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Kentucky Basketball: Is Kentucky Getting Unfair Treatment?

Just to play the "What if?" game, let's just assume for a moment that the NCAA is actually doing what TMZ claims, and checking the bona fides of some current, past, and even future Kentucky players regarding relationships with agents that might reveal some arrangements by the players that were/are against NCAA rules in their dealings with agents.

Is this unfair?

Chip Miller examines this question on his blog the other day:

So the question, is the NCAA unfairly targeting Calipari and UK? Probably not.. Does it look that way? Absolutely… Articles have stated that the NCAA tends to target high powered recruits like a John Wall, Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Marquis Teague. Any of those sound familiar?

I think that hits the mark pretty well.  I appears to be unfair, given what we've read, but first of all, it probably isn't happening, and second of all, it wouldn't necessarily be unfair if it was.

Why?  I'll explain after the jump.

The NCAA is in the business of enforcing the rules spelled out in the NCAA bylaws on its member institutions.  I think we can all agree that when it comes to agents trying to insinuate themselves into the lives of high school players, the high probability is that they are not sleazing their way into the lives of 3-star or even 4-star players.  Why?  Because the odds are very long that these kids will wind up in a position to make them some serious cash down the road.

No, agents that are interested in getting a leg up on a future NBA player are going to go for the big dogs, the five stars, the studs that Kentucky fans have, up until the last two years, long lamented the lack of at UK.  The high-profile players are the ones where the sneaky, wicked agents and hangers-on are likely to try to convince the player that it is in their best interests to break the rules and make an agreement with them, that what the NCAA doesn't know won't hurt them.

Willie Sutton said it best when asked why he robbed banks -- "Because that is where the money is," he allegedly claimed.  Why would the NCAA look so closely at Kentucky?  Because that's where the 5-stars are going, and they are infinitely more likely to have agent involvement than the 3-stars recruited by Butler or Western.

So again, we get to ask the question, "Is it fair?"  Yes and no.  Yes if they are also looking at the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Ohio State as well as Kentucky.  But if they are looking at Kentucky in isolation, I think an argument can be made that it is unfair, biased, and perhaps unethical.

So then the question becomes, "Do you trust the NCAA to do the right thing by its member institutions when it comes to fairness?"

I can almost hear the heads exploding across the entire USA on that one.

Don't blame the NCAA for looking for trouble where they are most likely to find it.  Feel free to blame them if they are not being fair and equitable in that approach.