So far, the UCLA Basketball team has not been contacted by the FBI in regards to the recent college basketball corruption scandal and Head Coach Steve Alford is thankful his assistants are helping to run a clean program.
In recent weeks, several college basketball programs have been under fire as members of their programs have been connected to corruption charges. The UCLA Basketball team was not one of them.
In all, 10 individuals (assistant coaches and an Adidas representative) have been arrested for accepting payments in order to channel recruits to their programs. Two of those coaches came from UCLA’s rival schools, USC and Arizona.
With the scandal hitting so close to home in the Pac-12 and keeping in mind UCLA’s former relationship with Adidas, Bruins fans were concerned about UCLA having a connection to these corruption charges.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “no one from [Alford’s] program has been contacted by the FBI or the Department of Justice regarding the ongoing bribery and corruption investigation involving college basketball coaches, players and officials.“
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Alford stated in that article, “I sleep well at night” and hopefully Bruins fans do as well with this information. “The three guys on the road with me I hired for a reason of who they are and how I want things done.”
That is comforting to know, but there is still a hint of “what if?” What if Alford was mislead or lying? We are not saying he is and believe that what he has stated is true, we just hope everyone surrounding the program is truthful as well. And if they are, that is even better for the Bruins.
In a previous article, I stated how the Bruins can benefit from both Arizona and USC’s misfortunes. If both teams are sanctioned, they could be without a few players this season. They could also be banned from post-season play, which could lead to easier paths to a Pac-12 Championship for the Bruins.
And then there are the recruiting implications. If elite prospects are looking for a competitive team out west, sanctions against USC and Arizona could direct top-tier recruits to Westwood.
If it is indeed true that UCLA has kept their noses clean, a lot of good things could be coming for UCLA Basketball. Let us hope it remains that way.