From Yahoo!Sports, earlier in the week at an AAU tournament in Memphis, it was reported that Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings had a verbal confrontation with an AAU tournament official, then left altogether. The dispute? The AAU tournament official insisted that Stallings pay the $295 for the "information packet" which contains recruit contact information. As reported in the New York Times, Stalling had this to say:
"I’m not protesting or insisting that my moral compass is better than anyone else. But mine won’t allow me to do something like that that is that blatantly wrong."The New York Times also reported that Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo refused to pay the $100 "admission fee" at the Summer Jam in Milwaukee last month insisting that an assistant had already paid them $250. Yale head coach James Jones claims to have paid $350 one time at an AAU tournament just to watch 1 player, his only alternative was to pay for a $600 annual scouting service subscription.
Most of you have probably read the article in the Charlotte Observer a couple of months ago which scrutinized the connections between shoe companies, middlemen, and these so-called "scouting services" -- all of which have made certain individuals extremely wealthy over the past few decades (I won't name names, but you can read about them in the article).
And while Tom Izzo, Kevin Stallings, and James Jones may have shown enough guts to stand up for a principle not only by refusing to pay but by speaking publicly about it, the majority of college coaches are silent. The silence probably speaks more volumes than the voices of discontent. The silence proves that the majority of college coaches have become so dependent on these middlemen and tournament directors that they no longer have the agency to speak out against what they know is one huge scam.
The more you dig deeper, the more it looks like the whole system of AAU club basketball in the U.S. is like the unregulated brokerage houses of Wall Street -- a house of cards that is just waiting to come crashing down. And like Wall Street, those responsible for this mess will find a way to escape unfettered, millions and millions of dollars richer.