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Power Take: Don’t let sympathy for players overshadow wrongs by Louisville

Can we stop with the sob stories about college basketball players being punished for violations that were committed before they played at the school?

It’s regrettable that seniors Damion Lee and Trey Lewis won’t get to play in the NCAA Tournament now that Louisville has banned itself from the postseason for recruiting violations that took place from 2010-14.

But dwelling on the players deflects attention from the real issue: Published allegations that over a four-year period, a former director of basketball operations hired dancers to strip and have sex with recruits at on-campus dorm parties.

The true outrage is the lengths to which major college sports programs will go to lure players. Using females to court teenage recruits is nothing new. If anything, it’s gotten worse as the stakes get higher.

Major college sports are big business. The TV rights for the NCAA tourney are $10.8 billion. Louisville coach Rick Pitino makes $5 million a year. With that sort of reward, is it any wonder coaches turn a blind eye – and claim ignorance – when assistants bend the rules to get players?

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