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Dust in the Wind? NCAA Takes on Kansas, Blue Bloods

The college basketball playing field has never been even, but there are signs that the NCAA finally might be doing something about it.

Washington 74, Kansas 65.

On Dec. 6, 2017, on the anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, an unsung Husky basketball team snuck up on one of America's blue-blood programs and pulled a stunning upset in Kansas City.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self afterward extended what seemed begrudging praise to the visiting team from Seattle and its new coach Mike Hopkins for the unexpected victory.

At the same time, he made it abundantly clear the outcome was unacceptable.

He didn't say it flat out, but Kansas wasn't supposed to lose to a team like Washington.


At least that was the insinuation.


Well, the answers are coming out rapid-fire now, with Louisville and Kansas just this past week given Notices of Allegations for committing grievous NCAA sins. Level 1 and 2 infractions. More schools will join them soon in this public caning.

Harsh penalties for everyone involved should follow, with punishment that could include postseason bans, coaching suspensions or firings and general embarrassment for some of the nation's foremost institutions of higher learning. 

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde weighs in on the messy situation involving Kansas in the accompanying video.  

This day has been coming for a long time -- because, as much as it's tried, college basketball hasn't been able to clean itself up.

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Many of the so-called blue-bloods have cheated to assume their regal positions in the college basketball stratosphere and stay there. Using opportunistic shoe companies and street-wise middle men, while blaming the process on supposedly rogue but more likely loyal assistant coaches, they've invested in winning. 

It doesn't matter how they funnel it or who they funnel it through, schools have been paying players. For a long time. 

Coaches have looked the other way, considering it a necessary means to do business, to maintain job security.  

Championship banners that hang in the rafters have been bought and paid for.

Enforcement of this has been a joke.

That finally might change.

In some cases, investigators have guilty parties speaking on audiotape discussing their misdeeds for everyone to hear. It's not chump change either. Six-digit renumeration clearly has been discussed.

Still, the exposed coaches deny they've done anything wrong.

They don't see payoffs as inappropriate. 

It's how the college game is played, how the rules are made to be flaunted, how they keep up with the others doing it.

Maybe the playing field gets leveled now by making extreme examples out of these offenders. The self-made royalty. False champions.

And a Washington victory over Kansas will become commonplace rather than bucking the system.