The big news of the morning is that Rashad McCants, former North Carolina Tar Heels star who helped UNC get an NCAA Tournament Championship back in 2005, has admitted that he and some of his teammates participated in academic fraud, including:
- Having tutors write papers for them;
- Rarely attending class;
- Taking bogus classes designed to keep athletes eligible.
He also claimed that Roy Williams was fully aware of the "system" at UNC. Consider:
McCants also told "Outside the Lines" that he even made the Dean's List in Spring 2005 despite not attending any of his four classes for which he received straight-A grades. He said advisers and tutors who worked with the basketball program steered him to take the paper classes within the African-American Studies program.
The Carolina Way. This is pretty ugly stuff, really, the very archetype of all the accusations you have ever heard of athletes coming to school to major in basket weaving or some other trumped-up course of study designed to keep them eligible.
Read the whole thing.
More here: The NCAA's North Carolina problem. Consider:
If you're going to stand before a judge and explain that academics are part of the reason schools can't share a slice of an ever-expanding financial pie with the players that people pay to watch, then you'd better have a stellar record of standing up for academic integrity. The NCAA can't say much there. It found a rogue tutor at North Carolina while missing a fraudulent department. Other than that case, the last FBS school to get popped for academic fraud was Florida State in 2009. Nearly every other case the NCAA has pursued in the financially flush upper reaches of the FBS has been about money. Specifically, they've been about the players getting some.
Tweet of the Morning
Matthew Mitchell is great. Just great. I'm buying that guy a beer if we ever meet.— Brian Eldridge (@BriEldridge) June 6, 2014
I'll get the second round.
Kentucky football: It starts in the middle. Consider:
The fact is though, UK has to be better against the run than they were last year, and they have to be better than they were in the Spring Game. In that game, the offense combined for 328 yards rushing on the day, in a game that featured a running clock for much of the second half, and only 12 minute quarters. There were also 4 touchdown rushes on the game. That’s got to improve.
Uncertainty over 2015 recruiting? The big drop in Charles Matthews' ranking — falling 33 spots to #48 overall — is cited as the reason. I'm not worried. Calipari has yet to disappoint.
Mike DeCourcy thinks that Kentucky's returners made solid decisions coming back to Kentucky.
Rob Dauster wonders if Nebraska's Tim Miles could eventually replace John Calipari. Who knows? If he wins enough, I'm sure we'll consider him.
Mixtape of Malik Newman, the 2015 #1 player in the land. Hat tip: Rob Dauster
Other Kentucky sports
A.J. Reed is drafted by the Houston Astros at #42 overall. That's about where the mocks had him. Somebody with more knowledge about professional baseball will have to tell you what this means, but here's what Crawfish Boxes, SB Nation's Houston blog had to say about it:
People wanted a true power bat for the Astros system. Well here he is. A lot of experts thought A.J. Reed would be drafted in the 20's of the first round, much less make it through the comp round. To fall to 2-1 makes him a very good value.
He was the Wildcats Friday night starter and topped out in the low 90's from the left side. But, his place is at the plate where he crushes baseballs.
This guy has the most raw power in the draft. AND IT'S FROM THE LEFT SIDE!
yeah, I think they're happy to have him.
Matthew Mitchell and his wife, Jenna, will donate $1 million to UK Athletics. $100K/year for 10 years. Wow, that's just amazing.
"We've been blessed by God to have this opportunity at UK," Mitchell said. "We are still sometimes in disbelief that we are this fortunate. We care so much about this university and a day doesn't go by that we aren't grateful. We have been financially blessed beyond our wildest dreams since we've taken this job. We wouldn't be in this position today without the opportunity afforded us by Dr. Lee Todd, Jr., Dr. Eli Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart. My wish is that this money will benefit UK Athletics because we're all one family. I have complete confidence in the leadership and I told Mr. Barnhart to use where it's needed most."
Well, now this is something you don't see every day. Shelby Osborne, a girl from Jeffersonville, Indiana, has signed with NAIA Cambellsville to play ... football. Necessary Roughness, anyone?
If the NCAA was "bludgeoned" by Nick Saban's raise, what is Calipari's going to do?
Charlie Strong not exactly impressing Burnt Orange Nation with his recruiting skils.
Georgia players in some trouble for theft by deception. They double-cashed their stipend checks. Very naughty.
Worst trophies in college football #2: The Paddlewheel trophy.
Want to see Les Miles hula hoop and sin karaoke? I don't blame you.
- Tommy Amaker has won exactly two NCAA Tournament games at Harvard, and now he's a coaching "savant?"
Other sports news
The silliness of the New Republic often staggers me. This is so hyperbolic and full of half-truths that it deserves to be linked mainly for mockery. All sports have their cyclical ups and downs, and a Triple Crown would definitely help prove that it is still a goal that can be achieved, something that many racing enthusiasts have given up on.
Having said that, some changes would definitely help. Moving the race calendars a week further apart would be a good beginning. National standards would be another good idea, which will eventually come, but that has been percolating for quite some time.
Pele's legend "overhyped." Can we please stop this? Leave the hype alone, for the love of all that's holy. People need some hype. It inspires us.
Secretariat's Triple Crown year. Never will I forget. The Belmont that year was the greatest horse race in the history of the sport, and I don't think that margin will ever be eclipsed in a Triple Crown race. Just in case your memory needs refreshing:
I saw this race as it happened. The memory of this majestic sports moment will never leave my consciousness. Greatest. Horse. Ever. Consider:
I had just witnessed the greatest Kentucky Derby performance of all time. Secretariat’s quarter-mile splits were unprecedented—:25⅕, :24, :23⅘, :23⅖ and :23. He ran each quarter faster than the preceding one. Not even the most veteran race-tracker could recall a horse who had done this in a mile-and-a-quarter race. As quickly as his legions (I among them) had abandoned him following the Wood, so did they now proclaim Secretariat a superhorse.
And he was. Oh, he was.
- Breakthrough DNA test finds cause of mysterious illness. Faster, please.