Pick Your College Basketball Scandal

With multiple controversies breaking out across the nation at a plethora of schools, it's safe to say that NCAA basketball has seen better weeks.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Go ahead. Pick your poison, fans.

If your a fan of the Harvard Crimson — or that of the 'little guys' in general — you've been discouraged to find out that the two leading scorers from last year's squad, and whom also led the Crimson to their first Tournament since 1946, will most likely soon be kicked off the team due to cheating in school. S.I. reported Tuesday afternoon that senior co-captains Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry have both been implicated in academic fraud. In fact, according to the report, Casey has already planned to withdraw from Harvard, likely missing the entire upcoming season altogether. If the players are charged, they would both face a one-year suspension. And who says you need to have brains to play for an Ivy League school…

If you're a Duke or UNC fan, you might be sweating a little more profusely than usual as well. That's right, even the kings of the college basketball landscape haven't been immune to controversy this week.

Former Duke player Lance Thomas helped the Blue Devils win the national championship over Butler in 2010. Evidently he was too busy winning to pay his jeweler.  It came out just days ago that a jeweler put up a lawsuit against the former Blue Devil after he failed to pay nearly $70,000 for custom bling. Although buying jewelery isn't an NCAA violation, the fact that Thomas put up $30,000 up front as a down-payment raises some serious eyebrows. Thomas was a college senior at the time and son to a single mother who is a manager at a Ford plant in Jersey. How does a kid get that kind of dough?

We just saw USC lose their football national title in wake of paying Reggie Bush. If the NCAA investigates — and they will — and find evidence of payments to Thomas, could Duke be the first college basketball program to be stripped of a championship?

In good ol' Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels are facing some heat. Well, at least a pair of adult lovers are. Turns out, Matt Kupec, North Carolina's vice chancellor for university advancement and former Tar Heels star Tyler Hansbrough's momma, Tami, had a love affair that disrupted the earmarking for their university cash flow. Kupec, one of the school's top fundraisers, resigned on Sunday night after an audit showed that Tami, who was also hired by the school, charged personal trips to the University — many which appeared to have been non-school related events with Kupec himself. I guess you don't just go to the Chapel to get married these days…

And then there is the chaos still swirling around Billy Gillispie and the Texas Tech basketball program. In a bizarre series of events that have unfolded, it seems as if the university is ready to fire the coach after allegations have come forward that he has mistreated and abused his players; only Gillispie has been indisposed since word broke out of the serious accusations.

ESPN.com has reported that the Texas Tech athletic director stated the coach is "no longer making day-to-day decisions for the basketball program so he can focus on his health," and that Kirby Hocutt also told Gillispie late last week that "he was not 'to engage' in the program in 'any way' until the two talk face to face about allegations of player mistreatment."

So, naturally, instead of facing these issues head on, Gillispie goes on 'sick leave.'

Gillispie reportedly called 911 and was taken to the hospital on August 31, ironically the exact day he was supposed to meet with Hocutt about the statements made against him. Although the coach left the hospital last Thursday, he now left for Minnesota for the Mayo Clinic where he is being treated for stress and high blood pressure.

The coach was already reprimanded in January for exceeding the NCAA's weekly practice limit, and now his leading scorer, Jordan Tolbert, has made it clear he won't play for him any longer. Tolbert was one of the Tech players who came forward to Hocutt just two weeks ago, explaining the detriment suffered while under Gillispie; abuse that included making injured players practice, and holding workouts for nearly 8 hours.

Although some former players, along with Kansas head coach Bill Self, have voiced support for Gillispie, his timely departure under these critical circumstances obviously raise concerns in regards to how the coach was running his basketball team.

The probably soon-to-be former Texas Tech head coach has obviously had a lot to stress over within the past year. Not only has he been around multiple family deaths, but he also lost $2.3 million in a Ponzi scheme to a former AAU basketball operator. Let's just say it hasn't been a good year for Gill.

You're an insensitive biggot if you don't wish for the coach's health, however, if I'm a Red Raider fan, I can only hope that the abuse allegations are untrue. Heck, if I'm a college basketball fan, I hope they're untrue — all of the aforementioned scandals.

Following Penn State, the last thing we need is news coming out that the greatest baskeball coach of all time paid players to come to Duke, UNC spends money for honeymoons, players cheat at iconic Harvard and another coach is physically suffocating his players in Texas.

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports

Photo Credit: Getty

By: Jamie Squire

Collection: Getty Images Sport