PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a local connection to the scandal sweeping the NCAA.
It turns out, a man from this area reportedly helped to break the case wide open.
Louis Martin Blazer III, known as “Marty,” of Findlay, founded Blazer Capital Management in Pittsburgh. Blazer is said to have focused his work on professional athletes and entertainers.
Blazer was charged in his own criminal case in 2016, and recently pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. Multiple news outlets, including CBS News, report Blazer became a confidential FBI witness as a means of “cooperating” on his own case.
Attorney and sports agent Ralph Cindrich has never done business with Blazer, but does have a lot to say about the NCAA bribery scandal.
“There’s payola out the whazoola!” said Cindrich.
He said corruption and “pay to play” is a pervasive problem that has been going on for years in college and professional sports.
“In my mind, it’s a criminal mentality because it violates every room and law that’s on the books,” said Cindrich.
According to Cindrich, the big problem is not everybody will play by the rules and respect the law.
“We have rules and we have laws. But nobody gives a darn,” said Cindrich.
He said often there is a conflict of interest with agents representing coaches who are sending them players.
“The coaches have always been a part of influencing them. They will do it with their own agents. In other words, as long as their agents aren’t charging them fees to represent them in their contracts they will feed the agents,” said Cindrich.
Cindrich said the NCAA deserves the biggest share of the blame.
“The NCAA is a fraud. This whole amateur student athlete is a fiction. It just doesn’t occur out there with the exception of a few. And you almost know who they are by watching how they carry themselves in the pros,” said Cindrich.
According to Cindrich, there is no easy fix because much of it involves individual choices. “If you’re in the business you have to make a choice about how you’re going to conduct yourself and how you can sleep at night,” said Cindrich.