Illini coach Brad Underwood defends college basketball amid sport’s scandal – Chicago Tribune

As college basketball has become consumed by the corruption and bribery scandal that led to 10 arrests earlier in the week, Illinois coach Brad Underwood defended the sport Saturday morning before the Illini’s first day of practice.

“I think we’ve got the greatest sport in college basketball,” Underwood said. “I think there’s problems or perceived problems in a lot of different sports. I still think we’ve got the greatest sport going. Maybe there’s a speed bump along the way and some changes need to occur but … basketball is strong. These players are showing up not just at our university but every university and working their tails off to have a great season. I think that’s what the focus in this gym is on. We’ll see where the rest of it goes.”

Underwood’s former Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans was one of four college basketball assistants arrested as the result of an FBI operation that uncovered coaches allegedly accepting bribes to try to steer elite recruits to a financial adviser and use funds to pay recruits. Evans served during Underwood’s one season last year with the Cowboys and he was retained by current coach Mike Boynton.

The allegations date back to Evans’ time on South Carolina’s staff, a job he left to work under Underwood at Oklahoma State. Underwood was not named in the federal indictments.

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