In case you missed it - and I’m not sure how you could have - the Arizona Wildcats were one of several programs caught up in the FBI’s ongoing bribery investigation in college basketball along with Auburn, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, USC, Louisville and
And more schools/names may be coming.
At Arizona, top assistant Emmanuel ‘Book’ Richardson wad indicted on federal charges in which he appeared to accept bribe money and divert it to the mother of 5-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly.
It’s important to remember that Quinerly has not been formally named - and that he remains committed but unsigned to Arizona and presumably eligible. So this is all hypothetical, but there is a scenario here with Quinerly is back on the market.
Step one would be for Quinerly to de-commit from Arizona.
A report out of Tucson suggests that this marriage may come to an end. Local reporter Bruce Pascoe suggests Quinerly is unlikely to play for Arizona, or possibly in college at all given the news.
This makes sense. It would be fair to assume that that Quinerly would want to distance himself from the scandal. Prospects historically shy away from schools when allegations break and NCAA investigations begin. The exodus has already begun elsewhere with 5-star forward E.J. Montgomery de-committing from Auburn this morning.
Step two would be to retain his eligibility with the NCAA.
In a nutshell, Quinerly will have to plead ignorance. The best way to do that would be to (1) sever ties with Arizona and (2) say that his parents were manuvering behind his back.
IMO, Quinerly’s chance to save his college eligibility rests in the precedent set by Cam Newton at Auburn. Cam’s father Cecil famously solicited bribes from Mississippi State when Cam was being recruited out of Blinn College. Newton was ruled ineligible when the news broke, but the NCAA reinstated him when Auburn successfully argued that Newton had no knowledge of his father’s actions.
It sounds implausible that this could work for Quinerly with what the FBI has already gathered. Keep in mind though that this is the NCAA we’re talking about (and they’ve used this excuse before), and that the FBI isn’t trying to bury teenagers as part of this investigation.
There’s a ways to go here - and this is ignoring whether Jay Wright and staff would want the stigma attached - but I ask to you the fans the following question:
Assuming he’s eligible, would you want Jahvon Quinerly at Villanova?
This poll is closed
If you’re wondering where I stand on this, I’m a yes vote. Paying players and their families has been going on for years, so Quinerly isn’t some rogue outlaw here. Moreover, I’m willing to trust the judgement of character from the staff who so clearly made Quinerly their #1 priority at the position throughout the cycle.
But I completely understand a no vote as well. Going after a player who is at the center of an FBI investigation doesn’t exactly sit well, though I myself can get over that part if he’s clearly of any personal wrong doing and wants to make amenda in Blue and White.