FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
August 6, 2010
The University of Kentucky is dismayed by the continued lack of professionalism and responsible journalism exhibited by Michael O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times in running yet another false and defamatory story on August 6, 2010, regarding the University’s recruitment of a high school student-athlete. Both the father of this student-athlete and the University have repeatedly told Mr. O’Brien that these unsubstantiated “rumors” are untrue. Neither the University of Kentucky nor any member of its Athletic Department has offered or paid any money or other illegal benefits to the student-athlete or his family.
Mr. O’Brien’s August 6 story also mischaracterizes the NCAA’s involvement in this matter by stating that “the NCAA is ‘checking’ into the recruitment of” the student-athlete. The University of Kentucky spoke with David Price, NCAA Vice President of Enforcement, who advised that the NCAA contacted Mr. O’Brien simply to inquire as to the alleged sources for his article and that “this in no way confirms an NCAA investigation of the University” or an examination of the recruitment of the named student-athlete. It is the University’s understanding that such an inquiry represents the NCAA’s normal procedure any time allegations of misconduct are made, no matter how outrageous or unsubstantiated they may be.
The University of Kentucky has put Mr. O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times on notice that these published statements are false and defamatory. The University fully supports any action the student-athlete and his family may take against Mr. O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times. The University is also evaluating all available rights and remedies it may have against Mr. O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times in responding to these false and defamatory statements.