October 31st, 2013 at 10:40 AM ^

The "pull" of green in the bluegrass state is stronger than any that Calipari might have.  UK boosters apparently operate a state of the art player procurement machine, and the NCAA never seems to be able to figure out that anything is going on.

Calipari's main "pull" that he has removed all pretense of following rules and publicly encourages one and dones to play for him.


October 31st, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

If you were an extremely talented high school basketball player and you wanted to play in the NBA, would you seriously not go to Kentucky?  It's hard to beat regardles of what extralegal benefits they provide.

His Dudeness

October 31st, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

Depends on if you care about your collegiate legacy.

Also, can't you go basically anywhere and play for one year and go to the NBA if you are a NBA level talent?

I remember a young man going to "the big school" at that time and being treated like shit (in his opinion) and then going to a little place called Indiana State... if I remember correctly he did quite well for himself.


October 31st, 2013 at 12:56 PM ^

Its kind of absurd to condemn these guys for not "caring about their collegiate legacy" when they never wanted to go to college in the first place.  Using our guys and football as examples are not apropos either.  These one and done kids are forced to go to college and the spectacle/ joke in Kentucky is the byproduct.    

Can you imagine if Garnett, Kobe or Lebron had to care about their "collegiate legacy"?  

I still feel like (barring elimination of the rule altogether) the one and dones should be ble to pre-agency, participate in a draft readiness combine.  If they get a passing grade, they can submit and forego college.  They should have a hardship exception too.  Then the kids who truly aren't ready have to go to college overseas or wait.  Kids who are ready get to stop making a mockery of the student-athlete.





October 31st, 2013 at 11:47 AM ^

Exactly. Why do people assume because Kentucky is getting top recruits in basketball or Alabama in football that its because they're paying players? Maybe it's because the track record of sending players to the pros speaks for itself.


October 31st, 2013 at 12:06 PM ^

There is no proof of it now but history says it is certainly possible. They were administered a 1952 version of the death penalty and nearly got it again in '89. They have gotten in trouble several other times. So in addition to a history of desperate boosters you have a coach who has left every program he coached on probation. Again, not proved, but definitely possible. 

His Dudeness

October 31st, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^


He is the reason Kidd-Gilchrist was picked so high.

He is the reason that Noel even got picked after a botched knee surgery.

He is the reason you get these recruiting classes at UK:

2013 : # 2, 5, 7, 9 nationally ranked players

2012: # 2, 8, 14 nationally ranked players

2011: # 2, 3, 5 nationally ranked players

Cal is not a great coach. Look at how his teams roll over when they aren't front running. The kids are tremendous talents that are funneled to UK in order to be signed later to the NBA. Easy stuff.


October 31st, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

His main pull is that his teams compete for a championship pretty much every year and his guys go on to get drafted highly in the nba, the man has had very few highly rated players turn in to busts.  And contrary to what a lot of people think he's not just a great recruiter he is a great coach, his teams always play some pretty outstanding defense.


October 31st, 2013 at 11:32 AM ^

Of course they are dirty, but a lot of interviews with former players show that those illegal benefits tend to not be a huge decididng factor, partly because so many schools do it but also because kids are pretty smart about their decisions.  I really doubt $500 a month or whatever is really the decididing factor.  Have you ever been to a basketball game at kentucky? it makes crisler seem like a high school atmosphere, their practice facility is absurd, they have a dorm with extra long beds, and basketball is the bigger sport.  Those are all advantages they have over michigan that has nothing to do with illegal benefits (unless you think the dorm is skirting the line)

His Dudeness

October 31st, 2013 at 11:47 AM ^

Balas pretty much said the off the court "pressure" is extremely hard to turn down.

Balas claims that he strongly suspects Michigan has lost 2 players (ranked lower than 20-30 in th nation) to "shenanigans."

Balas also says there isobvious cheating going on with the national elite players.

All I can say is if you honestly believe UK isn't dirty dirt dirt than you have your head in the sand. Not to say they are the only ones, but it's fucking blatant. I mean look at their last class... seriously.



October 31st, 2013 at 11:51 AM ^

but if Kentucky is, in fact, paying its recruits, then presumably Booker and Blackmon have already been offered "extra benefits".  The fact that they are still considering Kentucky suggests that they are open to being bought---in which case I would then like to think we don't really want them.  Kinda like a player who considers throwing a game or a politician almost taking a bribe. 

So perhaps at least these two haven't been offered money or perhaps Kentucky isn't always buying, despite the rumors.  I don't know which way it really is, but I think it has to be one or the other. [And I am well aware of Calipari's history, along with his "bagman" Wes Wesley.]  But we have to quit always blaming losing a kid  (like Treadwell) on the other program cheating-- if they come here they are good guys, if not, then they were bought.



October 31st, 2013 at 11:50 AM ^

Every time a recruit commits to someone other than Michigan, you pull out the "DEY GITTIN' PAID" schtick. You know, the guy does have a great track record of putting players in the lottery. 

His Dudeness

October 31st, 2013 at 12:01 PM ^

OMG - Ok here is how it is done. There is a man who walks the floors of the AAU circuit. His name is William Wesley. William Wesley is NOT an agent. He is however affiliated with most NBA agents. He has been in the inner circle of D-Rose, Rip Hamilton, LeBron, AI, etc.

He promises these recruits lucritive contracts (as long as they sign with his guys when they reach the pros) upon their LOI to a particular program. He has been funneling kids to UK and used to send kids to Memphis. The way the rules are written, he can get away with it. It really isn't as hard to understand as you people think it is. It happens other places too, but Cal has a best buddy with one of the most important figures in basketball (AAU, NCAA and NBA).

For those who think it can't be? It be.


October 31st, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

Not sure what to do with your one-and-done year because you can't seem to land a qualifying score on a board exam? We can handle that.

Don't feel like going to the trouble of pulling someone from the hotel bar while you're on the road, or you want some higher-end talent to take your mind off the big game? That can be arranged.

And as a client you will NOT have to worry about any green-room embarrassment on draft day.

Of course I don't know what's behind any particular recruit's decision, but the idea that this all stopped when Calipari took the UK job is laughable.


October 31st, 2013 at 12:43 PM ^

World Wide Wes is not a conspiracy theory.  The bigger issue is not that teams are cheating (grow up and wake up people- college sports are dirty), but that the NCAA doesnt give a shit.  Where does that leave a program that tries to do things the right way?  See OSU vs. Michigan in the 2000's.


October 31st, 2013 at 12:50 PM ^

I am not saying - and I don't think anyone is saying - that Booker in particular is going to Kentucky because of money or other benefits.  However, Calipari absolutely benefits from street agents like Worldwide Wes.  He also gets the occassional help from Jay-Z, who just happens to befriend (and give benefits to) players whom Cal is recruiting. 


This link doesn't prove anything, but it will give you a flavor of who Worldwide Wes is:



October 31st, 2013 at 2:29 PM ^

in whole or part---I already referenced Wesley, so I am well-familiar with the stories (and likely truth).  My point is why are we okay with players who come down to Kentucky/schools that cheat and Michigan--so long as they pick Michigan?  I don't want anyone even thinking of taking money?

His Dudeness

October 31st, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

I was responding to Dirty Harry.

I just don't think that what you wrote is a reality in this society we have created. It's nice to think that players would turn a blind eye to that type of activity, but

A) In my opinion they shouldn't be forced to play one year of collegiate ball anyway so why "do it the right way?"

B) Where are the consequences? We have seen time and time again (recently anyway... they sure gave us the big ram with the FabFive)  that there are little to no ramifications of playing dirty. We are a society based on rules, but rules with severe consequences. Without justice, there are no rules.


October 31st, 2013 at 2:58 PM ^

a) I know about the Worldwide Wes thing.

b) My comment is pointed at Tater, who accuses just about ever player who commits to another school of getting paid by that school, as if kids have no other incentive to commit to UK, or Alabama for football. I know, must be the money ...

And I suck at embeds: 




October 31st, 2013 at 12:12 PM ^

Don't be that guy.  Cal is a great recruiter with a track record of getting guys to the NBA.  Posts like yours just look like butt hurt second teir fan base whining.  seriously.


October 31st, 2013 at 12:27 PM ^

...that was my point. Not sure why you put parentheses around why as if to debate it.

Calipari has been so successfull (vacated or not) because he dispenses with the bullshit.  I may not like the man, and being a Lexington resident I see my fair share of him but he calls a spade a spade. 


October 31st, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

Same guy on twitter said that Tom Crean was visiting Blackmon today, and that they are back in.  Kentucky is the team to beat for him as well, with no chance of him coming to MI.  O-2 today unfortunately.