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Dick Vitale NCAA Hoops Can Be Fixed 'Pay the Players!!'

2/23/2018 11:36 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Dick Vitale says he's heartbroken by the bombshell report uncovering alleged corruption in the NCAA ... but tells TMZ Sports he knows what the org. can do to fix the huge problem.

PAY THE PLAYERS, ALREADY!

We spoke with the college basketball legend about the FBI documents obtained by Yahoo! Sports which appear to show a high-powered sports agency illegally paying high profile players like Markelle Fultz and Miles Bridges while they were in high school and college in hopes of signing them later on. 

"It broke my heart," Vitale says about the report ... "It's a blow."

Vitale is concerned the corruption runs much deeper -- pointing out these names were only found after feds raiding ONE agency. 

Don't worry ... Dickie V has a solution -- he's calling for the NCAA to let players get paid for appearances, autographs and other profitable ventures while playing in college.

Dickie V says it's not gonna solve the issue 100% ... but it would definitely "minimize" the amount of sleazy money being made under the table.

"(The NCAA) is making zillions of dollars ... why not allow it," Vitale says.

"Let them get paid. I really believe that in my heart, because this has gotten totally out of control right now."

Markelle Fultz & Huge Stars Named In Bombshell Hoops Corruption Investigation

2/23/2018 6:07 AM PST
Breaking News

Markelle Fultz -- along with a slew of huge names and top college basketball programs -- have been named in a bombshell report into NCAA hoops corruption involving illegal payouts to players. 

The report centers around ex-NBA agent Andy Miller and his ASM Sports agency. Yahoo! Sports obtained hundreds of pages from an FBI probe which appear to show ASM Sports employees working with programs and players to ultimately get them to sign with the agency. 

Fultz -- the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft -- allegedly took $10,000 from the agency while in high school. He did not end up signing with ASM. 

Other names ... 

Dennis Smith Jr. (North Carolina State) allegedly took $73,500. 

Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall) allegedly took $37,657. He signed with ASM, but later left for Roc Nation Sports.

Kyle Kuzma (Utah) allegedly took $9,500.

Bennie Boatwright (University of Southern California) and/or his father allegedly took $2,000.

A bunch of guys who currently play in the NBA are on payout sheets obtained by federal investigators  including -- Kyle Lowry, Nerlens Noel, Fred Van Vleet and Kyle O'Quinn

The docs also show ASM met with Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, "Villanova coaches," and the family of former top high school prospect Mitchell Robinson. 

At least one ASM employee has been arrested in connection to the investigation. 

Kevin Ware Blasts Louisville Sanctions 'It's a Joke'

2/20/2018 12:18 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-Louisville basketball star Kevin Ware says he doesn't understand why the NCAA is forcing the school to vacate their 2013 NCAA Championship ... saying the sanctions are a "joke."

Ware was a member of that championship team -- but suffered a catastrophic leg injury that sidelined him during the Elite Eight round of the tournament. 

Still, Ware says he's incredibly proud of his team -- despite the NCAA vacating the title and all of the team's wins due to the stripper sex party scandal involving players, recruits and team officials. 

"It's a joke, honestly," Ware tells TMZ Sports ... "Just my personal opinion."

Ware says at the end of the day, Louisville still beat Duke, Wichita State and Michigan to win the tourney -- and the NCAA can't change that history. 

As for his former coach Rick Pitino, Ware says he should definitely KEEP his championship tattoo because he's a "gangsta!"

Rick Pitino NCAA Ruling Screws Your Back Tattoo

2/20/2018 9:45 AM PST

Seemed like a good idea at the time ... but now Rick Pitino's celebratory Louisville back tattoo (commemorating the 2013 National Championship) -- is technically incorrect and Rick's got some decisions to make. 

Remember, Rick promised his players in the middle of the season that he would get a Louisville logo with the team's record and the words "NCAA Champions" tatted on his left shoulder if they won the NCAA tourney. 

Problem is ... the NCAA just vacated all of Louisville's wins from that season -- along with the national championship -- over the sex party scandal in which team officials paid escorts and strippers for dances and sex acts for recruits and players. 

Also, Rick has since been fired from Louisville in the wake of allegations he participated in a scheme to essentially pay recruits. He's denied all allegations and is now suing the school

So ... if you're Rick Pitino -- keep the tat? Laser remove the tat? Get a new tat over the old tat?

Either way ... sucks to be that guy. 

University of Louisville Stripped Of Nat'l Championship ... Over Sex Party Scandal

2/20/2018 9:18 AM PST
Breaking News

The University of Louisville is being forced to vacate all basketball wins from the 2011-12 season through the 2014-15 season -- including their 2013 National Championship ... and it's all over the sex party scandal. 

An NCAA investigation found "a former Louisville director of basketball operations acted unethically when he committed serious violations by arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others, and did not cooperate with the investigation."

The punishment was initially handed down in June 2017 -- but Louisville appealed. Now, the NCAA is upholding the ruling ... which means the banner is coming down. 

As we previously reported, the allegations made headlines back in 2015 when self-described madam Katina Powell claimed U of L staff paid her more than $10,000 for dances and sex services from her stable of escorts. 

In her book, Powell singles out ex-Louisville staffer Andre McGee -- a graduate assistant who became director of basketball operations -- claiming he was the point man who paid Powell.

Powell claims her stable of dancers included her own daughters -- and they would perform for Louisville players at various off-campus locations from 2010 to 2014.

After the dances, Powell claims she would negotiate a separate fee for the players to have sex with the women.

Rick Pitino -- who was the coach at the time -- denied any involvement in the alleged sex plot -- and told the media, "It's a mild understatement that I'm shocked at these allegations."

USC WR Joseph Lewis Arrested for Domestic Violence

2/13/2018 6:54 AM PST
Breaking News

USC wide receiver Joseph Lewis -- the top-ranked high school WR in the country in 2016 -- was arrested for felony domestic violence Monday in L.A.

Details surrounding the allegations are unclear. We're working on it. 

What we do know ... 18-year-old Lewis was taken into custody around 2 PM PT. Bail was set at $50,000 and he was released early Tuesday morning. He's due in court on March 6 -- the first day of USC spring football.

According to his booking sheet, Lewis is listed at 6'3", 215 lbs.  

USC says the school is investigating the incident -- and in the meantime, Lewis has been suspended from all football-related activities. 

Lewis didn't play a lot in 2017 -- but he was expected to blow up this year.

Baker Mayfield I'd 'Absolutely' Play for Browns ... Here's Why

2/2/2018 7:59 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Good news, Browns -- not every top QB in the draft is scared of becoming the face of your franchise ... and that includes Baker Mayfield!

We got Baker at EA Sports' pre-Super Bowl party in Minny ... and the Heisman winner told us why he'd "absolutely" welcome an opportunity to do better than Johnny Manziel.

FYI, there have been rumors the top 2 QBs on the board, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold, both ain't down with the Browns.

Speaking of Josh and Sam, Baker says he's every bit as good as those guys ... and (BONUS) told us something that makes us think things are getting serious with his hot new GF, Emily Wilkinson.

Magic Johnson On Mich St. Sexual Assaults Fire Everyone Who Didn't Take Action

1/29/2018 7:54 AM PST
Breaking News

Magic Johnson is speaking out on the sexual assault scandal at his alma mater -- calling for Michigan State to fire every staffer who knew about the crimes, but stayed silent. 

In addition to the Larry Nassar scandal, officials say the NCAA was alerted in 2010 to dozens of reports of MSU athletes sexually assaulting women -- including at least 16 MSU football players. 

Instead of trying to change the culture and get to the root of the problem, Michigan State allegedly tried to keep the whole thing quiet. 

Now, Magic says anyone who knew about ANYTHING and didn't speak up should go. 

"If anyone was aware of the sexual assault happening to women on the MSU campus from the office of the President, Board of Trustees, athletic department, faculty & campus police, and didn’t say or do anything about it, they should be fired."

"Cookie and I stand in support of the victims and their families as they embark on the road to recovery; and I support the movement to hold everyone involved accountable."

"The roles of the new President, Board of Trustees, athletic department, faculty, campus police and students will be to work together to create new policies and procedures to ensure this never happens again."

"As a Spartan, I love MSU and want to work with Coach Izzo, the administration, and the students to be a part of the solution in any way that I can."

Nick Saban Does Electric Slide To Win Over HS Recruit

1/28/2018 12:20 PM PST

Nick Saban will do what it takes to get a top recruit to come play football at Alabama ... even if it means putting on his dancing shoes.

The Crimson Tide head coach went out Saturday night to pay a visit to Eddie Smith -- a three-star high school cornerback out of Slidell, Louisiana. What might've started out as a convo about committing to 'Bama eventually turned into a boogie fest.

Saban was recorded doing the Electric Slide in the family's living room. He also apparently got in on a little number called the Wobble -- with which he seemed a bit less familiar.

No word on where Smith's leaning at this point -- but ya gotta like his chances after this. You know your potential future coach is dedicated when he gets down with your fam.

Adrian Peterson Warns Baker Mayfield About Common Pre-Draft Mistake!

1/27/2018 12:35 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Adrian Peterson says he's seen a bunch of NFL prospects make one big pre-draft screw up before the big day ... so, he's dishing out advice to Baker Mayfield to make sure the QB doesn't fall in the same trap. 

Of course, Peterson was a stud at Oklahoma back in the day -- and says his fellow Sooner has all the right tools to be a star in the NFL. 

AP's just looking to give the kid some advice -- and it's advice that ALL the players in the draft should heed.

Florida State QB I Didn't Beat My Pregnant GF ... She Attacked Me!

1/24/2018 9:03 AM PST
Exclusive Details

1:30 PM PT -- Tallahassee PD tells us Francois is no longer under investigation ... which means Francois and his girlfriend will not face criminal charges from the incident.

Florida State University QB Deondre Francois told police he's the VICTIM in a domestic violence incident involving his pregnant girlfriend ... and only got physical with her in an effort to restrain her. 

It's all in the police report obtained by TMZ Sports ... which shows cops responded to the QB's Tallahassee apartment late Tuesday night, an apartment which he shares with his GF. 

Deondre claims ... he was hanging out in the apt. with fellow FSU football player Zaquandre White when his GF entered the pad and started going off on him over a previous argument. 

Deondre told police his GF began to smash items, including a vase -- and then tried to pull the TV off the wall. That's when Deondre says he tried to "stop her by picking her up like a hug" to carry her outside so she couldn't break anything else. 

Deondre says the GF began to "swing" on him, so he let her go. He claims the woman began to rip her own shirt while threatening to call the police and report domestic violence. 

Deondre says that's when he called police himself to respond to the scene. When cops arrived, Deondre's friend, Zaquandre, corroborated every detail of Deondre's story.

But, the GF tells a completely different story ... 

She told cops Deondre was upset that evening because another guy tried to talk to her and he flew into a jealous rage, breaking down the bedroom door. 

She claims Deondre picked her up and threw her to the ground, cutting her forearm. He then tried to physically kick her out of the residence. 

The woman claims she found out at the hospital (after the incident) she was 9 weeks pregnant with a child she believes to be Deondre's. 

The responding officers ultimately couldn't determine who was telling the truth -- so no one was arrested. 

State Attorney Jack Campbell has confirmed to local media outlets that officials are still investigating the incident. 

Les Miles Loses Mind Over Fidget Spinner ... 'What the Hell Is This?!'

1/18/2018 7:17 AM PST
Breaking News

Legendary college football coach Les Miles was just introduced to the fidget spinner ... and transformed from a 64-year-old man to a kid on Christmas Day!!

Not sure why they did it, but The Players' Tribune locked Les in a room with a spinner -- and what ensued was pure comedy.

The longtime LSU coach seemed kinda intimidated at first ... but once he starts toying with it, you can tell his mind is BLOWN.

"I guarantee people will buy this."

A little late to the party, Les ...

Johnny Manziel CFL Won't Help You Make It Back ... Says NFL Analyst

1/12/2018 7:14 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Johnny Manziel could ball hard up in Canada, but don't count on him making an NFL comeback -- so says "FOX NFL Sunday" host Curt Menefee

You've probably heard ... Johnny Football's in serious talks with the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but there's a holdup 'cause the former Heisman winner wants big money.

But Curt says even if they strike a deal, Johnny's NFL dream ain't looking good -- 'cause the CFL's style of football doesn't translate.

That said, Menefee's still rooting for him -- "Let him go up there, have fun, make some money, and we'll see."

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