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Why must players bear brunt of NCAA scandals?

An FBI probe into NCAA corruption has implicated dozens of programs and individuals, including current DI men's basketball players. (AP)

The NCAA is no stranger to criticism, but recent scandal has once again catapulted its most glaring issue into the spotlight.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is continuing its months-long probe into NCAA Division I men’s basketball. The bureau announced in September the arrests of 10 individuals (including a number of assistant coaches) on corruption charges. Their investigation is exploring the extent to which coaches and executives faciliated tens of thousands in payments for student athletes, a violation of NCAA rules.

O’Neil: Feds wasting time (and your money) on college hoops

KIRO Radio’s Gee Scott, filling in for John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle, said young athletes to bear the brunt of NCAA punishments. Scott suggested a change to the the NCAA rules regarding payments to athletes is one possible solution to corruption and bribes.

“It seeems like every single time there’s something that happens, there’s always one person who’s name is dragged through the mud. And that’s usually the player,” Scott said, citing a comparison between Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton and former NFL running back Reggie Bush, who gave up his Heisman trophy in 2005 following NCAA sanctions against USC.

“This young man’s name will be dragged through the mud the same way Reggie Bush’s name was,” Scott said. “At the end of the day, when it comes to Reggie Bush, they took his Heisman trophy. The university goes on to continue, the coach goes on to continue, but Reggie Bush has a stain on his name that will last forever.”

Scott suggested a change to the NCAA rule that bars players from making money from their name, image or likeness. The rule was the subject of a lawsuit brought by former UCLA men’s basketball player Ed O’Bannon.

“Going forward, there are going to be changes (with the NCAA) and the FBI investigation has helped expedite that process. Now, there are some who still believe players in the NCAA should not get paid. I don’t know how much they should get paid. However, I do think in the meantime it’s not so much about paying the players, (but) about letting an opportunity happen where a player can be paid off of his own likeness.

“For example, if you have a birthday party for your niece or nephew and you want to have a college player come there and sign autographs and have fun, why can’t that player get paid by you to come to that party? It just seems like if a college athlete signs an autograph, everybody in the world can get paid off that autograph except for that athlete.”

Listen to Scott’s entire argument here, where he also addresses comments from former President Barack Obama, who earlier this week addressed the difficulties players face when it comes to restrictive NCAA rules.