Varsity Kansas

The Browns, Miami and Brian Butler

By now you’ve probably heard about the Miami (Fla.) University hullabaloo regarding Nevin Shapiro, a booster, who lavished money, gifts, etc., on many in the football and basketball programs. Yahoo Sports did a magnificent job reporting this. The evidence they show is shocking and impressive.

Unfortunately, this hits close to all of us because of the connection to East grads Arthur and Bryce Brown, who are now at Kansas State. Brian Butler has been an adviser to the family since early on in the recruiting process.

Regardless of whether Shapiro has an axe to grind, the facts — as backed up by Yahoo’s evidence — seem clear.

I’m not silly enough to say this doesn’t happen elsewhere. You can just look at Ohio State for a recent example or SMU for an old one (that ESPN special on SMU was riveting). But it blows my mind that this can happen.

I think it’s sad that it hit two of my favorite athletes who I have covered. Arthur was always the nicest, most polite interview ever. Bryce was brash but always up for a chat.

So where, on the high school level, do we go from here? The college folks will figure out if Miami deserves to get the death penalty and whether Arthur and/or Bryce Brown will be suspended.

Here at the high school level, it seems to me the discussion needs to focus on how such a situation can be avoided.

The most clear-cut answer is to not take anything for free while you are in college as an athlete or during the recruiting process. This goes for family, too (check out Reggie Bush at USC).

It’s really pretty simple — if someone’s offering you something for free, guaranteed there are strings attached or you’ll pay down the line. Doesn’t matter if it’s in athletics or real life.

I’m aware that this isn’t always easy. I’m aware that some kids have absolutely nothing. That is so sad, but breaking the rules still isn’t right.

Those are some of my thoughts — what are yours?