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Volume 26 No. 50
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Notre Dame's Brey Bullish On Future Of College Hoops After FBI Scandal

Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey said college basketball is still digging “out of the hole” caused by last year’s FBI investigation into corruption and bribery in the sport, but that he believes the turmoil will have a positive effect. “We’ve always had this underworld in our sport, and we all know it in this room,” Brey said during a featured interview at the ’18 Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. “Now that it has been thoroughly thrown out there, my feeling is, let’s flush it all out. Let’s get it all out, let’s take our medicine and let’s move in a direction to improve things.” Brey said among college coaches, many are "probably a little surprised that at the university level there haven’t been more disciplinary measures.” Only one coach, Rick Pitino, has been fired as a result of the investigations. “Are more coming given there are pending legal cases?” said Brey. “Maybe so, but as a profession, coaches say, wow, that’s interesting, maybe there should be more ineligible guys. But I sense that is coming.” While many in the sports world were shocked by what was revealed by the investigation, Brey said, “I don’t think anything came out of there after being in this business for 30 years that made me say wow. I’ve been fortunate in my 20 years out there that I haven’t been put in any position where deals were being asked to be done. Do you shy away from certain recruiting situations because it doesn’t feel right? Yes.”

RECRUITING CHANGE: A year after the investigation, Brey said there has been “a little swing for the good” on the recruiting front, but that “we have to keep the heat on with some of the rules and some of the things that the Rice commission has suggested.” Brey: “We all have to understand that we’re going to have to be patient with this, as it’s going to take time to level penalties, take time to figure out the new template for recruiting. One of the key pieces of the Rice commission is stronger enforcement and stronger penalties, so when some of those harder hits come, that’s also going to help.” Brey said that he does think shoe companies are agreeing to more transparency. “If you can get them to back it up a little bit and help us, it’s maybe a good start,” he said. Brey said he also supports the abolishment of the “one-and-done” rule. “If you have a young freak of nature or a phenom that can go, just go,” he said.