Investigating prep schools for their academics is a standard part of NCAA procedure over the last few years. But Yahoo! Sports is reporting the NCAA is digging even deeper into Notre Dame Prep:
Parents of former players from the Fitchburg, Mass., prep school told Yahoo! Sports they have been contacted by NCAA investigators and asked about topics including academic and eligibility issues, financial irregularities and recruiting practices at the longtime basketball powerhouse. The NCAA has already ruled Maryland recruit Sam Cassell Jr. and Xavier’s Myles Davis academically ineligible to play.
If Notre Dame Prep is ultimately not cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center and deemed a “diploma mill,” like all similar schools there would be the outstanding questions of why. Why would someone take on the challenge of getting a school approved by the necessary authorities, including the NCAA, while simultaneously keeping it—let’s say forgiving—enough to help athletes get eligible.
Dan Wetzel and Rand Getlin’s article includes parents who paid tuition directly to the basketball coach instead of to the school. It could be as simple as that. But it also might be something deeper, like ties to third parties which attach themselves to prospects or college coaches may be more actively involved. With Notre Dame Prep, the NCAA appears to have an opportunity to find out.