FAU coach Dusty May: 'Middlemen' coming after our players
With its storybook run to the Final Four, Florida Atlantic is a hot brand. And in this day and age of the transfer portal and NIL, that means every player on its roster is on somebody else's radar.
Coach Dusty May is aware his players have been poached. He said it was happening last week at Madison Square Garden. The Owls defeated Tennessee and Kansas State in the East Region semifinal and championship games to reach the Final Four in Houston. FAU faces San Diego State Saturday in the national semifinal.
"You're always concerned because they're getting recruited now," May said before FAU defeated Kansas State 79-76.
"They've been recruited through this (NCAA) tournament. It's part of it. Our job as coaches is to do the best job we can every single minute of every single day to provide the environment that they think this is the best thing for them long term. Not today, not in a week, not in a month but long term."
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May told The Palm Beach Post he was not singling out any coaches.
"I'm not accusing any coaches, it's usually a third party," he said. "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."
Those new rules allow players to be compensated for their name, image and likeness. And although NIL legislation does not allow for it to be used as a recruiting tool, the NCAA has dropped the ball when attempting to enforce the rules.
Guard Alijah Martin, who led FAU with 17 points in the win over Kansas State, was asked why he returned after leading the team in scoring last season and if he believes any Owls will be tempted to leave after this year.
"We're loyal over here," Martin said. "We don't really let people tear us apart whether it's media or it's other teams trying to pull us away. We just trying to stay together and be a family."
But May knows that will not deter others from circling the program.
"It's not uncommon," he said. "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."
FAU faces San Diego State Saturday in the national semifinal.
Saturday's gameNCAA Tournament, Final FourNRG Stadium, HoustonNo. 9 FAU vs. No. 5 San Diego State6 p.m., CBS
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: FAU coach Dusty May says players being poached during run to the Final Four