of the three or four most egregious” violations of all time.
10. David Salinas
The late David Salinas was a Ponzi scheme operator who used his influence to gain the investments of several college basketball coaches — such as Gonzaga’s Mark Few, Baylor’s Scott Drew and Texas Tech’s Billy Gillispie. The collapse of his Ponzi scheme and the investigation conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission led to the loss of the money provided by the coaches. Most suspicious about Salinas, who committed suicide amid the investigation, is the fact that he was the founder of the Houston Select AAU basketball program, which brings forth the possibility that he could’ve provided recruits to their programs. The unseemly affiliation of college coaches with AAU coaches has plagued the sport, prompting many to call for more restrictive measures.
Sponsored by: http://www.onlinecertificateprograms.org
Read more posts on TheMatadorSports »
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.