College Basketball

FAU Coach Dusty May Accuses Top Schools of Poaching Owls Players During March Madness

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As the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Owls swooped into the NCAA Final Four, their underdog story captured hearts nationwide. But the team’s fairy tale run has been marred by behind-the-scenes drama. FAU head coach Dusty May accuses big-name schools of trying to poach his players amidst the March Madness excitement.

May Says FAU Players Recruited at Madison Square Garden During NCAA Tournament

A nine-seed Cinderella story, FAU’s journey to the Final Four has been nothing short of exhilarating. However, the glitz and glamour on the court mask the shady dealings happening offstage.

Player poaching is nothing new in college sports, but the introduction of the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) legislation and the transfer portal has changed the game. The NIL rules allow student-athletes to profit from their personal brand and many are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars doing so. Meanwhile, the transfer portal simplifies player movement between programs. These changes have given rise to a new breed of opportunists: middlemen.

According to Coach May, these middlemen are the ones orchestrating the poaching efforts. As FAU advanced to the Elite Eight at Madison Square Garden, May claims that top schools targeted the Owls’ best players through third-party intermediaries.

May expressed his concerns before FAU’s victory over Kansas State: “You’re always concerned because they’re getting recruited now. They’ve been recruited through this (NCAA) tournament. It’s part of it.”

May emphasizes that the coaches’ job is to create an environment that convinces players FAU is their best long-term option.

NIL Collectives Acting as Middlemen?

While May isn’t pointing fingers at other coaches directly, he’s clear about the role of middlemen: “There are middlemen, third parties that have incentive to get kids in the portal and help them find another spot and then with the new rules who know what happens after that.”

May also acknowledges that poaching isn’t a one-way street: “Every school in the country in some capacity is dealing with it. Even the bigger schools are dealing with the small schools trying to get the guys at the end of their roster.”

NIL collectives currently play a unique role in this landscape. These organizations pool resources to support student-athletes in exchange for a share of the players’ NIL earnings. While this arrangement can benefit athletes, it also opens the door for middlemen to use NIL deals as bait for poaching.

As FAU prepares to face San Diego State in the Final Four on Saturday, the Owls’ tale serves as a cautionary story for smaller programs. The NIL legislation and transfer portal have opened doors for student-athletes, but they’ve also exposed smaller schools like FAU to a more insidious side of college sports.

As the Owls fight for a place in the championship game, the unseen battle rages on behind the scenes. Coach Dusty May’s revelations remind us that amidst the thrill of March Madness, there’s a darker side to the quest for success.

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David Evans is a well-established figure in sports journalism, carrying with him an impressive portfolio that stretches over 15 years. His savvy insights and reliable commentary have been spotlighted on esteemed platforms like American Betting Experts and Betting Pro. David's keen interest lies in North Carolina basketball, college football, NFL, soccer, and golf. His insightful pieces reveal a deep understanding of these sports and a subtle flair for strategic analysis. Away from his desk, David prioritizes physical fitness, regularly working out at the gym. His downtime is often spent in the calming company of his cat. David Evans brings to the table a compelling blend of experience, passion, and intuition. A respected name in sports journalism, he continues to deliver quality content that engages and informs his readers.

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