NCAA Ethics: Enforcement Committee for UCF's Infractions Report Mentions John Wall

Via Jay Bilas' Twitter account:

To wit, from the NCAA Committee on Infractions report on the University of Central Florida, who got hit for numerous violations today:

Further, representative 1 and the head basketball coach had 18 separate telephone calls between April 12-20, 2011. Prospect 3 made his official visit during that time.

In addition to the head basketball coach's and the assistant basketball coach's knowledge of representative 1's recruiting contacts with prospect 3, the committee concluded that the director of athletics was also aware of representative 1's involvement in prospect 3's recruitment. (See: Finding B-4) This conclusion is supported by email exchanges between representative 1, the director of athletics and the head basketball coach around the time of prospect 3's recruitment. In an April 6, 2011, email to representative 1, the director of athletics writes "…I heard about John Wall, Jr.3 from (the head basketball coach). You da man."

When asked to explain the email to representative 1, the following exchange occurred during the director of athletics' September 7, 2011, interview:

ES – Enforcement staff member AD – Director of athletics

ES: Can you explain that to me?

AD: "John Wall, Jr?"

ES: Yeah.

AD: I had got that from (the head men's basketball coach), and he said this guy is the next John Wall.

3John Wall was a highly- regarded men's basketball student-athlete at the University of Kentucky who competed during the 2009-10 season. He declared for the NBA draft following that season. [emphasis mine]

Okay, so somebody explain to me how the Enforcement Committee can redact all the names using "Student athlete A" and "Prospect 6" and etcetera, but feel totally at ease naming John Wall in their report? Consider this in addition:

During the hearing the director of athletics was questioned about his knowledge of representative 1's involvement in the recruitment of prospect 3:

CM: Committee Member AD: Director of Athletics

CM: And then Mr. Wall came to campus -- excuse me, (prospect 3) came to campus on April 16th, correct?

AD: I don't have that actual date that he came on to campus.

CM: Okay. He was on campus on April 16th, I would not expect that you would remember -- not necessarily expect you to remember the specific date. The important thing is while he was on campus, you exchanged thirteen text messages with (representative 1), correct?

AD: Yes.

CM: And you also received an email saying, "You have got my nephew with you today. He is the next John Wall."

AD: Yes. I don't know the sequence of those, but, yes.

CM: Once again, when you were asked the question back on May 5th, "Were you aware, have you any knowledge of (representative 1) being involved with any of the 2011 recruits, specifically (prospect 2), or (prospect 3)?" "No, because I don't get involved in that." That wasn't entirely inaccurate. [emphasis mine]

Seriously, what's a casual reader going to take away from this? That John Wall was somehow involved in recruiting violations at UCF? Of course, that's not what happened, but a careless reader might think Prospect 3 was John Wall the way the report is worded, and not somebody else that was compared to him.

Memo to the NCAA -- Stop this. There was no need to mention Wall's name. A generic "highly recruited player who recently turned professional, 'NBA Player F'" Would have sufficed. There was absolutely no reason to drag Wall's name through this muddy mess. Every player gets compared to guys like Wall and Jordan and Kobe all the time, and WE GET IT without having it spelled out.

Well, I suppose if Wall is offended, he'll have his lawyer write a nasty-gram to the NCAA. I probably shouldn't be bothered by it if he isn't, but I do wish the NCAA would find some way to stay consistent. It was unnecessary to expose Wall to the possibility of embarrassment by misunderstanding, as they did here, and even though a careful read of the report would demonstrate no actual pejorative intent, I consider it a sloppy piece of work.

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