Kentucky Basketball: Is There Something in the Water in Chicago?

Has somebody poisoned the Chicago River? (via Bert K)

What is going on with Chicago sportswriters all of the sudden?  Has somebody slipped Mickey Finns into their respective coffee cups?

Not only has Michael O'Brien of the Chicago Sun-Times staked his career on rumor and innuendo, John Templeton John Templon (apologies to Mr. Templon for the misspelling of his name) of Chicago Now, a Chicago Tribune website, writes this incoherent analysis about the Anthony Davis situation.  What's wrong with it?  I'll go into detail after the jump.

First, there is this:

First of all, the Davises have put themselves in quite the spot. They now have to come forward with the lawsuit, one that could be potentially damaging to their son's eligibility if the Sun-Times is able to come forward with the evidence their reports suggest they have.

So let me get this straight -- it is potentially more damaging for the Davises to sue than to shut up and allow that accusation that Anthony Davis' father is asking for sums of between $125,000 to $200,000 to go unanswered?  His logic is apparently that if Davis is in fact guilty of wrongdoing, he stands a chance for that to be discovered during a lawsuit, and putting his son's eligibility in question.

With all due respect to Mr. Templon, I have to say, "Well, duh!"  The idea here is not just to sue for the heck of it, sir, but to clear both his name and the besmirched reputation of his son.  If he is guilty and stupid enough to bring the suit, he deserves what he gets.  The implication here being that Davis is innocent, and these rumors are false and defamatory.  Hence the putative law suit.

Also, Kentucky has also put itself in quite a spot by saying that it will support the Davises as they fight the lawsuit.

Templon just throws this out there without any exposition.  How Kentucky's support of Davis puts them in "quite a spot" is left for the now-completely baffled reader to puzzle out, but I assume that it's Templon's opinion that if Davis gets "found out" in discovery, it will somehow implicate Kentucky in a negative way.  Again, "Well, duh!" 

If UK or someone associated with the school offered to "buy" Davis for $200,000, as O'Brien has claimed, that's going to be revealed eventually whether the Davises sue or not.  Of course, if UK had distanced themselves from Davis, it's hard to imagine any difference in the damage that may be done assuming the money part is right, but apparently Templon is able to discern some.  How that is supposed to work will likely never be known to us poor readers.

Then, there is this:

If the penalties mattered then John Calipari wouldn't be the head coach at Kentucky, and certainly wouldn't have been considered a savior when he was hired by the Wildcats prior to last season. Calipari has had two Final Four appearances vacated because of recruiting scandals, but he has never been personally implicated. Nobody cares when a season is vacated, because the fans, students and alumni still got to have the experience of being there. Who really cares if there is one less banner in the rafters? [Emphasis mine]

I have rarely seen such a factual epic fail in a paragraph of this length.  The facts are, John Calipari has been vindicated outright in the Camby situation by the NCAA, who called him a victim of Camby's unethical actions.  Dick Weiss, the dean of New York sportswriters who takes the trouble to uncover and disclose facts rather than paranoid fantasies, explains in one of the great pieces ever written on John Cailpari:

Calipari has been painted with a tar brush ever since Camby's confession. The NCAA deleted the school's Final Four appearance from the record books for using an ineligible player. But there were no sanctions. And, in a letter obtained by the Daily News, dated June 8, 2004, Tom Yeager, the chairman of the committee on infractions, told Calipari: "The committee fully recognizes you had nothing to with the violations of Marcus Camby during the 1995-96 season. In a sense, you were an innocent victim." [Emphasis mine]

But even more remarkably, neither one of the NCAA problems suffered by either school Calipari coached at had anything to do with recruiting scandals, as Templon claims.  The UMass situation was a case of a college junior who started taking money, prostitutes and bling from street agents late in his junior season.  The other was an academic eligibility issue with Derrick Rose at Memphis that had absolutely nothing to do with his recruitment.

I really hope the Chicago media can find the time to do actual research sometime soon instead of regaling us with inept nonsense and rumors.  But I'm not holding my breath.

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