It Pays to Cheat in NCAA Recruiting

Many think that college coaches and staff should never commit NCAA violations with regards to recruiting athletes to play for their respective schools.  Such violations can include excessive communication, providing gifts/incentives, paying players, or other illegal means that give teams competitive disadvantages.   Cheating, however, may be more rewarding than one may think.

Take Pete Carroll for example.  Carroll began his coaching career as a graduate assistant and later offensive coordinator at the University of Pacific.  He later became the assistant coach and skill position coach of a variety of different teams before landing the head coaching job at the University of Southern California.  During his tenure as coach, he had many successes including winning the BCS national title in January 2005.

And lets be honest, dude was cakin.  When originally hired, Carroll signed a five-year contract worth $1 million a year.  He received a significant raise after the 2002 season and earned close to $3 million in 2004.  After he won the national title, he agreed to another contract extension.  His total compensation, including pay and benefits, for the 2007 fiscal year was $4,415,714.

Then in 2010, Reggie Bush, running back for the Trojans during their 2005 championship run, was found to have accepted several improper gifts, including the use of a San Diego area home by members of Bush’s family.  Not long before an NCAA report on violations at USC under Pete Carroll was released, Carroll came to agreement with the Seattle Seahawks on a 5-year $33 million contract to become head coach.  What a coincidence.

Carroll used NCAA violations to make himself rich.  And what was his punishment for committing them?:  Only vacated game wins from his college win/loss record.  What did he profit by cheating?:  Multi-million dollar contracts and a professional coaching career in the NFL.  Even USC profited for the sanctions, as they became a perennial college power team for years and years to come.

Cheating leads to success in other college sports too.  Scott Drew took the head coaching position of the men’s team at Baylor University which was left in a shambles after the resignation of Dave Bliss due to scandal.  The team was terrible.  What I really mean is, the team was TERRIBLE.  Drew turned the program around, chiefly due to the recruitment of McDonalds All-Americans and top players.  During the 07-08 season, Drew led Baylor to a 21–9 regular season record and a tournament appearance for only the fifth time in school history.  They have been to the elite 8 as well.  After this season, Drew signed a contract that clocked an annual salary of $1,720,333.

Later, Drew, women’s coach Kim Mulkey and their assistants reportedly combined to make 528 impermissible calls and 738 impermissible text messages and over a span of nearly two-and-a-half years, most of which were committed by the men’s staff.  Drew admits wrongdoing.  His cheating fiasco resulted in minor sanctions, but also a fat contract guaranteed for 10 years for Scott Drew and an increasingly relevant basketball program for Baylor.

Coach Jon Calipari has been caught cheating too while at Massachusetts and at Memphis.  His successes are proven with a Kentucky Wildcats championship and an annual salary of $ 5.2 million + bonuses.

Cheating seems reasonable.  It advances your career and, overall, the schools involved.  And punishment for the individuals that are cheating are miniscule while the benefits are gargantuan.  Seems that the only logical thing to do is cheat until you make bank.  It’s a sad world in collegiate sports nowadays.

Deshawn (@ShonJay714)

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