When Talent Gets Tight, People Break the Rules

So, let me get this straight, high school basketball players are getting paid to go to certain schools? Yeah, I think we’ve known that for like at least twenty, plus years now!

You know the saying where there is smoke, there is fire? Well, the NCAA and big-time college athletics have been burning for decades! Now, instead of the NCAA putting your school on probation for breaking the rules, the FBI is putting your butt in prison!

My good friend, Kris Dunn, was once a college basketball player, and then an assistant coach at the NCAA Division 1 level. He has often told me that most dangerous job in America is an assistant coach in the NCAA because it’s the assistant coaches who take the fall for the head coach. The head coach knows exactly what’s going on, but has the assistants do all the dirty work!

What is happening in NCAA athletics is like a small microcosm of what is happening across all recruiting.

There are very few NCAA coaching jobs. There is a huge pool of talent for those jobs. Thus, being successful is critical in keeping your job. Being successful in athletics is one part coaching and about ten parts having great athletes! All of this is a recipe for disaster.

Each one of these kids is a potential lottery ticket for a number of people. Their parents and guardians. Their high school and club coaches. All sorts of people on the edges who could make money off of them. So, rules get bent, broken, and destroyed! To ensure the talent you need gets to your organization.

In the ‘real’ world of recruiting talent to your organization, things haven’t necessarily gotten as bad is it is with big-time college athletics. Still, we all have stories of some very unscrupulous things happening to lure talent away from one organization to another.

Let’s be clear. It takes at least two parties to tango.

The person making the ‘hiring’ decision has to be willing to do bad stuff. The person willing to ‘accept’ the offer has to be willing to do bad stuff. When you get at least two parties together willing to do bad stuff, bad stuff is going to happen. That’s how the world works. Bad people, do bad things.

It’s extremely hard to stay on the moral high ground when it seems like everyone around you is getting things you’re not.

I’ve never asked someone to break a contract to come work for me. I hope I never will. Still, there are those out there in many industries justifying why you should break a contract you signed and agreed to, to come work for their organization. As our unemployment rate gets smaller this pressure to deliver talent gets higher.

“Yeah, but Tim, employment contracts are bad, they keep people from working at better jobs.” Sorry, did I miss something? You mean someone ‘forced’ you to sign that contract that you agreed to, completely? Yeah, that didn’t happen. You’re just justifying your bad behavior.

Bad people willing to do and ask others to do bad things is a bad combination.

2 thoughts on “When Talent Gets Tight, People Break the Rules

  1. You are dead on Tim, the NCAA is just as complicit as the coaches, the players, the money holders. I doubt they are clean in this either, but time will tell. I don’t buy that the NCAA has too many rules as an excuse for breaking rules. Don’t like the rules, work to change them.

  2. I live about 10 minutes from Louisville, KY and I can tell you, that is all that is in the news. Pitino will be fired and I can’t imagine Tom Jurich will keep his job. The situation happening now is very extreme but let’s face it, the NCAA has too many rules. There is no flexibility. However, there is no excuse for “cheating” either. Yes, most everyone does it but that doesn’t make it right

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