Remember the Eric Bledsoe “expose” in the NY Times over Memorial Day Weekend? It was the one in which Bledsoe was accused (without any proof) of potentially having not earned grades on his high school transcript and his high school coach was said to have paid his rent in order to keep him from being evicted out of his house. It caused a huge stink nationwide and locally, as Calipari haters seized on the opportunity to shoot another arrow at him and suggest he is a dirty coach. Now, over a month later, we have no more facts to back up the Times’ assertions and today, one of the two allegations is being denied by the very source cited by the Times. In the above article in the Birmingham newspaper, Bledsoe’s landlord said that while she did have money delivered to her by Bledsoe’s high school coach, she believed the source of the money came from a Bledsoe relative and a close family friend. The landlord said no receipt was ever written to his coach, and it was always assumed that the money came from the relative and the friend. She says she told this to the Alabama High School Athletic Association when they interviewed her and disputes the Times reporter’s story of her account.
This article in Birmingham goes against the one facet of the story that probably got the NY Times piece published, the assertion that Bledsoe’s coach paid the money. And it also suggests that a family friend helped Bledsoe out (which according to the NCAA, could still be a violation, an absurd reading of the rules that HAS to be changed becasue of its utter idiocy.) But what will be most interesting to me about this story is to see whether the Calipari haters will give this story the same coverage they did the NY Times version. Will Pat Forde, Dana O’Neill and others write and make accusations about this story with the same ferocity they did the orignal? Or will they ignore it and wait for the next time to pounce? It should be interesting to see, but I think we already know the answer.
We dont know what the landlord said to the Times reporter originally, but we do know this. Pete Thamel and the New York Times attempted to write a hit piece on Calipari and threw it out quickly before the holiday weekend. The story had numerous holes and the reaction to it changed as the weekend went on. Now it looks like it isnt just (as one national writer called us) “some silly group of kids in Kentucky” criticizing the reporting. Rather, the very foundations of the piece are being called into question. For those in the mainstream who criticize blogs and outlets like TMZ, ask yourselves this….is this NY Times piece any better, or is it possibly even worse? I suggest the latter.