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Michael Beasley on college basketball scandal: “you guys are just catching on”

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Michael Beasley was a highly recruited high school basketball player out of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., who went on to play his college ball at the Kansas State then eventually became the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

He’s been the focus of recruiting battles, not unlike the ones that have taken down Rick Pitino at Louisville and led to former NBA Rookie of the Year Chuck Person being arrested.

Is this a massive scandal or just business as usual in college sports? Beasley told reporters more of the latter. He told the USA Today that reporters and prosecutors are just starting to catch on — and said college players should get paid.

“Man, you guys are just catching on. And that’s all I gotta say….

“My jerseys. They sell my jerseys. Not just me but what about Kentucky and Anthony Davis. USC and O.J. Mayo. Western Kentucky and Courtney Lee. We bring a lot to these schools and we can’t even park in front of the arenas for games. They still make us, as freshmen, park two parking lots away from the dorm rooms in the freezing cold. So do I think that guys need to be compensated for their work? Yes. Because most of us don’t make it to this level. A lot of us don’t make it to the professional level, let alone the NBA. So I do think guys should be getting paid. The NCAA is making billions: not just off basketball but off football and soccer – by the way, golf players get paid. Tennis players get paid. There are athletes getting paid at the college level. We’re just not one of them.”

For the record, Beasley said he did not get paid to go to K-State.

Also, for the record, pretty much every sports fan knows this goes on as common practice, we just turn a blind eye.

College basketball is a massive business built on a model of free labor, Beasley is right about that. Schools and the NCAA, make big money — and that’s not to mention universities luring donors to the university and stoking alumni — and while the players do get a free education (those that take advantage of it), that cost is a fraction of what the teams bring in. The NCAA’s efforts at amateurism create a black market that has shoe companies funneling money to players and coaches to get a recruit to Louisville (or has Louisville assistant coaches hiring strippers to “entertain” guys on recruiting visits). Don’t make the mistake of just singling out Louisville or Adidas schools, this is widespread. And it goes on in college football, too.

That said, I’d be shocked if we see players get paid in our lifetime. There would be too much pushback from the universities, not to mention people whose minds are stuck in the 1950s. Plus, there are a lot of questions that go with it — college softball players put in long hours and travel for their sport and to represent the university, should they be compensated as well? If so, how much? And we can go on down the line of college sports.

 

Heat forward James Johnson expected to miss 7 to 10 days

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MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat will be without starting forward James Johnson for at least two games and probably more after bursitis was found in his right ankle.

Johnson left Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday with ankle pain, and an MRI performed Sunday led to the bursitis diagnosis. Johnson is not traveling with the team for its trip for games at Atlanta on Monday and Boston on Wednesday.

The team says Johnson could miss seven to 10 days, which would also mean his status for home games against Dallas on Dec. 22, New Orleans on Dec. 23 and Orlando on Dec. 26 is in some doubt.

Johnson is averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Heat this season.

LeBron James wears one black, one white LeBron 15 shoes with “Equality” on back (VIDEO)

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LeBron James notched his third-straight triple-double on Sunday, this one coming against the Washington Wizards. But before the game, the story was all about how James was voicing a silent protest — in Washington D.C., no less — by wearing a special version of his shoes.

LeBron took to the floor wearing his LeBron 15s, but this player edition had the word “Equality” on the back of them. James wore one black shoe and one white shoe.

James wore the black versions of this shoe in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ opener to start the season.

Via Twitter:

LeBron finished the game with 20 points, 15 assists, and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers beat the Wizards, 106-99.

Stephen Curry says he’d want in on potential Panthers ownership

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The Carolina Panthers are up for sale. Owner Jerry Richardson said he would sell the team late on Sunday following an announcement by the NFL that Richardson was under investigation for “workplace misconduct”. The NFL’s investigation and Richardson’s decision to sell was preceded by a report from SI saying Richardson had paid out settlements amid sexual harassment and racial slur claims.

Enter Sean Combs and Stephen Curry.

Combs — that’s Diddy, you to and me — has previously voiced his interest in being involved with the NFL, and after seeing that Richardson would be selling the team, jumped at the chance to boost his profile. Combs tweeted that he wanted to buy the team, and that’s when Curry joined in.

Via Twitter:

Naturally, Curry is from Charlotte and went to both high school and eventually college in the area, playing at Davidson. He’s an avid Panthers fan and has been on the sideline for the team publicly many times over the years.

Curry being part of an ownership group for the Panthers would be pretty wild. Perhaps Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan would like to join in? It seems like they would have the liquidity and credit availability between the three of them to get the team.

Then again, the asking price for the Panthers could be north of $2 billion. The last team to be sold was the Buffalo Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion. In September, Forbes released a valuation for the Panthers that put them at $2.3 billion.

Might need to get a few others involved in this one.

Watch Raptors fans give Vince Carter a standing ovation in Toronto (VIDEO)

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Vince Carter is 40 years old and playing in what could possibly be his final NBA season. The Sacramento Kings guard started his career with the Toronto Raptors, and on Sunday he played what could possibly be his final game at the Air Canada Centre.

And so, when Carter was subbed out late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the folks in Toronto did what came naturally: they cheered.

The whole thing was pretty great to watch, and a real testament to how Carter is viewed by fans in Toronto.

Via Twitter:

Carter scored just four points in 25 minutes for Sacramento, going 2-of-5 from the field while adding three blocks, two assists, a rebound and a steal.

The Raptors got the win over the Kings, 108-93.