Former UNC Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz weighs in on college basketball probe

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With March Madness just weeks away, a number of major universities in the Carolinas are wrapped up in an NCAA investigation about corruption involving their men's basketball programs.

Duke, NC State, UNC, Clemson, and USC are all named in a Yahoo Sports investigation. They're reportedly under a federal probe into possible illegal payments from agents to players or their families.

For more than a decade, Bobby Lutz was the head coach of UNC Charlotte. He thinks changing times have brought deeper pockets.

"There were agents trying to get into our practices and into our building, and we just legislated that they couldn't," he said.

College students, their campuses, and several of the area's most celebrated basketball programs are under the microscope for possible NCAA violations connected to money and student-athletes.

The issue was a lightning rod issue firing up the radio dial.

On WFNZ's Garcia and Bailey show, producer Oz supported the concept of college athletes receiving some form of payment.

"The worst thing that could possibly happen here is that 18-year-old kids go straight to the NBA," he said. "Good for them to get some money. Get them out of poor situations. Get them out of rough neighborhoods. I'm fine with that."

The show's host, Stan Norfleet, offered a question.

"Do you care when that kid leaves campus and he's doesn't have a job and he is unemployed?"

His co-host, Kyle Bailey, countered with the concern that college basketball needs further examination.

"We're saying that it's OK to recognize when something is wrong and needs to be changed," Bailey said.

Former UNC Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz is among those suggesting closer scrutiny by the schools.

"You've always had to be on top of it a little bit. It obviously has become bigger business through the years," Lutz said.

Norfleet agrees.

"Hold a coach accountable to what's happening in his program," he said.

WBTV received a Statement from Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White regarding the Yahoo! Sports report.

A Duke student-athlete was identified in a Yahoo! Sports report this morning about men's college basketball. Duke immediately reviewed the matter and, based on the available information, determined there are no eligibility issues related to today's report. Duke has already contacted the NCAA and will continue to work collaboratively with the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke has an uncompromising commitment to compliance in athletics. That has not, and will not, change.

UNC-Chapel Hill issued a release that stated, "We have no information on what is mentioned in today's Yahoo! story, but we will cooperate fully with any and all investigations."

The University of South Carolina said through its Athletics Director Ray Tanner, "We first learned of the allegations in the Yahoo Sports report last night, and remain committed to cooperating with the NCAA and the DOJ."

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