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John Wall Responds to College Basketball Corruption Scandal

Big Blue History

The FBI revealed the dark side of college basketball recruiting.  You’ve heard takes from many different perspectives on the matter, now hear from a former No. 1 recruit who played at Kentucky.

John Wall shared his experience with CSN Mid Atlantic:

“If you are the No. 1 guy or the top guy, you’re going to have guys come at you. But you have to be smart about it. If you are only going to school for one year, there’s no point in doing all the extra stuff. If you don’t have any money and have been poor your whole life, another eight months won’t hurt,” Wall said.

“I was trusting no one. Listen, I grew up without a dad since the age of nine. It was my mom working three or four jobs to support our family. If she could provide from me then, then she could provide for me when I was 17 or 18 years old for a few months. You know what I mean? You couldn’t do nothing for me then. I’d been poor my whole life. Eight months? What is that money going to do for me? I was fine with it.”

Before his eighth NBA season, the former Kentucky point guard signed a four-year $170 million contract extension.  Including endorsements, I think it’s safe to say he’ll make a half billion dollars during his professional career.  Eight more months was worth the wait.

[CSN Mid Atlantic]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

45 Comments for John Wall Responds to College Basketball Corruption Scandal

  1. Sentient Third Eye
    2:06 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    And that is the most powerful argument for why the much-attacked One-and-Dones are actually less likely to be involved in the scandal than the next rung of kids, the guys who are marginal draft choices and who might need to stay in school for two or three years.

    • IAmTheDanger
      2:15 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink


    • BobKYCats
      2:45 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      The difference here, though, at least between Wall and Bowen, is that his mother also had a sense of responsibility, unlike the mother of Bowen, who was quoted as saying something to the effect of “where’s our effing money”.

      It’s not just the kids involved, its the people who are supposed to be the adults in the room who are shopping their kids around.

    • KTR2786
      2:53 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      @BobKYCats That’s a great point; it likely has a lot to do with the family which reminds me about how Cal said he evaluated recruits based on their interactions with their mother. It’s also nice to see how many recruits Cal has passed on that have ended up in trouble or been problematic to their teams.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:53 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      And Bowen is simply not an elite pick. He’s ranked around 17-21, which is still very impressive, but if that ranking translated directly to his output as a freshman in college, he’ll probably be in college at least two years. That’s not to knock those kids because they can turn into amazing pros, but they are not viewed as sure things. Kids like Wall would be lottery picks already except they have to wait a year to get drafted. Most years there is a big difference between being ranked top ten and being ranked down around twenty.

    • Luether
      10:12 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Bowen’s mother is a Democrat…

  2. Catsby80
    2:12 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    it is very reassuring to hear a guy of his caliber say this. my hope is that the other guys we’ve had through the Cal era all have had the same sentiments.

  3. Smat
    2:15 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    You could argue that but you can also say why pay more marginal players that may never reach the NBA? These one and done guys are much more likely to make you money and quicker. So from that angle one and dones are more likely to be involved.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:21 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Why would a kid who stands to be a multimillionaire in less than 1 year care about $100,000? I understand about instant gratification and all, but the ones Cal wants are smarter than that.

    • Smat
      3:44 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      They care about $100k because they could get hurt. The NBA is no guarantee. Plus what do they have to lose by taking it? NCAA violations? Who cares. Most of the time the NCAA doesn’t lay down punishment till more than a year later. Players are already drinking champagne in their mansions and coaches find another gig. Quit lying to yourselves, every big name team is dirty and many many others.

    • IAmTheDanger
      2:32 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      I don’t doubt that money has been coming at the elite recruits. But my thinking (maybe naively) is that these one and dones are smart enough to look at the long haul and not the quick hit. The BIG money will come, so why risk it….while the next level guys may take anything that comes their way….probably coming from a mid-major school where these “next level” recruits would still be a big hit to these mid major schools programs.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:55 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      The “sweet spot” for many of these agents is to get their hooks into a marginal kid who is just a late bloomer, then they can ride up to the top when he finally comes into his own.

    • Smat
      3:32 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Come on guys and gals. It is embarrassingly naive to think that we are clean. I am fully confident in saying that no one is clean at this point. No matter how clean a Head Coach wants to be, an assistant and/or player can do this stuff independently. Too much money has been generated by these players we’ve sent to the NBA. Why would the “sweet spot” for an agent be marginal players that may or may not pan out???? If you are paying a high school player so they will choose you as their agent after college, why would you not want a player like John Wall/Anthony Davis/etc. These are players that were already said to be the #1 pick before they ever played a single college game.

    • Booby Petrino
      4:09 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      I’m with Wall and KAT, not Smat. We clean.

    • kyfrydaddy
      4:46 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      New nickname….Smat the troll
      FYI kids are begging to come to our program especially the 19th ranked. Their payday is damn near guaranteed and it’s a hell of a lot more than 100 grand! Relax on the schizophrenia

    • Sentient Third Eye
      4:48 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      I go back to the Trump-Russia comparison. ESPN and others spent years trying to bring down Cal. After endless months of investigating, if nothing turns up, then there’s likely nothing there.

    • CatstopWontstop
      4:54 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Sentient Third Eye – this has nothing to do with Trump and the comparison you make is a stretch, like BIGLY!

    • Jester
      10:16 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Excellent comparison Sentient Third Eye.

      ESPN/CNN/Whoever can scream and cry about whatever conspiracy they want, as much as they want, but at the end of the day if you don’t have the proof you’re left looking like an idiot. And there’s simply no
      proof Cal and UK have done anything underhanded.

  4. ClutchCargo
    2:17 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    All true. Cal simply has to point out that $30,000,000 > $100,000.

  5. timbo
    2:19 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    This was my exact argument in comments yesterday. You have to be overly greedy, selfish, and frankly, ignorant–to not recognize you’ll have a legitimate payday in fewer than 300 days. Does that describe ANY player out of UK in the last 10 years? KAT? AD? Fox? Gilchrist? Not a chance. Cal is telling these guys to be smart, just wait a bit longer, trust me, trust the process…and they do. This is the result.

    • Mathlete
      2:31 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      The ones that worry me are the ones who have had attitude problems. But I would hope that Cal would rather have a hole in the roster than deal with the fallout

    • foamfinger
      2:32 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Another adult might be the one who has been given money to try to steer you to a specific school. It’s not all on these kids. Remember, Cam Newton’s dad shopped him around, allegedly without Cam knowing about it (that’s another debate). It probably happens a lot, especially with AAU coaches who have a lot of sway and hold over their kids, especially if they are getting them into big tournaments and such.

    • J-Dub421
      2:34 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Exactly. Also, why would any of these players trust an agent shady enough to try something like this. If they’re a good agent who will do right by you, they don’t have to pull this kind of crap. Any agent shady enough to slip you some cash when they know it’s wrong will also screw you over at the first available opportunity.

  6. coachc90
    2:22 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    I love me some John Wall! “Trust the process.”

  7. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    2:24 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    Gotta love John Wall. Deserves every bit of that money. College kids should be able to make money of their likeness too in college. It’s the only way to cut out this corruption bs.

    • timbo
      2:36 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      No. You eliminate it the same way you do any negative behavior. You punish it. It’s cynical to say “all of them do it”, and it’s not true. If 299/300 do it, then not all do it. Don’t give in to that rhetoric, it’s simply not true. In three years, the FBI could only catch four coaches? Because it’s NOT as widespread as others believe. Maybe $10 for a supper, but not thousands of dollars, clothes, and jewelry. That’s very jaded, accusatory, and cynical toward a lot of people.

    • Smat
      4:14 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      In 3 years the FBI focused on what their informant gave them and caught 4 coaches guilty of bribery. Bribery, an actual illegal act. NCAA violations are a different story. Although the bribery is also against NCAA rules, most NCAA violations are not actual criminal acts. The reason I think “everyone does it” is because NCAA violations are basically a slap on the wrist for players and coaches (especially assistants). Virtually zero consequences and years of corruption lead me to believe that everyone does it because everyone else is doing it. Not every coach and not every player but “every” school has probably been touched by this corruption.

    • RealCatsFan
      3:22 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah, because we know that fine, upstanding programs like Duke, who “do things the right way”, would never funnel money to one of their players to buy jewelry. Oh… wait.

    • CatstopWontstop
      5:02 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Pay the players, but not directly. let them make money of Jersey sales and autograph signing. I know I’d love to be able to buy a Kentucky #12 jersey with “Calipari” on the back!

  8. Mathlete
    2:28 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    You guys remember all of those really talented players that Cal and his guys have suddenly and surprisingly lost interest in over the years? What do you think are the odds they held out their hands wanting some cash?

    • foamfinger
      2:34 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      I agree 100%. Cal knows he is under very high scrutiny because so many people hate him. He doesn’t want to be involved with anything like that or give people extra ammunition against him.

    • J-Dub421
      2:36 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Or they were lazy and had crappy attitudes. There have been a couple of those too.

    • timbo
      3:33 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      You get it. Maybe this is an optimistic view, but give people the benefit of the doubt. This “everybody does it” cynicism is irritating and downplays wrong-doing.

    • Ridge Runner
      3:48 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Agreed.. My wife and I were discussing this very thing last night

  9. lexslamman
    2:37 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    If UK and Calipari really are as squeaky clean as I expect them to be, I’m going to be laughing all the way to our next banner while all these wannabe programs are on probation/shut-down.

  10. chrisg18
    3:09 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    I would be surprised if UK was involved, but remember not all the kids Cal has brought in have been perfect. Dodson, Poole, Lamb, etc. He has had some kids who I think we could agree we wouldn’t be too surprised if they were looking for handouts. Also, not all of Cal’s recruits are as smart as John Wall, or have his assuredness of major dollars after one year. Some guys thought they were one and done when they clearly weren’t (ie Charles Matthews, Briscoe).

    • RealCatsFan
      3:25 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Yep, valid point. The tough thing about all of this is that there are probably some coaches out there who are genuinely good dudes trying to do it the right way, and they might end up getting caught up in this mess simply because an assistant coach was doing things without their knowledge, or a player or players parents were going off on their own and doing something. This is, of course, what Pitino was trying to claim happened, but news is beginning to surface that he may be lying about that. But this is basically what happened to Cal with Camby and Rose.

  11. Duff86
    3:35 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    Unfortunately, every player that comes through UK is not John Wall. I hope that his tone is the tone of the program and not just the individual. UK would only offer money to guys who were not UK locks and elite players. Noel and Jones immediately come to mind.

    • Smat
      6:26 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      What worries me is that the main purpose of these deals was a players choice in agent or financial advisor or shoe company or clothing company. So we may have legitimately earned a recruit but that doesn’t mean he didn’t take money from someone else and therefore be ruled ineligible.

  12. MikeXUK
    3:46 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    Don’t forget what Derek Willis said in response to Dakich a few weeks ago. He was able to still get federal financial aid even with the UK scholarship, and used that for spending money. He isn’t the only kid that can do that so no reason other kids aren’t taking the federal loans for the short term as well thus negating the need for payoffs from boosters/shoe companies.

  13. Ridge Runner
    3:47 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    John Wall is an awesome guy…

  14. nicky
    4:44 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    Why do you think Cal passes on so many kids who a lot of fans think he needs to be recruiting? Cal knows what’s going on…

    • Sentient Third Eye
      4:50 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Yes, we complain when Cal mysteriously backs off a hot player whom we thought was an easy get for us…this may be why that happens every year or so!

  15. Knoxville Cat Fan
    5:09 pm September 28, 2017 Permalink

    I dare say there is another collegiate basketball program who is scrutinized like UK, and maybe it’s justified because of our past. If we were involved at this point, I believe Kentucky’s name would have been first and foremost. So proud that Wall and Towns have posted their thoughts. It has a lot to do with integrity not only at the program level but at the family level.

  16. I would have been a bigger fan if he had said that it was doing the right thing, not just the pragmatic thing, but I still love that he and KAT did this.