The John Wall recruiting saga took a really shocking turn today, as Wall has apparently been charged with a crime -- breaking and entering.
Bluegrass State Basketball has the story, and there is, according to him, more to this than has been reported so far. Hopefully, the "more" is favorable to Wall. For more reading on this subject, here is The Sporting News' story, and here is the WTVD report in Raleigh-Durham. There seem to be very few details at the moment, and the charge is only a misdemeanor and Wall was not actually arrested.
Fanhouse claims that Roy Williams and Coach K will now no longer be interested, but the Coach Calipari still will, claiming his intent was "not to indict" UK or "the Wildcat boosters who so desperately want a star point guard." First of all, why is it the "consensus" that Calipari will still be interested and nobody else will? The author doesn't attempt to explain that, and just allows the reader to assume that Calipari is fine with taking kids with "a past," (to be fair, his past indicates that he is), or that Coach K isn't (Roy Williams backed off Wall weeks ago), or that UK has no other viable options. And is he saying that UK fans are so desperate for a point guard that we would offer a scholarship to a good player regardless of their legal status? What a crock.
The facts of the case have yet to emerge, and the charge may well wind up being dropped. It isn't as if the kid broke into an occupied home with an AK-47 and started shooting up the place. The Fanhouse article is typical of why journalist so revile bloggers -- it is fact-challenged, reporting that Wall went to NC Central when Adam Zagoria reported earlier that meeting didn't happen, and the Fanhouse article goes on to suggest the reason for that aborted visit was "eligibility issues," which is another item not in evidence.
Before everyone panics and starts deciding that Wall is trouble, let's step back and wait for the facts to emerge. As Dave Telep of Scout.com told USA today, "[This] doesn't feel right. This may have been nothing more than a youthful prank, a case of mistaken identity, or simple guilt by association. I'm not encouraged by the news, but I also think we should not be rushing to judgment.
Now, for the rest of the news.
UK Basketball News
- Some interesting observations about the player who has the attention of UK fans captivated at the moment.
- I don't think this blogger is a UK or John Calipari fan. Interesting post, though.
- Wall did not go to his planned N.C. Central visit, according to Adam Zagoria.
- Nice piece by BBallSophist at True Blue Kentucky.
- The new NCAA rule makes bad choices easier, and other links this morning via John Clay.
- UK on the final list of 12 for Harrison Barnes. Barnes is really a good player that would reload us for 2010. Not only that, he is a smart kid.
- Chris Fisher has some weekend stuff over at Kentucky Ink.
UK Football News
- Fidler back in the quarterback race.
Other UK Sports News
- UK Softball loses to South Carolina on Sunday.
- Bat Cats keep their SEC tournament hopes alive with a huge series win over the Tennessee Volunteers on Sunday.
NCAA Sports News
- Mississippi State gets a commitment from John Riek. Rick Stansbury gets an A+ for his recruiting effort at MSU this year.
Other News of Interest
- An interesting story about Scout.com's Dave Telep.
- Facebook groups versus the NCAA. This is going to become a problem the first time a public university takes action beyond a threat against someone on Facebook. The NCAA, as a private entity can set rules and enforce them without fear of First Amendment ramifications. But it seems to me that requiring public universities to enforce NCAA rules is a much trickier problem and could give rise to a legitimate claim under the First Amendment.
So far, the matter hasn't come to legal blows, but it will eventually. Things like this always do. For my money, the best thing to do is to politely ask people to help the university comply with the rules without resorting to the stick of a cease and desist letter. Most of these kids are just fans of university sports programs and would gladly comply rather than put their favorite team at risk, if asked nicely.
- An alternative view of the Sonny Vaccaro/Jeremy Tyler situation.