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Do you care about indiscretions of the past?

Image via USA Today

Image via USA Today

Image via USA Today

Last week, news broke that Louisville football would be welcoming Josh Harvey-Clemons into the fold.  Harvey-Clemons, an ultra-talented safety, was dismissed from Georgia by Mark Richt after multiple violations of team rules. These violations reportedly stemmed from Harvey-Clemons’ use of drugs. This, of course, led to Kentucky fans resorting to many of their favorite standbys in regards to the morality of the Louisville football team. Admittedly, these attacks on the character of the Louisville football program are merited if one takes issue with a college program accepting troubled pasts. Harvey-Clemons joins a long-line of players–and coaches–leaving their former roles in a less than wholesome manner.  Bobby Petrino, Michael Dyer, Clint Hurtt, and Willie Williams, to name a few, each arrived at Louisville boasting extreme talent in their craft, but tainted with multiple ethical issues.

Clearly, taking these types of players is evidence of a win at all costs type of attitude. There is no other way to spin this. It’s not about giving second chances. These second chances wouldn’t be given if it weren’t for the potential payoff that these players provide.  But is it actually unacceptable in the eyes of the BBN? What if Kentucky football were to add Dorial Green-Beckham, the wide-receiver phenom who was dismissed from Missouri last week?  And what about Devonta Pollard, a former five star basketball star that could be a formidable addition to the backcourt if the Harrison’s decide to depart for the NBA?

For me, part of the pleasure I take from cheering for a team is the belief that I’m cheering for good people, ready to seize the opportunity they have been given.  I understand that collegiate sports have changed. College athletics are a lucrative business and the more you win the more money you make. I also understand that college athletes are human–none of them will be angels, especially at 18-22 years old.  A line has to be drawn somewhere, however.  I, for one, would have an extremely hard time rooting for Bobby Petrino to win games for my school. I also wouldn’t relish the chance to cheer for multiple players who have been discarded by their previous institutions for serious legal issues. I also see the flipside of the coin. Why should I, as a fan, care about anything but winning? If Dorial Gree-Beckham will help Kentucky win football games, would it be so terrible if I wanted him to play for Kentucky?

I truly don’t know the answer to these questions. Some Kentucky fans pined for Bobby Petrino. Many of those same Kentucky fans probably bashed Louisville for hiring him. Which is it? Do you care about the moral indiscretions in Kentucky players and coaches pasts?

Article written by Matt Wheatley

45 Comments for Do you care about indiscretions of the past?

  1. blueaville
    9:42 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    It’s like fans saying they care about the team’s academics….fans don’t care even though they act like they do. As Bobby Bowden said one time “i take high risk kids because if i don’t someone else will”. I got no problem taking kids that have been kicked out of another school. If they come to BBN and screw up we’ll kick them out too and move on.

    As Matt said on the radio a few weeks ago….”UK football should take some risks”

  2. bob
    9:42 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    So, it is OK to get in a car drunk, twice legal limit, under age, total car and put other peoples life in danger? Ashley lowery still play for UK? Was he punished…NO, so tell me the difference?

    • Paul
      10:50 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      Not defending what Ashley did but he almost most paid the ultimate price that is with his own life. He just has to think GOD for sparing his life and the possibility of someone else. UK will deal with that when the police dept of the town were Lowery is from gives them something to go on as far as punishment.

  3. UKSupporter76
    9:43 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    Louisville didn’t give Petrino a 2nd chance. Petrino wasn’t unemployed. He had a job coaching at Western and then *he* gave *Louisville* a 2nd chance. (But he did promise Jurich that he was a changed man, and would never dream of leaping for a better gig when it came along, like he’d just done when Jurich came calling) But as far as giving out 2nd chances, I think its a pretty risky endeavor and one that a program like UK Basketball shouldn’t have to bother with. I don’t mind it occasionally, but like some of the more sensible folks over on Card Chronicle said regarding the signing of Clemons, “I don’t want this to become 2nd Chance U”

  4. Michael
    9:47 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    I’m old enough to remember what UL fans were saying about Rick Pitino before 1998. Just take what they say about Cal now, and substitute Pitino’s name. Now they would have you believe Rick is everything that is right in college basketball. Their fanbase has no shame.

    • Oh Michael
      10:12 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      You realize they can say the exact same thing about UK fans and Cal when he was at Memphis, right?

    • Michael
      10:17 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      Apples and Oranges. Cal was at UMass and Memphis, so most UK fans were indifferent. Pitino on the other hand coached at your rival school. It’s embarrassing how much you guys embrace the abortionist.

  5. Michael
    9:57 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    I think Cal has rolled the dice on players in the past with mixed results. The Bledsoe/Wall/Cousins group carried some risk but worked out. Then you have the D. Rose and Camby messes. He doesn’t have to take those same risks now. In fact, I think Cal has passed on some character questionable kids in the past 2 or 3 seasons that could have helped (Ledo, Lyons, Shabazz, Selby, Walker). That’s why I can’t imagine Cal would roll the dice on the Pollard kid; it’s just not worth it.

    Football is a different story. Take some chances Coach Stoops.

  6. Ten loss Cal
    10:05 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    you welcome me with my 2 missing banners…thanks bbn for the 5 mill a year

    • Chicken Noodle Soup
      10:11 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      No problem Cal. After watching you wipe your ass with UL for the past 5 seasons your salary is well earned.

  7. msnthrop
    10:22 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    To answer the question: No I couldn’t care less, at least for from a fans point of view…if I ever had personal dealings with these sorts I would be…cautious…but as a fan of a team, the choices a coach makes in their personal life is not relevant to their job…there are hundreds of philosophers and scientists that were total scumbags in their personal lives, it doesn’t change their contributions to knowledge, I figure a coach is at least partially equivalent

  8. bob
    10:34 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    Well someone sure thought he is shady, but still likes to take UK fans $$:
    Matt Jones Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 12:01 am
    All the while running one of the dirtiest programs in America….

    Matt Jones Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 12:57 am
    “I am not going to make a post on the subject. But travel in recruiting circles and you won’t find anyone who thinks that program is clean. You are free to have any feeling about Calipari u wish but I am not a fan of his tactics on building a program.”

    “You just knew it was gonna happen deep down. Karma is a weird thing and it strikes at weird times and you just couldnt imagine that Memphis would really be allowed to win a national title. With a team full of players that had run-ins with the authorities, after the fight earlier this season at UAB, after their constant problems with free throw shooting and Coach Calipari’s mocking of it as an issue and the coach’s less than stellar reputation with the NCAA, you just HAD to think that it would catch up with them.”

    “As for Memphis, you just knew this would happen. All year, they have laughed in the face of those who said you didnt need to hit free throws to win, and it was those free throws that lost the game. I make jokes about this Memphis team and I do have some problems with how Calipari runs his program.”

    • Paul
      10:57 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      Live in the past much Bob, If you and all your UL friends would look at the NCAA records CAL HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED IN THE CAMBY/ROSE MESS those things happened with those two players that got the school in trouble not Cal. The NCAA allowed Rose to play the entire season before saying he was in violation of his SAT test.

    • Michael
      10:58 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      Matt Jones was responding to a UK fan that supported Cal in the comment section :

      1.Cat Fan Says:
      April 5th, 2008 at 11:55 pm
      Go Tigers. Memphis is absolutely loaded.

      2.Cat Fan Says:
      April 5th, 2008 at 11:56 pm
      Not sure why everyone wants to pile on Cal. He can absolutely get the best players in the country to come to Memphis and he plays an exciting brand of basketball.

      3.Matt Jones Says:
      April 6th, 2008 at 12:01 am
      All the while running one of the dirtiest programs in America….

      Again, most UK fans were indifferent when it came to Calipari. He coached at mid-major programs that UK rarely played.

      UL fans HATED Pitino. The entire fanbase was extremely vocal when it came to Pitino being a cheating scumbag. It’s amazing how fast UL fans fell to their knees and said “Awwwww” when Pitino arrived.

    • Reality
      11:03 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      Eddie Sutton, Tark The Shark and Hal Mumme have clean records as well. End o story.

    • NostraDanis
      12:15 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      Wow, Bob may qualify as the most obsessed poster in history. Wow. How long have you been sittin’ on that post?

      As for the OP, there should be a distinction drawn between programs that take occasional chances, as most D1 programs will do, versus a program that quite literally survives by taking from the refuse heap. There is also a difference between having someone on scholarship who screws up, and putting someone on scholarship who is a proven screw up already. This applies to coaches also.

      Any group of individuals is going to have incidents, especially when the group is 18 – 22yrs old, but UL takes the individuals AFTER they have proven to be a problem. Big difference. It’s why there are little slime footprints left behind everywhere Tommy Turtleneck walks.

    • T. Bone Burpnet
      7:59 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      bob, can you find all the negative crap uavel fans stated about Rick Pitino when he coached at KENTUCKY? Prior to uavel firing legend Denny Crum to take KENTUCKY’s left overs.

      Or, please find some posts about Petrino after he dissed uavel a couple of times and finally departed?

    • old timer
      2:25 pm April 20, 2014 Permalink

      REALITY, the coaches you mentioned all had major violations occur in their programs such as extra benefits, money being exchanged, and coaches writing papers for athletes. These actions cannot occur without the head coach either knowing about or actively involved. In the case of UMass which had a player sign with an agent while still playing, there is not a coach either clean or dirty that would sanction this. There is nothing for the coach or school to gain by this. In the case of Rose’s ACT score, exactly what influence did Calipari or the university have over a high school test being given 3 states away? Sutton had his son fraudulently take the ACT test for a player. He and Mumme should have had a “show cause” for their actions and not allowed to coach at another NCAA institution for their actions.

    • old timer
      2:39 pm April 20, 2014 Permalink

      There is a difference between 18-22 year old players getting into trouble and 40-60 year old coaches breaking the moral code. Young men should be given a second chance as long as their transgressions are not violent. How many of you writing about DUIs and smoking pot did not do the same thing when you were in college? Coach’s should be held to a higher standard than the players. It is one thing to cheat on your wife. It is another to put your your girlfriend on the company payroll and then continually lie to your boss about your double life. When a coach is shown to have broken numerous NCAA recruiting violations (Hurtt) and remains on the staff, it shows the win at all cost that Tom Jurich employs at UL. UK has had a checkered past with violations but they did fire the people involved once it became known.

    • Ann Oyd
      4:12 pm April 20, 2014 Permalink

      Good points OT. I agree with you. uavel is a win at all costs, zero integrity, whore program with non-existent morals. It was apparent when they hired Howard Schellenberger to lead their football program on that collision course with destiny. It was evident when they fired Denny Crum YEARS ago to hire coach Pitino. They developed the bad habit of looking the other way in the name of winning; and permitting destiny to collide with Belknap. It is truly sad and pathetic. Just a commuter-community college little bro wannabe fighting its way to be a prominent program. Simply look at how many conferences, in the past 50 years uavel has been a member. Climbing the ladder and doing what they have to do to get there including selling their soul. uavel=Zero integrity.

  9. uk elder
    10:42 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    I want a man of “character” to coach my son. I know this is big time D1 ball but these are still young men that need guidance to set them on the right path. Yes it matters! The moral decline of this country is like a cancer and it is eating at the very fabric and family values that built this nation. Let the bashing and intolerance begin….

    • timer
      11:41 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      Well said!

    • UKfan
      10:42 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      I agree

  10. Coleman
    11:00 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t usually comment on anything, although I read KSR multiple times a day. I think it does matter about a player or coach’s off the field issues. These people represent your university and they should have a high enough character to keep themselves out of trouble. In life decisions we make don’t only effect us, but they effect the ones around us, especially when you’re connected to a major Division I program.

  11. Michael
    11:12 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    UL fans trashing another program’s coach is the equivalent of a UNC fan boasting about academic integrity. You tards lost all credibility when you kept Rick on staff afer his abortion episode and hired Petrino to coach football.

    • red headed stepchild
      11:23 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

      Well said.

    • Don't forget
      11:00 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      And Hurt

    • Ron
      2:23 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      Well Hurtt got them Bridgewater so that was probably worth the risk!!

  12. Tank77
    11:13 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    Ridge Wison punched a woman in the face and Rich Brooks allowed him back on the team. I could care less if college kids get caught smoking some weed

    • UKfan
      10:44 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      Rick Pitino violated the morality clause in his contract and he was allowed to continue to coach.

    • UKfan
      10:47 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      Wasn’t Ridge dismissed from the team later on?

    • UKfan
      10:48 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      One more thing, wasn’t Ridge from Louisville?

    • Tom Crean
      12:25 pm April 20, 2014 Permalink

      ……………Pitino has/had a morality clause?

      I thought that was the reason he always has a priest on the bench with him.

  13. Blue kudzu
    11:29 pm April 19, 2014 Permalink

    Like it or not, this is the landscape in NCAA sports. There are no morality clauses for either players or coaches. There are no rules for classes or how they are administered. The only issue is when a NCAA student athlete makes money that the NCAA does not get or for whatever reason, the NCAA has to make a show for integrity, to keep a kid out of school of not qualifying. Most get through, and only certain programs get targeted, for show purposes only.
    The most morally objectionable athlete/coach will be welcomed anywhere the NCAA, member institution, A.D. or coach will benefit. It will always be spun so the fans will keep spending.
    Water is wet folks.

  14. Clint
    9:51 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

    My feelings are torn. My personal feelings are that we should hold our programs to a higher standard. I enjoy being a more classy program than UL. My problem arises when I think of players that had a bad reputation before UK, but turned out to be great kids.. Demarcus Cousins stands out. I think there are some things that should not be tolerated. Incest rape (UL recruit), gun crimes (Dyer, Rod Council), domestic violence (when Tony Woods was potentially going to UL)… They’re never okay.

  15. Your Daddy
    10:04 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

    Michael Dyer was never charged in a gun crime.
    UK has had Ridge Wilson, Joe Joe Brown (both of whom were women beaters). You had Darnell “drug dealin” Dotson, you have Ashley Lowery, you had Mike Hartline, and the looooooong list of Bball players with DUI arrests and sex crimes.

    Give me a damn break about your moral high- horse. BOTH programs leave a lot to be desired.

    • I agree.
      10:27 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      Now, since you rattled off all of our miscreants, would you kindly return the favor and name all of yours?

      I’ll hang up and listen…..

    • Paul
      11:15 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      And all those players you have named off sans Lowery were kicked off the team and out of the University. Next??????????

  16. Thedouglas
    11:01 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

    This is adorable! There is ACTUALLY a post on a UK board about ethics and morals! Hahahahaha xD last I checked, which was just a few seconds ago, UK STILL has the most NCAA violations of any school in the country… Ever.
    Keep dreaming cats… When it comes to dirty.. Your paws are covered in shit.

    • Paul
      11:27 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      Not correct UK has been a violator of NCAA rules 6 times, Not as many as people would think. Schools like Auburn, Fla. St. Arizona St. all have more then UK. SMU holds the all time record if you can say that is one at 8 infractions.

    • Michael
      11:51 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

      Ha Thedouglas is the type of clown that accuses UK fans of living in the past when we mention our 8 titles, yet he has no problem bringing up violations that occured before most of us were born. Go run along now little troll, back to the seclusion of CardChronical or your scout forum. You guys can discuss the over/under on which coach of yours commits adultery again.

  17. Paul
    11:33 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

    And before anybody says UK has had the NCAA Death Penalty that is not true, SMU was the only school in history to receive that.

  18. Michael
    11:54 am April 20, 2014 Permalink

    I would love to read the morality/ethics clause coaches at Louisville sign as part of their contract. I bet it would be pure comedy gold.

  19. bob
    12:40 pm April 20, 2014 Permalink

    I would have loved to seen Rod Stricklands:
    Rod Strickland. His rap sheet as an NBA player included multiple arrests for assault, three DUI busts, an indecent exposure charge, disorderly conduct on U Street, ripping a gash in a teammate’s forehead in a hotel room brouhaha, and, best of all, an indictment for allegedly KO’ing a waitress in the parking lot of a T.G.I. Friday’s in Bowie. Plus 4 DUI’s……you guys are too easy….think before you post stupid stuff like UK is squeaky clean…

  20. Ron
    2:18 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I had the pleasure of sitting with Ralph Beard one time at a Kickoff Luncheon when Curry was nearing the end of his tenure. Ralph said Bill Curry was all about coaching good young men and making them productive members of society. Ralph told me he once talked to Bear Bryant while he was coaching at UK and he told him that getting good young men is important but if you want to win football games you better have your share of thugs!!!! Curry’s last team were full of great young men who went 1-10!