Iowa coach Fran McCaffery on cheating in college basketball: 'I've turned programs in, and I'll continue to'

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Like just about every college basketball coach this season, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery was asked about the FBI's NCAA pay-for-play investigation during his team's media day.

Specifically, he was asked Monday how teams can police themselves regarding tampering with recruitment.

Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery reacts during the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa won 85-72.

"What you can do is, when you know something’s going on, turn that team in," McCaffery answered. "Who does that? Not a lot of people do that.

"I do it. I’ve turned programs in and I’ll continue to do that when I know that there’s something going on. But a lot of times you don't know what’s going on. So can you police yourselves? Only if you know something’s going on. But even then it’s hard for the NCAA to do something."

McCaffery said the NCAA welcomes any tips from coaches regarding violations from other teams.

But ...

"They can’t wire-tap your phone," he said of the NCAA. "They can’t run a sting operation. They can’t have insiders. So maybe this is a game-changer, with regard to the FBI’s involvement."

More:Highlights from Fran McCaffery's media day press conference

McCaffery said he veers away from recruits who are involved with tampering "every day." He said he hears kids talk about it at AAU events that his sons, Connor and Patrick McCaffery, have gone to, and that he doesn't interact with "some of the organizations that are inclined" to be involved in the shady side of college basketball recruiting.

For his part, McCaffery said he and his staff were never worried about their program when news of the FBI investigation surfaced in late September.

"I think (people) thought that everything was wrong with everything, and that’s just not the case," McCaffery said. "Some isolated cases. Maybe there’s more to come — we don’t know. Any time the game is cleaned up, it’s better for all of us. We do things the right way. We do things a certain way. We have a certain expectation here.

"We’re just going to be business as usual here. Nothing changes for us. I don’t think anybody ever thought the FBI would get involved with that stuff. I think that was a surprise."

In late September, the FBI filed charges against 10 individuals it claimed were involved with paying college basketball recruits. It arrested four assistant coaches from USC, Oklahoma State, Auburn and Arizona. This led to Louisville firing Rick Pitino and numerous other staffing moves around the college basketball world.

Matthew Bain covers preps, recruiting and the Hawkeyes for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewBain_.