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Username Post: Article: Jerome Took Bribes at Penn        (Topic#21715)
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1054

Reg: 10-20-14
10-24-18 08:24 AM - Post#263404    
    In response to AsiaSunset

Associate Athletic Director for Student Development Matt Valenti wrote that potential recruits must be "academically representative" of the overall student body before their athletic ability and other intangibles within their respective sport is seriously considered."

According to reports, young Mr. Esformes met Penn's academic standards. Then, Coach Allen tells Dean Furda or someone on his staff that the kid is a legitimate athlete who he wants strongly considered for admission and the kid gets into Penn. A relatively simple dynamic.

Even though Dear Furda is a big basketball fan and is at many game, I would not expect him to be knowledgeable enough about the student's ability to play DI basketball. While I agree that is very important for HR to train all the departments together, in general, there has to be some fix within the Athletic Department.

I assume that any athlete viewed by an assistant has to be brought to the attention of the head coach. What happens in situations where the head coach finds someone? Does he or she bring that person to the assistant coaches to get their opinions and thoughts? If they don't, then maybe having them get a sign off from their staff would eliminate this rare, but always possible, corruption from repeating.

 
QHoops 
Senior
Posts: 303

Reg: 12-16-04
10-24-18 08:26 AM - Post#263405    
    In response to AsiaSunset

And the point of the training is what, 'Don't take bribes'?

I'm only being partly facetious - while additional training can't hurt, the concept that a few hours of training will transform someone who would take a bribe into someone who would not seems to be a little naive.

As much as I loved Allen's contribution to Penn basketball (as a player, obviously), visible consequences for his actions might be more impactful.

And am I the only one who thought an apology to Penn was conspicuously missing in Allen's public statement. Granted that was for the benefit of his current employer, but he seemed to regret the impact on his reputation, his family and the Celtics more than the real victim of actions, namely Penn.

 
AsiaSunset 
Postdoc
Posts: 3906

Reg: 11-21-04
10-24-18 08:38 AM - Post#263407    
    In response to rbg

Oh - I think the staff was well aware of Esfromes abilities or lack thereof and that he was being recruited for a specific purpose.

PS He wasn't the last non D1 type Jerome recruited. Post Esfromes, a kid from a small private school on Long Island committed to Penn very early in the process similar to the Esfromes commitment. He subsequently decommitted and ended up as a walk on at ASU and a non factor in their bb program.

The use of AI boosters is nothing new. The taking of a bribe to encourage a coach to utilize a particular individual as an AI booster is what was new - shockingly so.

 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3834

Reg: 11-22-04
10-24-18 09:17 AM - Post#263411    
    In response to AsiaSunset

palestra, i read it the way others have:

esformes was a typical-ish "good student" who would be competitive but by no means assured of getting in to Penn. Not unlike your daughter's case for Harvard/Yale (so on a direct comparison basis she was the better student). Esformes Sr decided to put his thumb on the scale.

And for admissions/athletics, i don't think the case was something that could be distinguished. There are probably 5 people (20? 30?) every year that the coach could designate as his/her AI booster. That person goes from 50/50 in the regular candidate pool (because they are strong-ish) to 100%. It wouldn't shock me if Jerome talked himself into it with one of those bs post-bribe justifications "well listen, I'd probably be taking this guy anyway so if I can make a little more money in the process, who's getting hurt?"

The athletic part is completely besides the point with the AI booster so no alarms tripped on athletics side. On academic side, I'd bet Esformes was fairly typical. If he wasn't, then sure, training opportunity.

 
SteveChop 
Masters Student
Posts: 724

Reg: 07-28-07
10-24-18 09:18 AM - Post#263412    
    In response to AsiaSunset

I still think that it is probable (certainly possible) that other (not necessarily basketball) Ivy coaches have taken bribes of the Esformes nature. The only reason we found out about this one (4 years after it occurred) was that the father was under federal criminal investigation. As a result, I believe that Dean Furda's idea that this be stressed again in training (to include the "in kind" favors, not just cash) delivered to all coaches and assistant coaches.

 
Penndemonium 
Masters Student
Posts: 832

Reg: 11-29-04
10-24-18 12:29 PM - Post#263417    
    In response to SteveChop

All, I spoke at a seminar one time on investment fraud in the post-Madoff era. People were asking me how you can sleuth around or do your due diligence to catch the fraud before becoming a victim. They were imagining investigative and forensic research that busts the company open. I told them that will almost never happen. The reason is that if you are doing deep due diligence that looks like it will expose the fraud, people like Madoff will simply stop sending you information and you'll lose interest in working with them. You won't catch the fraudster red handed - fraudsters will find easier prey and move on. I further pointed out to them that all of the new regulations in the world won't stop this exact fraud from happening again. The reason is that new procedures still rely either on human judgment or else documentation procedures.

The US regulatory response to Madoff made small firms like my own spend millions to jump through hoops for regulatory oversight. Our firm is the same honest firm before and after the oversight. A fraudster would have no problems fooling the regulators - it would be just as easy as before. They would just need to fake more documents - which they were already willing to do anyway. No regulator would catch that - they would just have more faked documents in their file cabinets than before.

Furda was being very astute in his comments - that admissions cannot replace the athletic department in assessing talent. Meanwhile, if you add documentation procedures or double down on oversight, you will simply encumber the process for the average honestly recruited athlete, and overall hurt your program. A determined fraudster would still be able to fool the system. This is the sad legacy that Jerome has left us with.

The only way to really solve this problem is to have good people working with other good people and having them all aware of possible shenanigans. Everything else is window dressing and simply making life difficult for honest people.

 
HGA 
Pre-Frosh
Posts: 5

Loc: New York
Reg: 10-16-18
10-24-18 03:46 PM - Post#263430    
    In response to Penndemonium

Can we talk about the exciting upcoming Ivy season and focus less on the bad behavior by an ex-coach??

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 20057

Reg: 11-21-04
10-24-18 03:52 PM - Post#263431    
    In response to HGA

There's plenty of that in other threads and we all are interested in the team this year. This thread deals with an article in today's DP and warrants discussion. No one is forcing you to participate.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
Re: Article: Jerome Took Bribes at Penn
10-24-18 05:05 PM - Post#263434    
    In response to Bill Lewis

Is the recruited athlete admit rate particularly meaningful? Don’t the Ivies still do “likely letters”? So the players have more or less gone thru the admissions process before they apply. By the time they apply, it’s more or less a done deal.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
10-25-18 02:11 PM - Post#263508    
    In response to rbg

I think there are situations where it could be obvious to admissions that somebody isn’t really coming to play basketball. I believe Harvard had an AI booster type in recent years who had averaged under two points a game in high school. But even with the somewhat laughable workout video, I don’t think I’d be in a position to say I was 100% certain about that for Esformes. If I remember correctly, his high school numbers were allegedly pretty good. I recall there being some presumption he was an AI booster on the board, but also some people who thought he could play.

 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3834

Reg: 11-22-04
10-25-18 04:10 PM - Post#263511    
    In response to SomeGuy

wait, we don't tell the admissions group which one is the AI booster? I thought that was obvious. We just had good ol' Griff come through. he's the latest in a LONG line.

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
Posts: 3385

Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
Article: Jerome Took Bribes at Penn
10-25-18 04:52 PM - Post#263512    
    In response to Jeff2sf

Of course Admissions knows who the AI boosters are. And, unless somebody does something really stupid, it's impossible for anybody to know if the booster's parents greased the coach's palm a little bit.

The only way that I can see to deter this sort of behavior, given that the chances of detection are so low, is to make the consequences truly dire in the event somebody gets caught. That's why I hope the University goes after Allen very aggressively.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
10-25-18 06:49 PM - Post#263513    
    In response to Jeff2sf

Seems like you have to be relatively sophisticated to know that (assuming it is true) without being told. You could look at his bio, see he was all conference on a team that won it’s conference and region, and that he was on all area media teams.

 
TheLine 
Postdoc
Posts: 4022

Age: 55
Reg: 07-07-09
10-26-18 07:25 AM - Post#263520    
    In response to SomeGuy

You just use this formula to find the AI boosters :

(AI > 2 standard deviations above average) & (name != 'Steve Danley')

Then check the bank account of the coach for deposits from the parents of that list.


 
SteveDanley 
Freshman
Posts: 97

Age: 34
Reg: 02-25-12
10-26-18 08:51 AM - Post#263527    
    In response to TheLine

Ha. I like to think I was the best kind of AI recruit.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 20057

Reg: 11-21-04
10-26-18 09:33 AM - Post#263528    
    In response to SteveDanley

You indeed were. We are, of course, interested in your thoughts and the thoughts of other player-alums on this matter.

 
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