ASU’s Bobby Hurley: College hoops system not working right now

Sep 29, 2017, 9:29 AM
Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game agai...
Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Nothing will put a damper on the beginning of a college basketball season more than a two-year FBI investigation that leads to 10 arrests on bribery and corruption charges.

Assistant coaches from Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC were named and one prominent head coach, Rick Pitino of Louisville, along with athletic director Tom Jurich, has already lost his job.

Many experts believe what’s transpired so far is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s actually going on in college hoops and that sweeping changes will be necessary for the sport to survive.

Count Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley as one.

“I think there is going to have to be a wider examination of college basketball and the system when all the dust settles here,” Hurley told the media Thursday in Tempe. “Certainly it doesn’t appear to be a system that works right now, so I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of conversation about that in the next couple of months.”

Hurley has seen that system up close and personal as a highly-recruited player, an assistant coach and head coach. Even though it’s been 28 years since he stepped on campus at Duke after a decorated high school career at St. Anthony’s in New Jersey, Hurley doesn’t believe there’s been much change in the process.

“I don’t want to get into too many details, but when I did play there was always rumors about guys who got this or that to be where they were, so this is nothing that is completely unexpected.

Hurley, who is headed into his third year as the Sun Devils’ head coach, knows that this bombshell is something his coaching staff and players will have to address all season long, but it won’t be the program’s focus.

“I think it just depends on how much more is coming out and what the next steps are, but as far as we’re concerned, we’ve just got to focus on basketball and get better as a team and finally have a team that I feel great about with a chance to have a great season,” he said. “That’s where my mind and my thoughts are.”

The 2017-18 Sun Devils unofficially tip off their season Oct. 13 with the annual “Mill Madness” event — where the team holds an open practice right on Mill Avenue. ASU will also play exhibition games against Northern State and Arizona Christian before opening their season on Nov. 10 against Idaho State at Wells Fargo Arena.

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