One of the themes of this Final Four is that one side of the bracket is all that is good in college basketball. Mid-major teams, talented young coaches, cinderella Final Four runs. VCU and Butler are living the dream.
And then you have UConn and Kentucky, two powerhouse schools barely living on the right side of the recruiting tracks. UConn went in front of the NCAA this season due to issues in the recruitment of Nate Miles back in 2006 while Kentucky has the sport’s most polarizing figure, and best recruiter, as a head coach in John Calipari.
Its been painted as a contrast of good and evil, and on Friday the evil side began to look even worse.
In the Times, Pete Thamel spoke to Nate Miles and got him on record claiming that Jim Calhoun knew about Miles’ relationship with Josh Nochimson, a former UConn manager-turned-agent. Miles makes accusations of being paid $250 every three days as well as claiming that he had help on his standardized tests. Both are very serious accusations, and Miles is now apparently will to speak to the NCAA about it.
Jeff Goodman and Thayer Evans of FOXSports.com broke the news on Kentucky. Back in 2009, Bilal Batley was fired from his position on the Kentucky staff once news came out that he had rebounded for a player when he was not allowed to have any on-court interaction with him. Goodman and Evans also say that Batley made impermissible phone calls to DeMarcus Cousins while recruiting him to Memphis and then Kentucky.
The past week has not been a good one for the NCAA publicity-wise.
PBS Frontline and HBO Real Sports both did on the money that the NCAA generates and whether or not the players should be paid. The Real Sports segment featured Auburn football players that were claiming to have received cash handouts before and after football games. Then there was the whole Fiesta Bowl scandal, where news broke that the executives of the bowl were living a life of luxury off of the money that the bowl produced. Jason Whitlock and Dan Wetzel, and others, had a field day ripping the NCAA.
That’s not the kind of publicity you want on the eve of the Final Four.
Anyway, I encourage you to go read over the reports. I’ll have more reaction later.