When Mike Krzyzewski referred to the ongoing trial involving Adidas executives, college basketball prospects, go-betweens, and large sums of money a “blip”, it was a telling moment. Coach K was using the same defense strategy that has worked for decades, and one other big-name coaches are also employing: whatever the allegations, not everyone is doing it.

Last night, Coach K attempted to reframe his comments as if he were using the military radar definition of blip. and not the generally understood conversational usage, which was also revealing in that Krzyzewski really can’t ever just admit he’s wrong. But it’s pretty clearly not just a blip, in whatever sense. No one has really been that surprised by the revelation that money is being funneled from various channels to influence players in a certain direction, despite what Krzyzewski would have you believe, because everyone knows it happens.

It’s just that until now, no one thought it was illegal. Today, that was confirmed with guilty verdicts handed down:

And from ESPN.com:

Gatto, Code and Dawkins were accused of felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by paying money from Adidas to the families of recruits to ensure they signed with Adidas-sponsored schools, and then with the sneaker company and certain financial planners and agents once they turned pro.

The jury found Gatto guilty on all three of his counts, while Code and Dawkins were found guilty on two counts.

One of Gatto’s attorneys, Michael Schacter, said he would appeal the verdict.

The initial outcry at the start of the investigation, which came mostly from people with a vested interest in not rocking the college basketball boat, was to wonder why the government would bother enforcing NCAA rules. Clearly that’s not what was happening here, but it plays well to a certain crowd. That’s not going to work anymore. Coach K himself is now on a third tactic, offering this after the verdict was announced:

Meanwhile, the ruling today is already influencing the ongoing cases related to the federal probe:

And it might be enough to flush things out that haven’t yet been exposed, although as per usual, the NCAA itself doesn’t have much incentive to roll back the carpet. They’re making a ton of money off of college basketball as it is; why would they have an interest in breaking open the entire thing? But hey, you know who does have faith in the NCAA’s investigative power? Coach K!

In the end, of course, a case like this (and things like the NBA moving to compete with colleges for prospects) could force the NCAA to loosen restrictions on amateurism, which would be a good thing. But it’s silly that we have to go through so much bullshit to get there.

[ESPN]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.