ATHENS — The news that hit college basketball on Tuesday was seismic. The FBI arrested 10 people, including an assistant coach at Auburn, charging them with corruption related to allegedly paying players.
But Georgia coach Mark Fox, when asked about it a few hours later, might not have known about the specifics. Still. he was not shocked that this could be happening.
“I’m not surprised,” Fox said. “It confirms what we probably already felt like was happening in our game.”
Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person was among four assistant coaches arrested by the FBI, which alleged bribery in connection with adidas to exert influence on where recruits went to school. Assistants at Arizona, Oklahoma State and Southern California were also arrested, and the Oklahoma State assistant, Lamont Evans, was at South Carolina from 2012-16.
Louisville emerged as a potential target in the probe, which has gone on for three years, increasing the pressure on head coach Rick Pitino. Documents from the indictment show that a school fitting Louisville’s description arranged for a recruit to receive $100,000.
Fox is entering his ninth season as Georgia’s coach. He has been criticized in the past for not recruiting well enough, and not “playing the game,” as the saying goes. He was asked, in the aftermath of this, how a school can compete if other programs are doing things that are alleged in the FBI report.
“We compete just like we always have. We’re going to do this job in an honorable way,” Fox said. “We’re not going to put the university at risk. We’re not going to put our kids at risk. And we’re going to work as hard as we can to do this job the right way. We’ve got to find kids that will buy into it doing that way. I think we have a team that has certainly bought in this year.”