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Basketball Season Coverage

Basketball team shows no mercy for father/son campers

@UKCoachCalipari

Week two of the father/son basketball camp started Friday. This morning the campers got to play with some of the players at the Johnson Center basketball courts.

In the following video we see two things: Jonny David swatting a kids shot and Wenyen Gabriel crossing up a camper before draining a three.

Thankfully Sacha Killeya-Jones and Dillon Pulliam show some compassion for the young ballers.

Meanwhile, Shai Alexander was making a camper’s day by signing his jersey.

@KentuckyMBB

 


Saturday’s Top 10: football YAHTZEE, NBA Draft Update and, of course, Louisville

Saturday’s Top 10: football YAHTZEE, NBA Draft Update and, of course, Louisville

Yesterday was National Mascot Day, so it’s only appropriate to begin today’s post with a photo of our beloved Wildcat (in case you were wondering, it seems today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day, so… go crazy). It’s been an exciting week here in the BBN, so let’s jump right into today’s Top 10.

1. I have to bring it up…

I know there’s been plenty of coverage about the current situation in Louisville, but it seemed weird to not bring it up at all. I haven’t really had the chance to share my own thoughts on the subject yet, and I won’t bore you with the specifics, but I’d love to know: which part do you consider the most outrageous?

Could it be the fact that at least seven of the 15 involved recruits were under the age of 18? What about UofL trying to appeal the NCAA’s ruling because the strippers didn’t cost that much? Maybe it’s the story about an assistant coach who called the team out for poor practice performance “because y’all had strippers in there all night”? How about Brandon Williams failing to produce phone records because the phone in question was “controlled by his mother?” And let’s not forget about Rick practically saying the NCAA is to blame for Jim Valvano’s cancer?

I understand if you’re having a tough time choosing – it’s all truly ridiculous.

survey services

 

2. ICYMI: Isaiah Briscoe injury ends workouts

Yesterday, Adam Zagoria of FanRagSports.com reported that Isaiah Briscoe’s workouts with the Lakers, Kings, Bucks and Pacers have been canceled due to an injury. According to Briscoe’s agent, “it’s a minor ankle injury,” but cutting his workouts short still hurts the former Kentucky guard. Briscoe is currently projected to go undrafted next Thursday and missing his last few chances to show off his skills certainly won’t help.

3. Calipari heads west

The Under-19 Men’s National Team Training Camp begins in Colorado Springs tomorrow, so John Calipari is making his way there today. Of the 28 players who accepted their invitations to attend, three current UK players will be traveling to the camp: Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Hamidou Diallo. Several 2018 targets will also be in attendance, including Bol Bol and Romeo Langford.

4. Vote for the winner of the KSR summer host contest

Five groups remain in the competition for the opportunity to host KSR one day during Matt’s vacation. The winner will host one hour of the show, and Matt will choose which of the remaining hopefuls gets to host the second hour. Give each a listen and vote for your favorite HERE.

5. Another Yahtzee for the football team

The 2018 Wildcat class continues to grow. DeAndre Square, a four-star defenseman, tweeted his commitment to Kentucky Friday night, getting lots of love from BBN fans in the process. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound outside linebacker will be coming to Kentucky from Cass Technical High School in Detroit.

Square is just another example of the recruiting efforts being made by Stoops, Marrow and the rest of the Kentucky football staff. Square’s announcement came the day after another 2018 defenseman, Dom Williams, committed to the Cats via Twitter. 

6. ESPN’s latest 30 for 30

As an avid sports fan and 30 for 30 enthusiast, I get very excited each time a new special is released. “Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies” is enticing to me for many reasons, but mostly because I was born in 1997, long after the Celtics vs. Lakers rivalry had hit its peak. The episodes aired over two separate days, and I’m more of a binge watcher, so I haven’t started the series yet. I will freely admit I’m not well versed on the subject, but I look forward to properly educating myself through the three-part special this weekend. If you’re like me and you’re still trying to get around to it, you can stream it here on ESPN. So far, I’ve heard pretty good reviews, but what do you think? Is it up to par with other 30 for 30s?

7. NBA Draft Update

With just five days left until this year’s NBA draft, speculation is running higher than ever. Several rumors are floating around this lovely thing we call the Internet, including the idea that the Celtics could trade Julius Randle for the No. 1 pick. This would definitely cause a wrinkle in the draft LaVar Ball has planned out for himself…uhh… his son.

8. So… Where do the Kentucky players stand?

While the overall consensus puts De’Aaron Fox in the top five, Malik Monk in the top 10 and Bam Adebayo somewhere in the first round, there is plenty of variation even in the most popular mock drafts. Additionally, not everyone is counting out a sneaky, second round pick in Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis or Dominique Hawkins. Here’s where some major outlets are projecting the former Kentucky players:

  • NBA Draft has De’Aaron Fox going No. 4 to the Phoenix Suns, Malik Monk going No. 8 to the New York Knicks and Bam Adebayo at No. 17 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
  • Draft Express has Fox at No. 5 to the Kings, Monk at No. 8 to the Knicks and Adebayo at No. 19 to the Atlanta Hawks.
  • CBS Sports has Fox at No. 3 to the 76ers, Monk at No. 10 to the Kings and Adebayo at No. 28 to the Lakers.

9. KSR’s upcoming schedule

The summer tour is in full swing as the Kentucky Sports Radio crew continues to make their way across the Commonwealth. During the upcoming week, look out for the gang in Danville on Monday, Leitchfield on Tuesday, Louisville on Wednesday, Henderson on Thursday and Owensboro on Friday. Check out the full schedule here.

10. Hey Kentucky! casting call is TODAY

If you’ve been looking for the opportunity to break into the television industry, the wait is almost over – the Hey Kentucky casting call is finally here. Head out to the Fayette Mall near the Apple Store beginning at 10 a.m. for your chance to host Matt’s TV show while he’s on vacation. I’ll be there, and you should be too.


@MaggieDavisKSR


WATCH: Monk’s scouting report on Monk for The Players’ Tribune

Malik Monk chatted with The Players’ Tribune during a light workout at Manhattanville College while he was in New York recently. The video hit the internets today and it shows Monk talking about his game while getting up some shots in the Manhattanville gym.

Monk spends most of the video talking about his jump shot, which he calls a natural shot, and what it takes to see the ball go in every time. He emphasizes the feet first, then the hips, then the elbow, and then the follow through, for the perfect jumper.

See it all for yourself:


Hami Diallo and PJ Washington want to know if this looks like them

Hami Diallo and PJ Washington want to know if this looks like them

If you follow any of the newest Cats on Instagram or Snapchat, you’ve seen all of them posting videos and pictures of the autograph lines at the 2017 Father/Son Camps currently being held by John Calipari in Lexington. No doubt, these camps are a cool experience for both the campers and the new Kentucky players as it is the first time that the fans really get to interact with the Cats since they arrived on campus this summer.

Part of those autograph lines is the usual array of unusual items that these players are asked to sign. These drawings, however, are actually pretty impressive in my opinion.

 

 

Shoutout to Russ Mills for the drawings.

But the question still remains, do the drawings actually look like Diallo and Washington? You be the judge. The Washington one looks dead on to me, more so than the Diallo drawing, but I’m still impressed with both.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Bam Adebayo signed with Nike

Bam Adebayo has inked a shoe deal with Nike, a popular shoe company that many of you are probably familiar with.

The former Wildcat and soon-to-be NBA draft pick announced the news today on Twitter:

Terms of the deal aren’t out there, but he’s one of many in the long line of Kentucky Wildcats to sign with the swoosh out of college. John Wall and Jamal Murray are the only two I can think of who didn’t, although I’m sure there are a couple more.

Anyway, go get your money, Bam.


Injury ends Isaiah Briscoe’s remaining workouts

An unexpected injury has forced Isaiah Briscoe to cut his NBA workout tour short ahead of next week’s draft.

According to Adam Zagoria of FanRagSports.com, Briscoe suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of workouts with the Lakers, Kings, Bucks and Pacers. His agent, Brian Dyke, told Zagoria, “It’s a minor ankle injury… He’ll probably have to pull out of the rest of the workouts.”

If you follow Isaiah Briscoe on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that he has been walking fine (he loves to show off those shoes), so Dyke must be right in saying it’s a minor injury.

But Briscoe needs every workout he can get as he is projected to go undrafted next Thursday.


Fox wanted to “Shut Lavar Ball up” and says UK’s facilities need updating

Fox wanted to “Shut Lavar Ball up” and says UK’s facilities need updating

Andrew Sharp over at Sports Illustrated spent a day with De’Aaron Fox in Thousand Oaks, Ca., where Fox has spent the offseason getting ready for the NBA draft since leaving Kentucky.

After his time with Fox, Sharp put together a long list of notes and anecdotes that he took away from his day as Fox’s shadow.

Among those, Sharp writes that Fox said he went into the UCLA game to “Shut LaVar Ball up,” and that Fox has known Lonzo Ball a long time, but LaVar Ball was never an annoyance until this past year. In fact, he had never heard of LaVar until this past year.

“When I knew Lonzo in high school, I’d never seen his dad before,” Fox said. “He went crazy this year. I guess when your son a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence.”

Fox added that Lonzo will be playing with a target on his back next season as a rookie, all because of his father’s loud mouth.

The Sports Illustrated piece also hits several other topics with Fox, including another one you’ll find interesting about his time at Kentucky. Fox said two things could’ve been better during his time in Lexington, one of which was the basketball facilities.

From Sharp’s account:

I’d always imagined a Kentucky basketball dorm experience that was like a college version of USA Basketball at the Olympics. Basically, living the dorm equivalent to that luxury cruise ship. But Fox corrects me when I mention it in passing.

“It’s not as good as it could be,” he says. He lists off the names of a handful of schools around the country that have upgraded facilities in the past few years. “But if Kentucky upgrades stuff, then the NCAA’s like, ‘Arrghh, you can’t have this, you can’t have that.'” [SI.com]

Read a whole lot more here.


Listen to Matt talk about the UofL scandal on Finebaum

Listen to Matt talk about the UofL scandal on Finebaum

Do not adjust your computer screens! That is indeed Matt Jones on yesterday’s “Paul Finebaum Show,” discussing the NCAA’s infractions report on the UofL sex scandal. Shoutout to Finebaum producer John Hayes for giving us a graphic we’ll never forget.

Regardless, if you missed Matt’s appearance, listen in the clip below:

 


Five interesting leftovers from the UofL Infractions Report

Five interesting leftovers from the UofL Infractions Report

It’s been over 24 hours since the NCAA released its infractions report regarding the University of Louisville men’s basketball sex scandal, and while we’ve given you the major news, there are still some leftovers to go over. After poring over the 35-page infractions report again this morning (which you can read for yourself here), I found five pretty interesting ones:

 

1. For the next four years, recruits cannot stay on campus during unofficial visits

UofL already self-imposed several recruiting restrictions, but the NCAA handed down a new one by forbidding the program from hosting recruits overnight on campus during unofficial visits for the length of the probation, or, the next four years. Previously, recruits stayed at Minardi Hall on unofficial and official visits. Additionally, all UofL athletics staff must receive training on how to properly adhere to NCAA policy during recruiting visits.

2. They must also make recruits well aware they’re on probation and why

Per the NCAA report, every recruit UofL goes after in the next four years must be informed of the probation and the reason for it.

“During the period of probation, the institution shall inform in writing prospective student-athletes in men’s basketball that the institution is on probation for four years and detail the violations committed. If a prospective student-athlete takes an official paid visit, the information regarding violations, penalties and terms of probation must be provided in advance of the visit. Otherwise, the information must be provided before a prospective student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent.”

Not that the kids and their families won’t know already, but still, embarrassing.

3. Pitino can’t have any contact with the team during his suspension

Pitino was suspended for five ACC games, and during that time, he can’t have any contact with the team, from games to practice to meetings, video study, and team travel.

The provisions of this suspension require that the head coach not be present in the arena where the games are played and have no contact or communication with members of the men’s basketball coaching staff and student-athletes during the suspension period. The prohibition includes all coaching activities for the period of time which begins at 12:01 a.m. the day of the first conference game and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the day of the fifth conference game. During that period, the head coach may not participate in any activities including, but not limited to, team travel, practice, video study and team meetings. The results of those contests from which the head coach is suspended shall not count in his career coaching record.

4. They must list reminders of their probation and vacated wins in all publications

As much as UofL would love to just move on and forget about all of this, the NCAA is requiring them to list the vacated wins and reasons for their probation in their media guides, electronic and digital media plus institutional, conference and NCAA archives. They must also link a description of the violations, probation and the NCAA’s report on their main webpage (GoCards.com) for the next four years.

“The institution’s statement must: (i) clearly describe the infractions; (ii) include the length of the probationary period associated with the infractions case; and (iii) provide a clear indication of what happened in the infractions case. A statement that refers only to the probationary period with nothing more is not sufficient.”

5. UofL has to remove all mention of the vacated wins

UofL must also remove any mention of the vacated wins throughout their facilities. The wins will also be deducted from Pitino’s win total.

“Any public reference to these vacated contests shall be removed from athletics department stationery, banners displayed in public areas and any other forum in which they may appear. Any trophies or other team awards attributable to the vacated contests shall be returned to the Association.”

The Yum Center is definitely going to need some redecorating:


De’Aaron Fox thinks an All-Kentucky NBA team could beat the Golden State Warriors

In a best of seven series, De’Aaron Fox thinks an NBA team comprised of Kentucky Wildcats could beat the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Fox was asked the question in an interview with our friend Aaron Torres, who, coincidentally, will host KSR in just a few weeks when Matt goes out of town. Torres interviewed Fox this week for an in-depth interview for Fox Sports that will come out next week, but he couldn’t help but share this tidbit with the Big Blue Nation a few days in advance. Who would Fox include on the Kentucky team to beat the Warriors?

“I’m going to have John [Wall] at the point guard, Devin [Booker] at the two. At the three, I’d say Michael Kidd-Gilchrist just to guard KD [Kevin Durant]. But now you’ve got Boogie [Cousins], AD [Anthony Davis] and Karl [Anthony Towns] for two spots. I’m going to bring Karl off the bench just because he’s the youngest. That’s my only reason, because he’s the youngest. But that’s my starting five.”

Including MKG to guard Durant? Man, we knew Fox was smart, but that’s brilliant. To see the rest of Fox’s All-Kentucky team, head on over to Fox Sports. And then weigh in on whether or not you think he’s right in the comments.

[Fox Sports]


Friday’s Top 10: Did something big happen yesterday?

Friday’s Top 10: Did something big happen yesterday?

@LouisvilleZoo

You’re looking at Cora and Catina, two wolf pups recently born at the Louisville Zoo. The zoo held a naming contest for the pups and announced the winners yesterday, and you’re never going to convince me that “Catina” (“Cat” for short) won because it means “pure” in Portugese; in fact, that makes the irony even more wonderful. “Catina” won because zoo fans in Louisville either have a really awesome sense of humor (Kentucky fans) or they wanted to make it clear a wolf got in their hen house and ruined their basketball program (Louisville fans). Regardless, I’m happy the zoo has a living, breathing reminder of UofL’s depravity, and a pretty cute one at that.

Let’s jump right into today’s top 10, because there’s a lot to go over.

1. The NCAA is after UofL’s banner

The national media thinks the headline is Rick Pitino being suspended for five conference games, but to anyone who’s followed the situation, far more interesting is the NCAA making it clear UofL’s 2013 National Championship and 2012 Final Four banners will come down. Three players were ruled ineligible due to their participation in the sex acts/stripper parties, putting 108 wins and 15 NCAA victories in peril. Per standard procedure, UofL must submit a list of those games to the NCAA in the next 45 days, and even then, they plan to appeal the findings.

2. The appeal is a very, very long shot

UofL’s defense coming into yesterday was that because the sex acts/stripper parties didn’t cost much ($5,400), the banner shouldn’t come down. The NCAA thoroughly debunked that by making it clear that the monetary value has zero correlation to the reprehensible nature of the acts themselves. So, just because your strippers were cheap doesn’t change the fact that they were strippers, and pressuring 16 and 17-year-old kids into participating in these acts makes it a million times worse.

3. Yet, Rick Pitino remains confident they’ll win the appeal

Pitino went on a tirade about the NCAA’s “over-the-top,” “unfair,” and “unjust” findings, telling reporters he’s completely lost faith in the institution. That was just the start. Here’s a brief list of outrageous things Pitino said yesterday:

  • He doesn’t stay up past 10 p.m., so he shouldn’t be held responsible for what his players do between then and 8 a.m.
  • He shouldn’t have to answer questions because he doesn’t want to
  • A reporter must not be from Louisville because he asked a valid question
  • The NCAA investigation of NC State gave Jimmy Valvano cancer

He’s lost it, guys. Meanwhile, at home…

4. Calipari leaves for Colorado Springs tomorrow

Training Camp for the U19 Men’s National Team begins on Sunday in Colorado Springs, and tomorrow, Calipari will head west to prepare. Kevin Knox, PJ Washington, and Hamidou Diallo are among the 28 players who accepted invitations to the camp to try out for the 12-man team that will compete for the FIBA World Cup in Cairo next month. Also on the invite list: 2018 targets Bol Bol, Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish, and Romeo Langford.

5. Shai Alexander is skipping the FIBA World Cup to stay in Lexington

Alexander initially planned to play for Team Canada, but according to Adam Zagoria, he has decided to skip it and stay in Lexington to train with his new squad. Tai Wynyard is still expected to play for New Zealand. Hopefully they’ll play Team USA and we’ll get to see them do the Haka:

6. Malik Monk’s workout with the Sixers went well

Yesterday, Monk had a solo workout with the Philadelphia 76ers, who have the third pick in the NBA Draft, which is less than a week away (!). Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Nik Stauskas, and a handful of other Sixers watched Monk’s workout, and he delivered, knocking down threes and driving the lane with ease. When reporters asked him what he was best at, he quipped, “Everything.” Clearly, he’s confident. You can see more below:

Elsewhere, Bam Adebayo will work out for the Nuggets today and Isaac Humphries will work out for the Sixers. On Saturday, De’Aaron Fox will take his turn working out for the Sixers.

7. UK Football holding a reunion for the 2006, 2007, & 2008 teams

Saturday, October 28 will be a huge day for UK Football. Not only are the Cats taking on the Tennessee Vols that day in Commonwealth Stadium Kroger Field, the program is also holding a reunion for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 teams. Rich Brooks, Jacob Tamme, Andre Woodson, Stevie Johnson, and John Conner are just a few of the names that could be back in town, which I’m seeing as a very good omen for our chances of an upset.

8. The football team got a Yahtzee

In case you missed the news late last night, JuCo DB Domonique Williams committed to Kentucky, picking the Cats over Colorado State, Arkansas State, Iowa State, and others. Last year, he finished with 49 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions. He announced his commitment via this video on Twitter:

Williams will be part of Kentucky 2018 class. Welcome, young man.

9. J.B. Holmes is tied for 11th at the US Open

Holmes is three under going into the second round of the US Open, and will tee off at 1:47 p.m. ET today, giving you the perfect excuse to take off work early to watch on FS1…or, just stream it on PGATour.com/live like the rest of us. Stephen Jaeger, caddied by former KSR writer/viral video star Aaron Flener, is tied for 28th at one under. He tees off at 2:31 p.m.

Speaking of the US Open, did you see that blimp go down?

Just like the University of Louisville, amirite? (Thankfully, the pilot survived, suffering some serious burns)

10. Today’s KSR is one you won’t want to miss

The gang is at Don Franklin Auto on Richmond Road in Lexington to recap a crazy day. Get on out there to enjoy the show and register for the chance to win tickets to a game. Sounds like a perfect way to start the weekend if you ask me.


The 10 Craziest Moments From A Dark Day For The University Of Louisville

The 10 Craziest Moments From A Dark Day For The University Of Louisville

The smoke is still clearing on what was a dark, dark day for the University of Louisville, which received its public infractions report from the NCAA regarding the sex scandal in the men’s basketball program. This morning, I doubted any of us expected the NCAA to hammer UofL like they did; while Rick Pitino escaped with only a five-game ACC suspension, the program will have to vacate games from December 2010 through July 2014. That means, barring a miracle, UofL’s 2013 National Championship and 2012 Final Four will be struck from the record.

A LOT happened today, and while we absolutely suggest you scroll through the site to catch up (if only to check out some masterpieces by Drew Franklin), I spent the afternoon breaking it down into ten crazy moments.

 The NCAA is going after that banner

Among the NCAA’s punishments are “a vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014.” UofL will have 45 days to submit a written report to the NCAA outlining which games the ineligible players participated in, which is standard procedure. The NCAA’s report said 15 recruits and 3 enrolled players were involved in “adult entertainment and/or prostitution.” UofL special consultant Chuck Smrt confirmed that the ineligible players in question did play in the 2013 National Championship game, meaning that unless UofL wins its appeal (a very slim chance), that banner is gone.

Who were those enrolled players? We probably know because…

 Katina Powell called into KSR moments after the ruling came out

Who better to ask about the incidents than the woman behind it all? Katina Powell agreed to come on the show to discuss the ruling, and confirmed that Russ Smith, Chane Behanan, and Montrezl Harrell all participated in the sex acts or strip shows. All three played in the 2013 title game. Title gone.

 The testimony from the recruits is damning

Included in the 35-page infractions report from the NCAA is a detailed account of the “Late Night Activities in Minardi Hall” from the recruits and players interviewed. The more you read, the more disturbing it gets. Of the 15 recruits involved, at least seven or as many as ten were minors under the age of 18 at the time. Four of the recruits who engaged in sex acts were 17, while one was 16. Another 16-year-old recruit declined the offer of a sex act, while a third 16-year-old witnessed a striptease but was not interviewed. For those of you asking how no one went to jail for statutory rape for all of this, the age of consent in Kentucky is 16.

Seriously, the further you go in this, the worse it becomes. The fact that all of these tawdry acts are laid out in the NCAA’s formal legalese actually makes it seem even dirtier than Katina’s descriptions in “Breaking Cardinal Rules.”

 This passage alone makes the NCAA’s verdict indisputable

From pages nine through ten, as highlighted by Eric Crawford:

Ugh. I feel like I need to go scrub my hands clean and watch some cartoons for a while after reading that. The overwhelming horribleness of all of this is exactly why UofL’s appeal has no hope. Repeatedly today, the NCAA debunked UofL’s main defense: that because the sex acts/strip shows didn’t cost much ($5,400 in total), the violations aren’t severe enough to take the 2013 title away. Throughout the report and in their comments during the conference call today, the NCAA made it clear that the monetary value of the acts has zero correlation to the reprehensible nature of the acts themselves, which undermine the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model.

“These are severe violations, regardless of any dollar amounts assigned to them,” the report reads. “In this instance, the panel need not ascertain an exact value of the activities. The nature of the violations themselves, without more, elevates them to Level I. The types of activities that occurred in this case were repugnant and threaten the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model, regardless of any precise dollar value assigned to them.”

There is no way to argue that. Game, set, match, NCAA.

 Brandon Williams refused to turn over his phone because his mom had it

There’s a lengthy section of the report that deals with a “former program assistant” that took over the striptease/prostitution operations when McGee left. We know now that person is Brandon Williams, who worked at UofL from 2014-2016. The report suggests Williams was specifically involved in the July 2014 incident, in which a prospect (Antonio Blakeney) and his father had sex with Powell and her daughter. While the meet-up was still orchestrated from afar by McGee, the report alleges that Williams paid Powell beforehand outside the back door of Minardi Hall, citing “institutional records” to confirm that he went through the door around 10 p.m. that night.

Williams refused to cooperate with the investigation, telling the NCAA that he couldn’t turn his phone over because it actually belonged to his mother.

“In his supplemental response, dated March 24, 2017, he asserted for the first time that he could not produce the requested phone records because the phone was controlled by his mother, who would not consent to their release.”

Mama’s boy!

 An assistant coach blamed a bad practice on the strippers

Rick Pitino may not have been aware of what was happening with his team between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., but several members of his staff were. The report notes that “assistant coach 3” (not McGee or Brandon Williams) called out the team for playing bad in practice “because y’all had strippers in there all night.”

“Prospect 4 related an incident after he enrolled when assistant coach 3 made a comment to the team that it had practiced poorly ‘because y’all had strippers in there all night.’ He felt that assistant coach 3 may have known of the incidents, as assistant coach 3 was ‘close’ to the former operations director.”

Uhhh, ya think?? Wow.

 The NCAA only gave Rick Pitino a 5-game suspension…and he was still outraged!

Going in to today, many of us expected the NCAA to go after Rick Pitino and not the 2013 banner. Well, it was pretty much the opposite. Pitino was only suspended for five conference games for failure to monitor, a mere slap on the wrist considering the severity of the violations against his program. Yet, Pitino was STILL outraged by the punishment, his lawyer calling the NCAA’s finding “one of the weakest I’ve ever seen against a head coach.”

In a long line of BS that’s associated with Rick Pitino, that may take the cake. Five conference games is nothing after you read this report. I don’t believe Rick knew about the happenings at Minardi Hall, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be responsible for them; that’s how leadership works. Sixteen-year-olds were essentially pressured into sex acts and you’re complaining about having to sit out five games? Shut up and take your suspension, Rick. It could have been a lot worse.

 Rick Pitino reacted like a child

Pitino’s outrage over his own suspension was just the first of many bizarre behaviors from him today. Pitino attempted to take the moral high ground, blasting the NCAA for an “over-the-top” punishment and warning them that they “made a very large mistake.” The irony of Pitino’s comments is especially rich when you consider he spent more time ranting about the NCAA than showing remorse for what happened under his watch. I understand being upset, but being so defensive in a time like this is childish, a sentiment that was hammered home by Pitino’s response to a reporter’s question about what he should bear responsibility for as a head coach.

“I’m not answering that question,” Pitino said. When asked why, he quipped, “Because I don’t want to.”

If I could use that defense — essentially, a child’s — my life would be a whole lot easier.

Throughout the UofL press conference, Pitino lectured reporters, including this exchange:

Reporter: “Have you discussed the findings that were discussed today with the players that are in town or do you plan to do it?”

Pitino: “Well it doesn’t affect them in any way, but I will discuss to them what I told them all along, that every step along the way if you see something wrong, immediately step up so that it doesn’t become a problem going forward, it becomes a problem in the past that you can erase. Just, if you see something that’s going on — you have to understand — obviously this gentleman is not from here. Where are you from, by the way?”

Reporter: “Wave 3”

Pitino: “Wave 3. I guess he is from here.”

To that entire exchange, I say this:

It gets crazier!

 Rick Pitino suggested the NCAA gave Jimmy V cancer

The most bizarre moment of the presser came at the end when Rick Pitino made one final, desperate attempt at martyrdom by bringing up Jim Valvano, the former NC State coach that died of cancer in 1993.

“I’ll finish up with this story. I once saw Jimmy Valvano, and this was way before he got sick and I recommended him for a pro job and he was coaching some tough times at NC State. I saw him later on when he was just getting sick and I said, ‘Jim, how do you feel?’ And he said, ‘You know, the NCAA investigation broke down my immune system.’ And I always thought about that and I asked Bobby if that was true, did I remember it the right way and he said yes. And believe it or not, it can tear you apart, inside and out.”

So…the NCAA investigation broke down Jimmy V’s immune system, leaving him more susceptible to cancer? Or the NCAA investigation was the cancer? I’m so confused. Also, I’m shocked that he left the room before bringing up 9/11.

The NCAA finally got something right

There are some words I never thought I’d type, right? Yet, after reading the NCAA’s detailed account of how the University of Louisville basketball program tried to lure recruits — including minors — in via strip shows and sex acts, I am certain that, for once, the organization designed to govern college sports acted appropriately. Yes, they could have been harsher on Pitino, but for the most part, the infractions panel delivered a just ruling.

It all boils down to this: three players and 15 recruits received impermissible inducements and benefits arranged by an employee of the University of Louisville. Due to the despicable nature of those inducements and benefits, 108 wins and 15 NCAA Tournament wins should — and I believe, will — be wiped from their record.

UofL and Pitino can complain all they want, but those are the facts.


Dear NCAA…

Hey guys… KSR here. Long time, no talk, am I right?

I guess the last communication we had was our little tiff in Indianapolis following the Wichita State game. What a day that was. Hopefully we’re good now.

We know you have a lot on your plate and we haven’t been the best of friends lately, but I figured it was necessary to discuss the chrome pole in the room.

Today’s verdict sent shockwaves throughout the nation, and we feel the need to thank you for that. It gave us a plethora of content on the site, radio, and TV, along with an infinite supply of created memes and jokes to last us quite some time. We’re not the fondest of those guys an hour down the road, and neither is the Kentucky fan base. You guys helped spark that tension yet again.

You see, we’ve been on the tail end of jokes since Coach Cal arrived at Kentucky. Calipari was seen as a slime ball by opposing fans, a travesty waiting to happen in the recruiting department. There’s no way he could rake in all these five-star prospects legally, right? If you ask the average fan, good ole “PayPal Cal” was certainly going to put the Wildcats back on probation and any success “earned” would be erased from the record books.

Rick Pitino, aside from some replaced tablecloths at Porcinis, was seen by UofL fans as a guy that did it the “right” way. The Cardinals won games because of their relentless work ethic and energy. They were the blue-collar, “bring a lunch pail” guys you had so much respect for. The UofL program would never stoop so low to, dare I say, cheat.

Even Pat Forde wrote an elegant post following Calipari’s introductory press conference at UK talking about how we’d all see vacated wins and banners taken down in the near future. (You can read it here if you want to take a stroll down memory lane.) Who knew the Cards would be on the receiving end of said punishment, eh?

Eight years later, we’re the good guys. The UofL fanbase can never say a harsh word about the Wildcats again, it’d be like bringing a bendy straw to a knife fight. The only two words ever discussed again will be “strippers” and “banners.” The “Cal-8, Pitino 2…err 1” jokes aren’t even necessary anymore. The content has written itself.

Above all else, you laid the hammer on an absolutely disgusting matter that deserved exactly what it got. The NCAA reports showed 16 and 17-year old kids were pressured into these actions by Andre McGee. An assistant coach called out players for a bad practice because they had been with strippers all night. When you read through the entire NCAA report on the specific activities in Minardi Hall, it’s impossible not to shake your head in embarrassment and disgust. In my time discussing this verdict with UofL fans, the common statement sent my way was, “You wouldn’t be this hard on the matter if it was your team.” The thing is, I absolutely would. The majority of the Kentucky fanbase would. I would expect the book to be thrown at my program, the same way it was thrown at UofL. It was unequivocally one of the most repulsive matters in NCAA history.

All regular season and postseason wins from 2010 through 2014 that included any ineligible players will be erased. Two banners in the Yum Center will be coming down. Any and all trace of said victories in the form of trophies, record books, and media guides must disappear.

You guys certainly made the right call today and we appreciate you for that.

With that, I’ll admit it, you guys have screwed up horribly on some of your past decisions. Enes Kanter’s eligibility, not allowing active military members come back and compete in the college ranks, the nitpicky violations on insignificant matters, etc. Hell, the entire idea that college athletes should be paid is one of the most heavily debated topics in the world of sports. There’s still some ground to make up.

Today’s decisions, however, proved the new leadership on NCAA violations and punishments handed down isn’t messing around, and rightfully so.

After the dust settles on this matter, there are some folks in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that could use some serious attention. Over two decades-worth of academic fraud-type of attention.

You’ve done great with the UofL verdict, but let’s keep it going.

 

With deepest love,

KSR


What the national media is saying about the Louisville scandal

1. ESPN: Mark Schlabach

Schlabach calls out both Louisville and NCAA on the handling of today’s events. Schlabach says the NCAA infractions commitee “once again looked toothless” in their punishment of high-profile NCAA programs and coaches.

“Anyone expecting contrition from Pitino was mistaken. And his bosses are standing beside him, vowing to overturn the punishment on appeal. It was a brazen response given the sordid details of the scandal and the weakness of the punishment.”

2. Yahoo: Pat Forde

Forde believes that some of the NCAA’s ruling came from the fact that the infraction committee was appalled by the nature of the violations. Committee of Infractions chief hearing officer called the violations “repugnant”.

“I don’t believe the Committee on Infractions has ever encountered a case like that.” With that as backdrop, she alluded to a requirement for McGee to “act with honor and dignity,” which is basically invoking a morals clause that probably cannot be found anywhere in the very thick NCAA rules manual.

3. USA TODAY Sports: Nicole Auerbach

Auberbach believes that the NCAA’s message to head coaches has been made clear today regarding wrongdoings under their watch. It doesn’t matter if you did or did not know what was going, but that you should have known.

That’s what this whole process has been about, from their side: Protecting that title. It hasn’t been about how irresponsible a head coach must be to be actually unaware of strippers and prostitutes being called to entertain his players and his recruits — many of whom were minors — in an on-campus dormitory 12 times (plus twice off campus) over a four-year period.

4. CBS Sports: Reid Forgave

Forgave calls this the biggest NCAA ruling since the penalties given to the SMU program in the 1980s. Forgave doubts this decision will ruin Louisville’s basketball program like the ruling ruined SMU’s football program.

They’re going to take down a banner.

By God, the NCAA is going to take down a banner.

That’s really the only conclusion that can be taken from Thursday’s release of the NCAA report on the Louisville basketball program’s strippers-and-sex scandal, right?

5. WDRB: Rick Bozich

Bozich was happy that the Committee of Infractions found the situation “repugnant” as himself and many other did as well. Bozich says the “nonsense” that went on in Minardi Hall would have been repugnant in many other places as well.

This was paying for sex for players and prospects who were sometimes 17 years old (or younger) — and I can’t believe I had to write that sentence to make my point.

All of those items are a violation of NCAA bylaws. Only the last one makes you cringe and wonder why there wasn’t more oversight of the good times going on at Minardi Hall.

6. ESPN: Seth Greenberg

 


Monk shined with confidence in Philadelphia workout

We take a break from tap dancing on Louisville’s misery today to update you on one of Kentucky’s future lottery picks.

Malik Monk had his private workout in Philadelphia on Thursday and it went well, according to several people in attendance.

Monk said afterward that he would be a “great fit” to play alongside Ben Simmons in the Sixers’ offense. When asked what skills he would bring to the table, Monk simply said, “Everything.”

See more from his workout here: