Indiana’s Perea and Jurkin Suspended Nine Games

Two of Indiana’s freshman men’s basketball players, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin, were suspended for nine games because of impermissible benefits provided by Mark Adams, who operates both A-HOPE, a foundation which brings basketball players over from Africa, and the Indiana Elite AAU team. The benefits would have been permissible but for Adam’s status as an Indiana booster, which rests on a slender reed:

In short, that case involves the provision of what would generally have been permissible expenses but for the provider’s donation of $185 to the IU Varsity Club between 1986 and 1992, rendering him forever a “booster” under NCAA rules, notwithstanding that the donations were minimal in nature and occurred over 20 years ago.

The reaction to the NCAA’s ruling, which has been almost universally negative, is based on the idea that benefits Adams provided should not become impermissible just because he donated a little bit of money a long time ago. But the flip side is also true. Had Adams or any other youth coach/international education foundation head not donated the money, allowing him to provide whatever benefits he wants and potentially steer kids to certain colleges is also not a good result.

The Perea and Jurkin cases illustrate why the third-party problem is virtually intractable for the NCAA. On the one hand, it is a real issue where people are establishing influence over prospects by worming their way into the prospects’ lives. On the other hand, in some cases they are the only ones providing basic essentials or educational opportunities for the athletes.

The challenge is to create a rule that does a decent enough job of distinguishing between the good people and the bad. But booster status, especially as it is currently defined, does little to help us separate the two.

10 Responses to “Indiana’s Perea and Jurkin Suspended Nine Games”

    • johninfante

      It’s a tough question for the NCAA because you don’t want to basically give boosters permission to start adopting or establishing legal guardianship over athletes, and thus be able to give them whatever they want. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone wants the NCAA to be trying to guess which legal guardians are legitimate and which are not. And that includes the NCAA.

      I certainly think that Adams’ legal guardianship of Perea played a part in the reduced repayment though, at least for him. But it still doesn’t answer the question of what to do about the benefits received before that.

      • I honestly don’t think that creating a distinction between “boosters” and “legal guardians” will result in a huge number of boosters adopting or establishing legal guardianship over athletes.

  1. Adams did not donate anything. His ex-wife did 20yrs ago for stickers for her car. Dig a little deeper and you may learn that he repeatedly requested the NCAA to provide him guidelines for the host families through A-HOPE. The declined saying they didn’t have a handle on that.

  2. NCAA is a Joke

    This isn’t just a story about a guy helping kids by spending money out of his own pocket. He runs a charitable organization that brings kids over from third world countries and gives them a chance to earn a D1 scholarship. IU historically hasn’t even been a big beneficiary of this program- we’ve only had one other recruit from A-Hope and we were his only offer. Players recruited by IU ended up going to UNLV, MSU, Tennessee and UCLA.

    NONE of these expenses were given outside of the charitable organization. If this were some ad-hoc organization established solely to bring recruits to IU then it would be acause for suspicion. There’s no evidence of that whatsoever- it’s been around since 2004.

  3. B-town88

    Rediculous! What amounts to dollar wise as a couple cups of coffee a year, by his ex-wife, is punished beyond explanation. Yet “donations” in the form of “services” by World Wide Wes go ignored. You can’t explain “behind the bench seats at NCAA final basketball games” as he is “just a friend”. REALLY?

  4. Hey John I heard you on “Podcast on the brink”, very good stuff. Everybody should check that out. I heard what you said on the appeal and it sounded a little promising, but I wanted to get your prediction on what they might do with the appeal. Or what percentage would you say they had of not changing the suspension, decreasing the games suspended, or lifting all suspended games?

  5. It’s been goin on for years.Indiana elite kids have been getting extra benefits for committing to iu for many years.They tried with Deandre Liggins,and when he signed with UK they took away the cell phone and laptop that were givin to him.Every school breaks the rules and the ncaa picks and chooses who to punish and when.Look at duke,uconn,and n.carolina.uconn had to get caught multiple times before anything was done,and duke has been caught numerous times and nothing ever happens to them,unc has phoney classes for kids to take and they don’t get punished.

  6. Cat Lover

    At least they get to play and can pay back the money that was given to them but Enes Kanter while at UK never got that option, he was suspended for the whole year. Only happened twice in the NCAA and both times at UK!!!!! Kind of funny that other teams are treated different. GO UK CATS!!!

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