Apart from infecting us all with Big Willie Style.
If you’re a Miami Heat fan, like I am, then it’s easy to see Miami’s effect on Kentucky. With the streak, the playoff race, and Chris Bosh’s house apparently getting looted, there are a ton of storylines that a guy like me would find interesting. But that’s the NBA, and apart from watching the devious machinations of Pat Riley, it’s fair to say that basketball fans in the Commonwealth of Kentucky aren’t really bothered by the doings of a basketball team out of Miami.
Or are they?
While the professional team has little to no impact on folks here in the bluegrass, the college ball team, the Miami Hurricanes, has proven to have some lingering ability. Though it hasn’t quite seeped into Rupp yet (except when Frank Haith besmirched that chair on the sidelines), the two other state schools have felt the repercussions first-hand. Starting with Western Kentucky University, according to Sports Illustrated.
The Hilltoppers recently announced that their Director of Basketball Operations, Jake Morton, has resigned after moving there as a result of Miami’s NCAA scandal from a couple of years ago.
[F]ormer Hilltoppers assistant Jake Morton has resigned as director of basketball operations.
The NCAA in February said Morton committed three recruiting violations as a Miami assistant between October 2008 and April 2009. The sports’ governing body also said he accepted at least $6,000 in supplemental income from convicted felon and Miami booster Nevin Shapiro between October 2007 and October 2008.
While the stated reason was “pursuing coaching opportunities,” one has to wonder if there was any pressure from the stigma of being associated with a program that “failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance,” according to the NCAA, and for receiving money from Shapiro, the architect of a ridiculously huge Ponzi scheme.
The question now becomes, in light of Morton’s resignation, what happens to Louisville’s Clint Hurtt, who is currently listed as the Cardinals’ defensive line coach? Hurtt and Morton were named together in the allegations at Miami, and according to SI, “Hurtt provided misleading information to the governing body during the investigation, a violation of what’s known as Rule 10.1 governing ethical conduct.” Hurtt is currently on “administrative leave” from the University of Louisville, and technically hasn’t been fired yet. But with this new turn of events in Bowling Green, is it only a matter of time?
So as we look at the latest soap opera coming out of Miami that doesn’t include LeBron James, there are questions that pop up; questions that need answering. Is the same future in store for Hurtt that manifested for Morton? How did all these guys end up in Kentucky? And when did Drew Carey lose all that weight? Hopefully the next couple weeks can at least answer some of those.