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NYT: NCAA looking into Eric Bledsoe recruitment

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Steak Snabler, May 29, 2010.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member


    Obviously, there always seems to be smoke around Calipari, but anyone who knows anything about inner-city Birmingham basketball (and Maurice Ford in particular) shouldn't really be shocked, either.

    I remember Alabama recruited a Parker kid named Walter Sharpe a few years ago. Then-coach Mark Gottfried made a huge public to-do about announcing they were no longer recruiting Sharpe, which you rarely see college coaches do.

    Turns out Ford had asked for money ($10,000, I think) to steer Sharpe to Alabama. He wound up signing with Mississippi State, then later transferred to UAB, in between suffering minor gunshot wounds on the streets of Birmingham.
  2. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    UK didn't care about ensuring themselves of any possible trouble when they hired Cal.

    They just wanted to wipe their hands of Billy Clyde and win championships.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Any list of the dirtiest coaches in the country in the last 20 years should start with Calipari.

    I may be forgetting someone, but I think he's the dirtiest since Tarkanian retired.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Maurice Ford is a unique individual...
    He's still steamed that Bledsoe didn't win Mr. Basketball. My response was and is, "Win the state title and it would have been a moot point."
    Ford also left Parker after the 2008-09 season to go coach in Huntsville; he was laid off a couple of weeks ago because he didn't have tenure and the district cut teaching positions.
  5. Crash

    Crash Active Member

    The interesting side to this is that Ford apparently didn't get what he wanted from Kentucky, because he was noticeably disappointed when Bledsoe committed.

    His quote about Bledsoe playing with John Wall: "Like I told Coach Calipari, I can't see them playing together," Ford said. "He said they can, but they both play with the ball in their hands. I just don't see it getting done. ... Me personally, I think he would've blossomed better at Memphis or Cincinnati, where he could walk in and be the point guard from Day One. ... I might take another high school job, but it won't be in Kentucky. I'm not moving to Kentucky."

    And later:

    “Eric is there. That’s his decision. Ain’t nothing I can do about it.”
  6. dog428

    dog428 Active Member

    So, wait, you're telling me a star basketball player might have received improper benefits while in middle/high school? Noooooooo. Next thing you know, I'll find out he played AAU ball, too.

    For God's sakes, I'd like to see one Eric Bledsoe who isn't receiving something. Bledsoe, Mayo, Wall, the half-dozen stars this year and next -- they're all getting shit and have been for years. For some, it's free clothes and paid trips to nice tournaments and camps. Some get rent money. Some get car money.

    I hate to keep defending Calipari, but sonofabitch, how is this his fault, especially if he didn't slide anyone anything? If we paint him as the villain based solely on the evidence presented, that's a pretty big mountain of shit that college coaches are now responsible for: every player on the team, all the family members and friends of that player, everything that player might have done prior to signing with you, the academic standing of that player before and after he joins up.

    At a point, we should probably at least consider the system in place. Because it's absurd to continue operating this way -- cherry picking a handful of players to investigate and everyone acting all surprised by what's uncovered.

    To me, if no one is accusing the college coach of paying the player to attend or doing anything else against the rules to attract that player, I see no problems.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    In theory, nothing is Cal's fault.
    The admission's thing is on Kentucky; the zoning issue is on the AHSAA and Birmingham schools, which has a city AD who would fuckup the proverbial wet dream; the money issue is on Maurice Ford, who isn't the cleanest coach I've ever met.
    The snowball is that he found a talented, but dirty player, and circumstances escalated to Kentucky getting a player who jumped a half a grade point in his final year in order to play at one of the nation's finest university's -- one that belongs in the SEC and coached by a gangster at two levels, high school and college.
  8. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    So I can only assume the anonymous coach who dropped a dime on Calipari is clad in an orange blazer twice a year.
  9. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    Dog, it still happened on Cal's watch, no matter how you look at it and if he had no involvement.

    Shit always happens when he's around.

    Guilt by association.
  10. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

    This isn't free T-shirts, shoes or pizzas at issue here. Instead it's a coach (who apparently has a notorious reputation) paying the monthly rent for the superstar who just moved into his district to play his senior season for him. That certainly gives the impression that the money was meant to buy his basketball services. That type of "improper benefit" cannot be said about nearly any HS prospect.

    As for the Calipari connection, there is no direct one. As usual, he's near the shit but not touching it.

    But I'd say the Kentucky admissions/compliance people sure have some questions to answer for not red flagging this. Especially when you consider the timing, with Bledsoe's admission coinciding with the Rose scandal blowing up, you'd think UK would've been extra cautious to make sure there were no time bombs in Calipari's first UK class. And sounds like they should've seen bomb clues aplenty:

    A kid who had a terrible academic record and looked to have little to no hope of qualifying at the end of his junior year transfers to another public school for his senior year where miraculously raises his cumulative GPA nearly a point in one year, just enough to become eligible. According to an ESPN piece I just read, he'd never had an A before he transferred schools, but soon was getting As in Algebra 2 and Algebra 3 (apparently taken at the same time) online, and had a D in biology from his prior school changed to an A through an online course.

    A kid who's never had an A in his life is suddenly pulling them down in advanced algebra classes right after changing schools to play for Maurice Ford? That didn't trigger any alarms at UK?
  11. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Dog, at some point it's not a coincidence.

    If even a fraction of the crap that swirled around Calipari sticks to him, he's being ignorant of the NCAA guidelines. And Lexington had to have known this when it hired him, but Mitch Barnhart had to have someone to march out there that the fanbase believed in after the Billy Gillispie disaster.

    Heh ... Cal and Kentucky thoroughly deserve one another.
  12. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Of course. Many have learned the techniques which organized crime uses so well.
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