(KMSP) - Just days before many college basketball teams start practicing, the FBI announced a major sting investigation into the recruitment of high school athletes to top programs.
Legendary coach Rick Pitino has been fired from Louisville, and authorities said this is just the tip of the iceberg, as many coaches are concerned about the future of the sport.
One high school coach, whose former players have gone on to the NBA, said these recruiters were targeting disadvantaged youth.
Federal investigators came down hard on college basketball coaches and their athletic directors at top schools across the country who engaged in illegal bribes with recruiters.
Some of the allegations include executives from shoe companies, AAU coaches and other assistants funneling cash to standout high school players.
"Today we announce charges of fraud and corruption in the world of college basketball," said Joon Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York.
The impact from this scandal could be far-reaching to young athletes across the country looking to play college hoops.
Ken Novak is a well-known high school basketball coach in the Twin Cities, and his former players at Hopkins include Kris Humphries and Royce White.
"Most of the recruiters really know who they can approach, who’s going to want money and who’s going to ask for money…they can feel it just by meeting you," Novak said.
Novak said he's never been approached by these recruiters, as they mostly do business in bigger cities.
"I just don't think in Minnesota it's going to be a big factor, but there's a lot of big cities like Chicago, New York, LA. It's much more prevalent than people think," he said.
Joel Maturi was the longtime former athletic director for the University of Minnesota where he was responsible for hiring coaches and staff with winning at the forefront.
Maturi is currently educating Japanese universities on how they can incorporate programs like college athletics.
In a phone call, Maturi said that under his watch at the U, he's unaware of any illegal bribery going on.
"You can't control every coach, every staff member, every booster…you just do the best that you possibly can," he said.