Friday, August 1, 2008

8/1 - Some Links, Some News

-For those of you that aren't interested in reading about recruiting issues, well then you should probably just skip this edition of Some Links, Some News. On Tuesday, we at BIAH discussed (here) how teams will try and land recruits by hiring their summer or AAU coaches as assistant coaches. Well, it looks like it is happening again. It has long been rumored that OK State, Baylor, and Oregon were the front runners for '09 PG recruit John Wall (which in itself is pretty startling, considering Wall is from Raleigh, NC - only a stone's throw away from ACC powers NC State, Duke, UNC, and Wake Forest). Yesterday, Dwon Clifton, Wall's coach at D-One Sports (the runners-up at the Reebok Las Vegas Tournament), was hired as Director of Player Development at Baylor.

This hiring (especially if it leads to Wall playing at Baylor), and the overall recruitment of Wall, does not sound right to me at all. If Wall, probably the #1 player in the class of '09, signs with a school in Waco, TX with absolutely no basketball history or legacy AND is only five years removed from what may be the worst scandal in the history of sports (OK, the Black Sox fixed the World Series, but a Baylor player was murdered and the coach tried to cover it up by saying the deceased was a drug dealer), something has to be off. If I was the best player in the country and I could play ANYWHERE I wanted to, I would go to one of three places: somewhere with an outstanding basketball legacy where I know I would be playing for National Titles (a la Duke); somewhere with beautiful weather, women, and a great party scene (a la Arizona); or the place that gave me and the people around me the most money and benefits. Which one of these sounds like Baylor to you?

-So you are an ordinary, customer-service rep at FedEx, and you happen to get a call from the CEO of your company. A bit surprised, no? What if you also had a son that was one of the top unsigned basketball players in the class of '08, and that the CEO of FedEx was one of the top athletics boosters for the University of Memphis. Would you still be surprised? And not only is FedEx CEO Dave Bronczek a huge booster (most likely giving more than $1 million to the Tigers), but the Memphis home arena is called FedEx Forum.

David Bronczek's phone call to Abdul Gaddy's mother, Oseye Gaddy, has landed Memphis in a bit of hot water, and it could even result in Gaddy being ineligible to play for the Tigers. According to NCAA rule 13.01.1:

The recruitment of a student-athlete by a member institution or any representative of its athletic interests in violation of the Association's legislation, as acknowledged by the institution or established through the Association's enforcement procedures, shall result in the student-athlete becoming ineligible to represent that institution in intercollegiate athletics. The Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement may restore the eligibility of a student involved in such a violation only when circumstances clearly warrant restoration.

I doubt I really hope Calipari had no idea this was happening, although in the article, Jeff Goodman says that the call by Bronczek was made in lieu of Cal's request..

-I know it is taboo in the blogosphere to like anything put out by the worldwide leader, but I have a confession: I love Dana O'Neill. I think she is a fantastic writer, and I thoroughly enjoy just about every piece she writes. Her most recent article is about how coaches have not changed their recruiting ways during July, even after Skip Prosser's death.

-It's not recruiting, but here is a list of the Vegas Odds to win a National Championship. How is Florida third?

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