Kemba Walker made headlines when he told a Sports Illustrated reporter that during his junior year, he read his "first book", William C. Rhoden's Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete.
As you might imagine, that comment made quite a ripple in the snarky blogosphere.
UConn visited the Connecticut governor's mansion yesterday, and Kemba tried to clarify those comments to The Associated Press:
He said it upsets him that the comment may have hurt the school's reputation.He's not the only one worried about UConn's academic reputation. Jim Calhoun stands to lose an $87,500 bonus for winning the national title and will have to donate $100,000 to the University's scholarship fund if the Huskies don't meet the APR.
"That's just what people want," Walker said. "They want to bring us down. Regardless of what they say, I'm still graduating in three years, so that comment means absolutely nothing. I've read a lot of books."
He said he was talking about loving a book so much that he just sat down and read it cover to cover.
"It's a big emphasis on academics at UConn," he said. "They make sure we are student-athletes first. I'm going to get my degree. I will find time to do my work."
"Eight straight years, we made the APR," Calhoun said. "If because someone left early or didn't finish, all those various things that get you ... when you have 16 kids leave [for the pros] in a 10-year period, you are more likely to be more open to [a low APR] happening."
But Kentucky was able to convince 80% of the player's that left early for last year's draft -- everyone except for Daniel Orton -- to finish their classes. Shouldn't Calhoun be able to do the same?