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Jeffrey Toobin’s Friday News and Views


So I am back in Louisville from the Kentucky Bar Association Convention/New Lawyers Conference in Lexington. While it was great to spend a couple of days back in my old stomping ground and I did get the opportunity to watch the Lexington Legends and see our man Rob Gidel live at work, it is good to be back home. The Bar Convention was what you would expect with a gathering of all of the lawyers in the state….long and full of hot air. Actually, it was kind of entertaining, thanks in large part to the characters that attend the event. During the course of the two days, I saw people like Gatewood Galbraith who I greeted every day with a “How you doing Gatewood?” and he would reply immediately, “Still Not Indicted, so Great!” Also there was CNN’s legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin, who gave the keynote lecture about his new book “The Nine”, which is a behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court. His lecture was interesting, especially so for a law dork like me, but also had a story that anyone would like. He said that two of the Justices on the Supreme Court, Souter and Breyer, are often confused for each other. One summer, Souter was on vacation in New Hampshire and stopped at a restaurant to eat. While there, a man came up to him with his wife and said, “I know who you are….you are on the Supreme Court. You are Justice Breyer!” Not wanting to embarass the man, Souter just agreed and said that he was Breyer. The man then had a couple of Supreme Court questions and asked Souter, “What is your favorite thing about being on the Supreme Court?” Souter then looked at the man and said, “Getting to work with Justice Souter.” That is quick thinking on your feet.

To the news…..

(1): Well the story that got the tongues wagging, at least for part of today, was the news that the NABC asked coaches to not offer scholarships to players who are sophomores or younger from this point forward. The NABC, which is the association of collegiate coaches, made no request or policy about recruiting the players, just offering them a scholarship. When the news first broke, one national site attempted to stir up trouble and noted that on the three-person coaches’ commission who made the determination was Tubby Smith. Some UK fans took the bait and accused Smith of attempting to sabotage Billy Clyde and make him look bad in his new gig. What was forgotten in those early reports was the name of two of the other coaches on the panel, Tom Izzo and Bill Self….the latter being only Billy Clyde’s best friend in coaching. Gillispie then quickly made a comment that he didnt feel that he was being singled out in any way and that Coach Smith and others had contacted him to make sure he understood that fact. So what was a controversy for a bit, ended up being resolves, at least to those that arent conspiracy theorist. From my perspective, this is a good policy and one that will help high school athletes if followed. Early scholarship offers do nothing but place a bullseye on kids (as Vinny Zollo and Michael Avery have realized) and holding off on those until after the Sophomore year brings a bit of sanity back into the equation….a good move for the players and the coaches, who are no longer forced to try and get ahead of the game.

(2): Tayshaun Prince has been named to the Olympic Team, a huge accomplishment for the young man with Kentucky roots. Prince, who is in my all time favorite UK starting five with Magloire, Farmer, Gimel Martinez and Woo, was likely the last member selected and his pick was presumed to be over Tyson Chandler of New Orleans. Having Prince on the Olympic Team, soon after Rondo’s splendid performance in the NBA Finals, is great exposure for UK and should be a definite positive in the months ahead.

(3): From the scheduling standpoint, UK has not yet released its basketball schedule for next year (as some schools have). However we do know that from the Miami side, the “U” is scheduled to be in Rupp on December 8th. That means home games with IU and Miami, road games with UNC and Louisville and the Las Vegas Invitational with West Virginia, Kansas State and Oklahoma. Nice schedule, even though the IU game may be the easiest all season.

I just saw Big Baby with his shirt off during the Celtics parade…..I LOVE Big Baby….best interview from another team I had during my time following the Cats and now he is taking the gig to the NBA. Good for him. More tomorrow, including the next media member (and hopefully this time I wont run into them immediately after publication, as I did Chris Cross on Wednesday)

Article written by Matt Jones