By: Will Burchfield
There isn’t a more trusted figure within the college basketball coaching community than John Beilein.
And it’s not even close.
A survey conducted by CBS Sports posed the following question to over 100 college coaches: “Who is the high-major coach you genuinely believe does everything by the book and operates completely within the NCAA’s rulebook?”
Beilein received 26.6 percent of the vote.
The next closest coach, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, received 10.5 percent. Wisconsin’s Greg Gard and Virginia’s Tony Bennett were tied for third (7.6 percent).
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo tied for sixth with 4.6 percent of the vote.
Beilein has long been known to run a clean program. He unfailingly abides by recruiting guidelines and, unsurprisingly, has led the NCAA’s men’s basketball ethics coalition in the past.
The coaches in the survey spoke on anonymity. Here’s what a few of them had to say about Beilein.
“John Beilein is a by-the-book, letter-of-the-law guy. LETTER-OF-THE-LAW. … You get two hours to work out guys for the week. If he works out a kid and, say, they go one hour and one minute, he’s going to start the next time with 59 minutes on the clock and go 59 minutes. That’s the truth.”
“Personally, we’ve gone up against him [in recruiting] … and there’s never been any issues. You go head-to-head with some of these guys, and you know what’s going on. … But nothing has popped up that’s even been in the gray area [with Michigan].”
“If you look over the course of his programs, they have a very unique way in how they recruit players. It’s a very old-school approach. He has to see them. They only offer kids if they come to campus twice. Stuff like that. His background is such, and this is way vague, but guys that typically have cheated or do things the wrong way, they live their lives at a certain level of athletics for such a long period. But John Beilein worked his way up. He’s never been an assistant — only been a head coach his entire life. He’s like, ‘This is the only way do it, and I’m going to continue to do it.’ [Guys like him] get to a point in their careers where they’ve been able to operate that way for so long, why risk their job and reputation?”