Non-News of the Day: Basketball Recruiting is Skeezy

March 12, 2009 – 10:59 am by admin

Leave it to Yahoo! Sports to rain on Syracuse’s little Big East tournament parade.

The Orange dropped a ton of threes and narrowly avoided a scrum with Seton Hall on Wednesday in their first game at the Garden, setting up a quarterfinal game against Connecticut at 9 p.m. tonight.

But lost in the shuffle of March Madness, which is awesome, is a story about Syracuse opening an internal investigation into former player Donte Greene’s recruitment by a sports agency. Not so awesome.

Greene played just one season at Syracuse and led it in scoring before bolting to the NBA. For the record, I was never impressed with the guy.

But anyway,  Ceruzzi Sports and Entertainment in New York City helped Greene’s uncle get a $50,000 bank loan (possible NCAA rules violation right there) as a way of influencing Greene to choose the agency when he decided to go pro.

In the words of Ceruzzi CEO Charles Grantham:

“It was done because (Derrick) Marcano (Greene’s uncle) needed the money and we thought he was a person of influence.”

That doesn’t sound good. If Syracuse finds that this indeed is a rules violation and it happened on its watch, there’s a problem.  And, for the record, Greene didn’t sign with Ceruzzi.

For his part, coach Jim Boeheim is saying he had no idea what was going on between Greene’s uncle and the agency and he doesn’t believe Greene knew either.

Maybe. Maybe not. The investigation will probably flesh it all out.

Like we need more proof that basketball recruiting is a gigantic gray area.

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