So, I had the opportunity to speak with a Chicago HS basketball luminary in a casual situation earlier today. I won't drop his name at this point, but he coached some of Chicago's best talent over the past 30 years at a couple well known Chicago high schools. He apparently just retired this year. I asked some very pointed questions about basketball topics, specifically regarding college recruiting, and he (thankfully) did not hold back on giving me some very candid and real answers. Thought I would share with the board:
1. College bball recruiting is extremely dirty (duh!)
2. While he thinks the NCAA does their best to monitor this, he seems to believe that college coaches are much smarter and can "stay ahead" of the NCAA. He says there are very sophisticated ways to pay players and their families without suspicion.
3. Coach K - dirty as hell (I was kinda surprised by this)
4. Coach Cal - dirty as hell (duh!)
5. Coach Pitino - dirty as hell (duh!)
5. Izzo - sends his assitants to do his dirty work. He says he was offered money from Dwayne Stephens on several recent occasions for particular recruits (although I don't know if he actually accepted the money). He thinks that Izzo is not as bad as others though. Izzo has a lot of respect in Chicago and is not normally known for playing dirty. However, his people told him that Izzo's recent recruting success is no doubt from some "below the belt" tactics.
6. The Jabari Parker recruitment was surprising clean on a relative scale.
7. As for Michigan/JB - clean, very clean, but too clean. Most promimant Chicago HS coaches stay away from Michigan because Michigan won't be part of the "recruiting machine" in Chicago. They think JB is a good coach but teaches "white boy" basketball. He basically says Michigan/JB has no respect in Chicago anymore.
I mentioned I was a Michigan fan and talked some more about our program. He has tons of respect for us becasue he had lots of interaction with Michigan many years ago. Back in the 90s, Michigan was THE school for Chicago's best talent. He says we were not a clean program then, but he says that no one was and Michigan was no different than any other major program. He seems to think we have little to no chance with big time recruits in any major city without getting a little dirty.
He had some funny things to say about Amaker, but I'll save for later.
Anyway, thought I would share with the board. What are your thoughts? Would you be OK with getting a little dirty to get better recruits? Are you OK with being a super clean program now that can't consistent compete on the big stage?