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Corruption in College Basketball

            The title "student-athlete" is one that carries with it a certain level of prestige. Both scholarly and athletic, well-rounded and gifted, the student-athlete is an individual that both demands and deserves respect for his or her efforts. Able to balance the workload with the practice schedule like few can, the person who plays a college sport is someone looked to as a role model and a representative for an entire campus. At least this is how it should be. However, in today's ever-changing collegiate athletic landscape, the student athlete is now rarely an example of the afore-mentioned qualities, but rather someone who exists only for his or her sport, and more importantly, those who profit from it. In many cases, student athletes lose their sense of individuality, becoming pawns for greedy athletic directors, boosters, and businessmen who manage to suck the amateurism out of amateur athletics. College basketball is no exception to this travesty and is perhaps the most maligned collegiate sport because of it. Scandalous activity plagues college hoops in an array of ways. From academic fraud, to point-shaving, even to murder, scandals are slowly turning college basketball from one of America's most cherished pastimes to an embarrassment to both students and athletes alike.
             Although scandals are generally only associated with the commercialism of the modern-day game, the first time greed took precedence of dignity was in the point-shaving scandal of 1951 (Rubenstein 1). One of the most disgraceful crimes a player can commit, point-shaving compromises all the values that college athletes hold dear: competitiveness, dignity, and pride. It is an activity that ultimately stems from greedy gamblers who have both the connections and the audacity necessary to ask a college athlete to shave points: intentionally play poorly so that one's team does not cover the point spread set by Las Vegas gambling gurus, thus giving gamblers a guarantee as to which team they should bet on in a certain game.

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