Christmas Big Blue Madness has come early this year, and the Kentucky faithful are going to get a few weeks' advance on University of Kentucky basketball excitement. Football is fun, and this has been a great football year so far for the 'Cats, but Rich Brooks & Co. have a long way to go to supplant hoops as the favorite sport of the Big Blue Nation.
With that in mind, it's a great day to take a look at a few interesting articles around the blogosphere. The first is this piece by Rush The Court about Tennessee recruit Rolando Woolridge. It seems that the University of Tennessee freshman hasn't quite boned up on his NCAA rules and regulations, and may be in the process of setting the Volunteers up for a violation. RTC even links to the rap song the kid does that could violate NCAA rules, and I'll leave that to others. Me, I subscribe to the Joe Hallenback (Bruce Willis, The Last Boy Scout) theory of discomfort:
Bad guy: You think you are so [bleeping] cool, don't you? You think you are so [bleeping] cool. But just once, I would like to hear you scream in pain...
Joe (deadpan): Play some rap music.
I take blogdicial notice of the fact that someone mentioned in the comments that Ramel Bradley, the former Rapping Wildcat and Jay Z wannabe, had to avoid doing something similar last year because of NCAA concerns. Maybe the compliance department at UT is just not battle-hardened like their Kentucky counterpart -- yet. Maybe they'll get a little practice on this one.
Moving right along, the Courier-Journal reports on the travails of the crack cocaine-dealing Bud Mackey, one-time UK recruit and one-time Indiana commit:
Former high school basketball star Jonathan "Bud" Mackey was sentenced yesterday to two months in jail -- with the possibility of an additional four months unless he complies with a judge's orders.
Mackey has not exactly distinguished himself when it comes to doing what a judge tells him -- earlier this year, he violated the conditions of his bond and had to squat 60 days in the Scott County jail. At this point, I don't have a lot of hope for the rest of his life.
Mike Miller, who writes for Beyond the Arc blog at MSNBC Sports, thinks that Indiana University could get gigged hard by the NCAA, but not as bad as the Eddie Sutton Wildcats of 1989:
Even if more penalties are handed down, the Hoosiers are unlikely to reach the severity of Kentucky’s 1989 ruling, when it received three years’ probation and was banned from postseason play for two seasons. Rick Pitino’s first season in Lexington wasn’t pretty (when he had eight scholarship players and no one taller than 6-7), but by 1993 the ‘Cats reached the Final Four. Three years later, they won the national title.
Heh. I guess that answers the question, "Could Sampson's cell phone company become the modern equivalent of Emory Express?" I guess not. But Indana sure has a rebuilding job ahead of them, and I don't envy them that. Been there. Done that. Burned the T-shirt.
Matt Jones at Kentucky Sports Radio has some recruiting info of interest today, particularly this tidbit:
The talk of the last few days has centered around comments made to Kentucky Ink’s Chris Fischer by Terrence Boyd, a 2009 recruit from San Diego. Boyd, who has been highly ranked at various points during the recruiting process, told Fischer that on his next visit to Kentucky, he could very well commit to the Cats.
That would be an impressive recruiting victory for UK. The article in question is at Kentucky Ink, and the quote in question is this:
"I already felt comfortable," Boyd said. "I think the next time I get down there, I'll commit."
But wait! Jody Demling has more this morning, and this is waaaayyyy less positive:
In an update of several '09 prospects, Boyd told the website that he has concerns about the UK situation.
He told the site that his coaches have been telling him "they have been reading (Kentucky) fans talking mess. If I find that out I guess it will be adios for them."
Just more proof that message board smack doesn't affect recruiting. Never has, never will, right guys and gals?
Former UK coach Rick Pitino did an interview with Angie Felton of the Courier-Journal the other day about his new book, Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0. Aside from the rather nouveau/techno title, it seems like a worthy read:
I was getting up and telling people … 98 percent of your day is to be positive, 2 percent working toward being positive. Then I went home one night and I said, 'You know, I've been giving these motivational speeches for so long, I wonder exactly what percentage I really am?' I couldn't determine it until I charted for a year or two. So I did it as a joke in 2005 and that was the best I've gotten. It was (75 percent positive to 25 percent working toward) being positive.
Interesting. I have heard Pitino speak, and he is a good motivational speaker. I got a laugh out of the whole, "You recently learned to text message," thing. Jeez, even my 80-year old father can do that. But I do love the motivational stuff. I might have to look past the color of his warm-ups on this one ...
College Hoops Net asks, "Who will be the first coach to be fired this year?" I wonder why, "All of the above," wasn't a choice? If I were these teams, I might consider a joint press conference ...
- Loot has an new squeeze.
- Hoops says Derrick Favors favors Kentucky, but not UConn.
- Another one bites the dust for UConn. Did I mention I loathe Jim Calhoun?
- Must read article by Larry Vaught on Ramon Harris.
Treat this as an open thread -- All UK sports is fair game.