Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is not one to hold his tongue. Barkley is in San Antonio at the NCAA Final Four and he took sometime to lash out on the FBI and its college basketball corruption probe.
“I’m still trying to figure out why the FBI is involved,” Barkley said on the FBI’s on going investigation into NCAA basketball, via Scott Gleeson of USA Today Sports. “Listen, I went to college in 1981. We cheated back then. We’re cheating now. They’re always cheating. The toothpaste is out of the tube. They said they gave that kid at Arizona [Deandre Ayton] $100,000. He was underpaid. There must’ve been closed bidding because I would’ve gave his [expletive] more.”
As an Arizona resident, Barkley has a particular interest in Arizona Wildcats forward Deandre Ayton. Arizona coach Sean Miller is allegedly caught on FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payout to secure the then recruit Ayton. Ayton is one of several players who were named in a Yahoo Sports report about the FBI’s investigation into NCAA basketball’s pay-for-play scandal.
Ayton declared for the NBA earlier this month, all the while the investigation is still a fluid situation.
Barkley, like many others, is a believer that student-athletes should receive compensation in addition to a scholarship. Furthermore, it can be viewed as striking to some that Barkley conceded cheating is part of the norm when it comes to college sports.