The resolution of Louisville’s case came one day after Kansas acknowledged wrongdoing for the first time since an investigation began more than five years ago, announcing that Coach Bill Self and his top assistant, Kurtis Townsend, would be suspended for the first four games this season.
Self’s program has been accused of five Level I violations, the most serious type of infraction, in a case that also involves Adidas funneling money to recruits’ families, but it did not stop Kansas from rewarding Self last year with what it called a lifetime contract, one that prohibits the school from firing him for any violations from the current investigation.
In April, Kansas won a national title.
As Self hoisted the championship trophy in New Orleans, Merl Code Jr. was in federal prison, serving a five-month sentence after his conviction in the federal bribery sting. For nearly 15 years, Code worked for Nike and Adidas, operating in the gray, in and around the rules of an industry that generates billions on the backs of a largely Black labor force that was until recently unpaid, and still remains unsalaried.
Code, who was released in July, greeted the week’s news with a shrug.
“I don’t pay attention to that,” he said in a phone interview on Thursday. “The truth doesn’t matter. It’s been that way since we started this thing.”
By that, he meant that it was more instances of wealthy, powerful — and white — coaches largely escaping accountability, as federal prosecutors and the schools successfully fought attempts to have them testify under oath and the N.C.A.A. has lashed coaches and athletic directors with a feather boa.
Meanwhile, mostly Black subordinates, like himself, the aspiring agent Christian Dawkins and assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn, Southern California and Oklahoma State went to prison. Three other Black assistants were fired.
“When you keep coaches and athletic directors from testifying, when you allow testimony from a federal agent who got indicted, you’re not looking for the truth,” Code said, referring to an undercover agent in the case, Scott Carpenter, who pleaded guilty to gambling with government money. “I’m not wishing or hoping that anybody loses their job; I’d just like the rules to apply to everyone. You’ve created this narrative that victimizes and criminalizes Black men and slaps white men on the wrist.”
Source: NY Times