WASHINGTON, D.C. — Davidson head coach Bob McKillop spoke candidly Tuesday morning at Atlantic 10 media day about the ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball, and said that schools must do a better job of policing themselves, starting at the top.
“The first thing that has to happen is college presidents and chancellors need to take control of their campuses,” said McKillop, who is entering his 29th season as Wildcats coach. “Far too often they’ve abdicated their responsibility. They’ve been in positions of leadership but have not led.”
The NCAA, according to McKillop, has indicated that it expects individual schools to clean their programs up.
“It’s not hard at all,” he said. “Look in the mirror. Take responsibility for what your role as a leader is. Handle that responsibility and leadership with the kind of dignity and honor that you need to handle it with.”
While the problem seems to be widespread in college basketball, McKillop was careful to point out that it is not universal. He says that in his 29 years at Davidson, he has never lost a recruit because the recruit was offered something illicit elsewhere that he could not offer at Davidson.
“I’ve lost a lot of players because on a Saturday official visit, we don’t have 80,000 people in a football stadium cheering people on,” he said. “But we’ve never lost because of any kind of illegitimacy.”
McKillop prefers, however, to talk about those he has brought in.
After 29 years on the job, he has plenty of legitimate ways to pitch Davidson to recruits. Davidson is a small-campus, academically rigorous school that also has Division I athletics — two qualities that few schools combine. Now entering their fourth season in the Atlantic 10, the Wildcats can also boast membership in one of the best non-power leagues in the country.
The Wildcats were picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll and face a daunting non-conference schedule with early tests against UNC Wilmington, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Mexico State.