Friday, November 10, 2017

Louisville Mens Basketball Suffers from Crucial Mistake (2017)

In 2016, the attendance for the thirty-six games of March Madness was 703,854. Most can agree that college basketball is one of the most watched sports in the country. People anticipate the month of March because they cannot wait to submit their final bracket for a chance to win it all. However, not all teams make it into March Madness every year. It is strictly based on records and the caliber of teams that have been beaten, along with teams that have also lost. These college programs are recruiting year-round to build the strongest team they can. This way they can compete with the other very talented teams when it comes March. This year in college basketball there was huge problem of college coaches bribing players for them to come to their school. There was a total of ten people arrested so far for this scandal, which includes four NCAA basketball coaches and an Adidas manager. The scandal involved a bribery investigation involving recruitment efforts. Among those arrested were Lamont Evans, an associate coach of Oklahoma State University, Chuck Person, an associate coach of Auburn University, Emanuel "Book" Richardson, an assistant coach of the University of Arizona, and Tony Bland, an associate coach of the University of Southern California. These coaches were offering these players and their families money for them to come to their basketball program. Every one of these college basketball programs are well respected and are always pushing to punch their ticket in March. 
Rick Pitino (Louisville Basketball Coach)

However, the biggest story line so far was the Louisville basketball program. The Cardinals have won three NCAA championships (1980, 1986, 2013) and have been to 10 final fours (sixth most of all time) in 42 NCAA tournament appearances (fifth most of all time) while compiling 76 tournament wins (sixth most of all time). As you can see, this school is high in the ranks as one of the best of all time. Before, this scandal they had the reputation of one of the best D1 basketball schools in the nation. However, that is all at jeopardy, Hall of Fame coach, Rick Pitino was removed from his job at Louisville and was put on unpaid leave. Pitino was forced to take the unpaid leave following his role in a recruiting scandal that was brought to light Tuesday when the FBI announced it has been running a two-year investigation into bribery, fraud and corruption in the sport.
Brian Bowen (Five Star Basketball Recruit)

The recruit that was a huge apart of the scandal was Brian Bowen, a five-star recruit that Louisville really wanted to join their team. Pitino is tied to an alleged scheme to deliver $100,000 to Bowen's family through cash supplied by Adidas executive Jim Gatto. This was just days before the five-star recruit committed to Louisville, per FBI documents related to the scandal. Now Adidas is involved in this case and are in trouble as well. Adidas just signed Louisville to a 10 year $160 million dollar but now that is at risk because of the wrong doings. Bowen has enrolled in his Spring classes and is now waiting to see if he will be eligible for this season. Since a school like Louisville was caught in this case, the NCAA is now cracking down on all recruitment.
Adidas supplied money to
Bowens family
A stakeholder is defined as someone who is affected by the actions of a business. Since this controversy is still very recent it is hard to tell the real affects to these school programs, companies, and shareholders. For Adidas, their stock has been increasing tremendously but some people believe that this may hurt the company and its stocks in the future. However, as stated before in the controversy, the deal that they signed with Louisville is worth $160 million over a ten-year period that now may be revoked. Louisville just announced this extension with Adidas to be Louisville’s official apparel and uniform provider. The $16 million/year contract was the fourth-richest amongst colleges and the biggest for Adidas. Now that they are a part of this scandal it may hurt their future with any other schools or any other potential deals in the process. As for Louisville, their head coach was fired and their Athletic Director is in danger of losing his job. They will be affected by losing one of the best coaches in college basketball and losing their athletic director. Now they have to find a new coach who can fill Pitinos spot and someone to help continue the program. Rocky Newton, a big fan of the Louisville men’s basketball team said that "the city comes alive when the basketball team has a good season. Local bars are packed and T-shirt vendors are hustling to make extra money". If depressed Louisville fans can drop off in attendance, it could jeopardize all the businesses that strive off of this basketball team. These fans are what motivates these players to play at their best level. If the fans start to not come to the games and stop showing the support, then the performance of the team can also be affected. Due to this mistake by the program countless people are being impacted by it.
Louisville Basketball


Individualism states that “Business actions should maximize profits for owners of a business, but do so within the law". Milton Friedman is a pioneer in the realm of individualism. He believes that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition, without deception or fraud”. These companies and programs put their futures at risk with their decisions. Although Adidas and Louisville were maximizing their profits not only short term but also long term in breaking the law. Adidas was breaking the law by paying the top recruit, Bowman, so he would come to Louisville. The reason they did this was so one of the best players was always wearing the Adidas logo and would hopefully become brand loyal. He will most likely become a professional basketball player and if successful, Adidas hopes to sign a long term deal with him to promote their brand. Adidas is attempting to maximize their profit without breaking the law. Louisville is also trying to maximize their profit by signing a $160-million-dollar deal but were caught bribing players to come to their school using money. Now that they broke the law, their deal and future are at risk. 

Utilitarianism is very different than Individualism because the definition in The Case Manual states that "Business actions should aim to maximize the happiness in the long run for all conscious beings that are affected by the business action". Utilitarianism allows businesses to pursue the interests of their stakeholders even if every individual action does not directly profit the business. Furthermore, Utilitarianism states that happiness does not need any further justification—it is a natural human good. Louisville was paying the Bowen family $100,000 for their son to attend Louisville. Bowen's family was not in a good financial situation, so this money was very valuable to them. This makes them extremely happy because they won't have as many money problems. Especially because he will soon make millions in the NBA. The actions by Louisville aim to maximize the happiness of their future star. Adidas on the other hand was being selfish because all they really cared about was to get the five-star athlete to wear their brand. If Bowen was to wear Adidas in college, he is more likely to wear the brand in the NBA and that is exactly what they want. They were not aiming for happiness which is what the main idea of Utilitarianism states.  


When addressing Kantianism ethics both sides were negative. In the Case Manual Kantianism is described as "Always act in ways that respect and honor individuals and their choices. Don't lie, cheat, or manipulate or harm others to get your way. Rather, use informed and rational consent from all parties". Instead of lying, cheating, stealing, or performing
Louisville wins Championship in 2013
other deceitful actions, businesses should use informed and rational consent from all parties. Kant believes that the only thing that is good in itself is good will. Kant says that “[t]here is not [a] possibility for thinking of anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be regarded as good without qualification, except a good will”. Good will is the only thing that is good in itself because Kant believes good will is the only thing truly under our control and that we decide the motivations with which we intend act. Louisville was completely cheating in the recruitment process because they were bribing players with money. They disrespected the league and rules and now are suffering from their actions. They did this in order to get their way and to make their team better. This shows they are not confident in their recruiting process because if they were, they would not have to pay their recruits to come to their school. In addition, Adidas also breaks the rules by manipulating these players to wear their brand so that way their brand looks more prestige. They are not necessarily lying or cheating they are just being selfish as a company and disrespecting their sponsors. This all disagrees with the ide of Kantianism ethics.

Virtue Theory
The virtue theory is an "Act so as to embody a variety of virtuous or good character traits and so as to avoid vicious or bad character traits". A virtue is a characteristic that allows something to function properly. A vice is the opposite in that it is a negative characteristic that is likely to lead us to a life of unhappiness. The four main virtues in business are: courage, honesty, temperance, and justice.Rick Pitino did not show courage throughout this scandal because he did not take stand for the right ideas and actions. He was flying under the radar with what he was doing and was avoiding all possible punishments. These actions showed they he was not being honest with the media and everyone who would be impacted. However, the truth was revealed and everyone involved was negatively impacted. Pitino does not posse’s temperance because he knew getting these players were unrealistic unless he cheated the system. Finally, justice is displayed through hard work, quality products, good ideas, and fair practices. This is almost these except opposite of what happened because they were not putting in hard work or having fair practices to get these recruits they were simply trying to buy the recruits. The Louisville basketball team and Adidas will now have that reputation for many years to come until they find a way to redeem themselves, if possible. Louisville's basketball season starts Sunday November, 12th to try to have a good enough season to be able to play in March. There is a good chance Brian Bowen is on the sideline to start the season.

CBS Sports Staff . “College Basketball Scandal Updates, News: Louisville Has Interim Coach for Rick Pitino.”, 29 Sept. 2017,

Bailey, Phillip M. “University of Louisville Scandal Could Have 'Devastating Effect' on KFC Yum Center.” The Courier-Journal, The Courier-Journal, 28 Sept. 2017,

What teams are named in the FBI CBB investigation? (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

Lerner, D. (2017, November 08). Louisville basketball scandal: Brian Bowen enrolls in spring classes. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

NCAA Basketball Tournament History. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

DesJardins, Joseph R. An Introduction to Business Ethics. McGraw Hill, 2014. 


  1. Jake this post was really well put together. I think you provided a ton of insight into just how big of a deal this scandal was in the sports world. As an avid fan of college basketball and of course March Madness, hearing about a program like Louisville being affected so harshly is real shame to the school and sport. Rick Pitino is legendary at this point in the basketball coaching world and was looked upon very highly by colleagues, peers, and fans. Seeing him go to these measures to recruit certain kids is a real shame, considering he should just rely on his resume to bring in the five star recruits. Pitino never needed to bribe anyone in my opinion and to hear his name mentioned in these allegations was a big disappointment. As far as the blog goes, I can't really make any corrections besides going a bit more in depth on some of the other parties involved along with Pitino. Other than that though, it is very interesting piece to read!

  2. I enjoyed reading this post as this happens all the time in college sports especially the big schools that are contenders for a national championship. I like how you incorporated not only the coach involved but also their stake holder Adidas who just signed Louisville to a big deal. Your use of pictures were very good as the showed who the parties were that were involved in this controversy. I would recommend trying to go into more depth in the investigation process. But overall this was a good blog and i enjoyed reading it.

  3. This was a great read! I had not known about this scandal but it seems very prevalent in college sports. I liked how you talked about the family needing the money so they were affected in that way by the scandal being burst open. Just make a clear step by step process on how they can improve their program for the future and keep it within the law and rules of the tournament. Great Job!