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Yahoo! Sports: Kentucky listed among Blue Blood schools “doing something to help get (recruits)”

Back in September of 2017 when the college hoops scandal initially broke, the basketball world waited on the edge of their seats for Kentucky or John Calipari’s name to be brought up as those involved with the shady recruiting tactics.

So far, things have been mostly clear for the Wildcats.

And then earlier this afternoon, things looked even better for Kentucky when Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant found guilty of funneling money to recruits to ensure they went to Adidas-sponsored schools, said he didn’t want his guys to go to Kentucky because he’d lose control over them. With his long-term goal being that schools would sign with the Adidas school, and then later sign deals with the company once they turned pro, he knew recruits going to UK would result in lost clients.

“If I let my kid go to Kentucky, I promise you I won’t get him back,” Code said, per Adam Zagoria.

Great news, right?

Unfortunately for us, it doesn’t quite end there.

A bit later, though, Kentucky’s name was brought up during the trial in reference to some of the shady recruiting, and Dan Wetzel wrote about it for Yahoo! Sports.

“Without money, there is no recruiting success,” Wetzel said. “None. That much was made clear, over and over and over, especially by coaches who were fighting the sports’ so-called “Blue Bloods” — Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky — that they believe are awash in money to spend on the best prospects.”

According top Wetzel, ex-sports agent Christian Dawkins said that Kentucky is among the schools that has “a lot of resources” to secure top-level recruits.

“They’ve got a lot of resources,” Dawkins explained during one meeting that was played Thursday during his federal bribery trial here in Lower Manhattan. “And they’ve got a lot of existing relations with agents, agencies, runners and … Nike.”

In another conversation, Merl Code, a co-defendant in this case, declared, “In some form or fashion, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Kentucky, all of the schools are doing something to help get kids. That’s just part of the space.”

Later in the article, a Clemson assistant named Steve Smith said that he couldn’t compete with the “resources” that the other blue blood schools competing for former Duke star Zion Williamson had.

Smith needed money, he believed, for Williamson, who if not for geography would never have considered a school such as Clemson. He felt completely outgunned by the other contenders — Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky. They’ve got the real resources.

“It’s like me, Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and [John Calipari],” Smith said on the tape. He later implied that Clemson has resources, too, and the close-knit nature of the school and small town its located in helps.

“That’s why football is so successful,” Smith said. “If you do it and use resources at Clemson, like you can really keep everything tight.”

Dawkins understood the position Smith was in.

“[Zion’s recruitment] is going to be crazy,” Dawkins said. “Duke is going to have their resources. UNC is UNC. Kentucky, they have their resources.”

No specific former or current players or or assistant coaches were named in the report, nor was John Calipari named as a guilty party in any specific wrongdoing. 

Nonetheless, Kentucky was thrown in there with the other blue-blood talent involved.

For the rest of Wetzel’s article, take a look here.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

34 Comments for Yahoo! Sports: Kentucky listed among Blue Blood schools “doing something to help get (recruits)”

  1. JTHinton
    8:04 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    I see this as playing out one of two ways:

    1) this is false and inconsequential
    2) we did it alongside duke/unc and nobody gets punished because, well, it’s uk, duke, and unc!

    • ukjaybrat
      8:39 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      Or 3)
      (Basically 1)
      He’s referring to resources in a different manner. In that UK, duke, UNC can afford to fly to every recruit whenever they want and smaller schools like Clemson have to pick their battles. When a blue blood loses a recruit it’s whatever. On to the next. When someone like Clemson or another school on their tier or below loses a recruit, they lost a lot of funds and have can’t just throw more money on finding a second choice. Uks backups selections have still been 4-5 star recruits. When you don’t have money to visit every recruit, your backup choice could be a 2-3 star that’s just happy to be noticed by you.

      But who knows. I’ve always said everyone is cheating. Who cares. Make paying players legit already.

    • BigJohnC
      9:29 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      Well said, that’s what I was thinking, but couldn’t put it into words. Thanks

    • notFromhere
      9:20 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      There is nothing to see here. Nothing of an allegation. Resources does not mean paying players. It means being able to pull out all the stops in recruiting. UK spends more money on their basketball recruiting than most other schools would even consider, because they fill a 20k seat stadium quite often.

      Duke gets theirs a different way and it’s all private.

  2. Soylentbeans
    8:08 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    Non story. No one said anything about these schools specifically paying money. Resources can just mean private jets and lots of money to use on the recruiting trail. If I have more money to be able to visit more recruits and more often… I have more resources than you.

      8:13 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      True…but it’s not a “non-story”, simply because of the defamatory implications being made here.

  3. Bigblueswami
    8:09 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    You lost me at “Wetzel”

    8:11 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t see UK letting this go unchecked. Even for Yahoo Sports, this is dangerously sloppy and irresponsible reporting. I fully expect UK brass to “reach out” to them and threaten legal action, if they can’t/won’t provide any proof of wrongdoing.

  5. westkycat20
    8:19 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    Resources are not illegal in nature. It helps to have the top of the line training facilities (a resource)….availability to NBA scouts to watch practices (a resource)….elite marketing by UK Athletics (a resource)….a brotherhood of current NBA players (a resource). Etc etc etc…etc al. This is a non story.

    • Corder
      8:37 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly what I was thinking. Until I hear that payments were made to Kentucky’s former players or current players, I’ll sit back and keep watching this fire burn from a distance.

    • ukjaybrat
      8:42 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly and other than a dollar amount on the same line as bam’s name, absolutely nothing has pointed toward UK. And even that, the rumors suggest that money was intended to get him to go to NC State.

    • nocode96
      8:46 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      You said much better what I tried to say in another comment. It seems like this story here is the only one trying to imply resources means something bad.

  6. My Dixie Wrecked
    8:34 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    Cal Gone …. Take me away.

  7. CatfaninCinci
    8:36 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    Yeah, we’re fine. They won’t punish Duke and UNC… They’d have to take us all 3 down, they won’t do it. They don’t have the hair on their manhood to.

  8. Larkin123
    8:40 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    When i was around AAU years back, way back, a lot of the coaches joked about this stuff. One of them joked about iu being the only clean top 20 school… 1998 or so…

  9. nocode96
    8:44 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t see this as anything, even in the slightest. Nothing or no one remotely specific is mentioned. And “resources” isn’t defined. Of course us, Duke, UNC, and Kansas have the best resources of any basketball programs. We are Kentucky, they are who they are. Of course Clemson and their ilk can’t compete with us for recruits because, well, they’re Clemson…Duke is Duke. This isn’t some bombshell. This is like Taco John’s saying they can’t compete with McDonalds, Subway, or Chick Fil A’s resources.

    Lastly, let’s just say any of this was of any significance….in every breath we are mentioned with Duke and UNC….NOTHING will happen to them, ergo, nothing will happen to us. But it’s all moot any way, this is a big, fat nothing burger if I’ve ever seen one.

  10. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    8:46 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    You’re asking the NCAA to get rid of a large amount of their money in order to go after the blue bloods

  11. shelby
    8:47 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t read anything that implies uk, duke, or unc were paying players. “Resources” could refer to recruiting budgets, private planes to go see recruits, etc…

      8:50 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      It’s not the transcripts of the video that’s the problem…it’s the defamatory way Yahoo reported it. Like I said above, UK should be going after them for that BS.

  12. notFromhere
    9:23 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    If UK were paying players, there would be NO REASON to choose any other school. Wetzel is just one of many media folks that are full of themselves and somewhere along the way, didnt get an interview with Cal. There are a ton of em. Some travel a long way not to get em, even when they are scheduled.

    They don’t handle that well

    • notFromhere
      9:24 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

      Contrast that with Pitino, who rarely failed to grease a wheel. He wined and dined the media by comparison. They loved him for it, of course.

  13. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    9:25 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    So an Adidas snitch is pointing the finger at 4 Nike schools. Got it. Makes tons of sense. Just trying to make it seem like normal business practices. Moving on.

  14. BigJohnC
    9:28 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    They’re just part of the blue bloods, doesn’t mean they’re a guilty party. Resources? That doesn’t mean you’re paying for a player…

  15. CstlCAT22
    10:12 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    It’s unfortunate that lousy news gets so much attention. Common sense would suggest if this were real, big, or real big it would have been the focus of the investigation.

  16. Blueballz
    10:54 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    If anyone on here thinks we don’t pay players, you’re retarded

    • BleedingBlue1996
      5:15 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

      Don’t know your stance, etc… but I agree. If you want Zion then you are paying something. If not, another school will. These kids all know they are only going to be in school for 1 year max (6 months?). Therefore, they follow the dollar. Not faulting them, just saying.

  17. BackinBlue
    11:03 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    Hey that’s America now. Guilty until proven innocent

  18. J-Dub421
    11:07 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    These quotes say nothing. The dude says people “believe” UK and some other schools are using “resources.” Most liars and cheaters love to point fingers at others to try to make it seem like everyone is doing the same dirty things they are, so that it seems normal. It’s not bad if “everyone’s doing it.” This is all BS.

    If Kentucky was dirty, it would have come out by now. The NCAA would love to bring down Coach Cal. Asshats like Pat Forde and Pete Thamel would cut off a nut to bring down Coach Cal. They have nothing but wishful thinking.

    Lastly, if we were paying recruits, why have we lost so many recruiting battles the last few years? It makes no sense.

  19. KYCat4EVER
    11:17 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    RESOURCES? Seriously?

    This idiot thinks he’s speaking on NEW EVIDENCE against Our Basketball Program???


    KENTUCKY has always had “resources”… and more resources than most..

    Which DOES NOT necessarily mean illegal or unethical “resources”….

    1). We have a basketball reputation second to none!

    2). We have more wins than ANY other program in the history of college basketball!

    3). We have 24,000 seat RUPP ARENA… more than most pro teams have!

    4). That stadium brings in $$$$ for our athletic facilities…. which are second to none!

    5). We have consistent, ongoing, HIGH STANDARDS that keep us on top… and we expect to win NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS…

    6). We are second in NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS behind a school that squandered their “resources” away because they did not hold their own program ACCOUNTABLE!

    7). Our own MEGA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP CHEERLEADERS who do more during our home games than most other schools squads and gymnast and dance teams COMBINED! The atmosphere they bring to home games is unmatched anywhere!

    8). And last, but certainly NOT least, we have BBN! NO OTHER FAN BASE comes close to our passion, our pride, our binding support and criticism, and our presence!

    So H*LL yea we have RESOURCES… more than any other school has… and we should NOT apologize for it!

    In fact… our KENTUCKY BASKETBALL program has SO MANY resources … the other schools are finding it impossible to get a young recruit to their own school unless they CHEAT!


  20. davis2319
    11:27 pm April 25, 2019 Permalink

    Ncaa Board of Trustees: Amid this report, we have decided Duke, UNC, and Kentucky will be punished in the following fashions…

    Duke: Automatic NCAA tournament bid. Also, every regular season Duke game will be televised prime time on ABC.

    UNC: Automatic passing grades for every player on the team for the next 5 seasons. Additionally, Luke Maye will be granted an additional 10 years of college eligibility.

    Kentucky: Death Penalty

  21. Calllikeiseeittheintelligentversion
    2:13 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Like I said before we even pay for our walkons college life.

  22. Kat4Life
    9:22 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Any opportunity the media has to throw names like Duke and Kentucky around they will do it. Simply increases their clicks.

    • makeitstop
      9:47 am April 26, 2019 Permalink

      That’s my take, too. The story really is kind of stale and throwing the words “Duke, UK and UNC” in accomplishes just want they want, more clicks. It’s a non story: hustler says “u need me and my suitcase of cash to help u bc ur school is competing against Duke, UNC and UK w their jets and TV exposure and facilities and fan bases and history and staff, and u don’t hv those things but u hv my bag of adidas cash and all I want is u to push them to me later…” bingo. Faustian deal, but u get Javonte Smart or Bowen or D’Ayton or whoever.

  23. Alex90
    6:25 pm April 26, 2019 Permalink

    Say you’re an agent that’s funneling money to recruits to go to Duke/Kansas or wherever, wouldn’t you just claim everyone else is doing it to make yourself look good? This is a 5 year olds defense…well he did it too!