Smarmballs In The Spotlight

If you come here often, you know how I often do.

State an issue that needs to be discussed — or, at least, I want to discuss — then make some vague reference to a pop song, plug in the You Tube video, concoct the cross cultural connection then rave on with a crazy feeling.

Which leads to this phenomenological query? You think Bruce Pearl, John Calipari and, oh, the rest of their college coaching brethren along with their adoring fanbases adhere to the teachings of philosophizer Molly Cyrus?

And into the spotlight we will go, follow me ’cause baby life’s a show/ And into the spotlight you will see it’s the only place to be

Hmmmmm.

Got an angry email from a UK fan last night. She’s tired of everybody picking on Coach Cal and Eric Bledsoe.

To which missive, I replied that it’s only the beginning. Those Bledsoe and Kanter isssues are just the first of many to come. The klieg lights are trained on Lexington. You sign 3, 4, 5 of the nation’s top 20 recruits every year and they’re only going to get brighter.

Sooner or later, some rival coach, tired of getting outbid for players, is going to go Bruce Pearl on the Cats. Or, as Eric Crawford responded to a FB post of mine, “Bruce Pearl might go Bruce Pearl on them.”

College basketball is a nasty, nasty business. As I’ve said before, if we didn’t love it so much, we would be appalled. Instead, we nod, wink, give an elbow to our fellow acolyte and find comfort that 6-9 PG T’Hombre SkyWalker Jefferson may be a hired mercenary, but he’s our alma mammy’s hired mercenary.

I had an interesting conversation the other evening with a fellow, who was once intimately connected with one of our favorite regional universities. (Yes, I’m being obtuse, so you can’t figure out which one. It really doesn’t matter though, does it?) He was best buddies with an assistant coach. Years ago, one recruit desired to talk immediately with the head coach. Who happened to be out of town and out of touch. So the assistant set up a conference call and this fellow impersonated the coach, assuring him of playing time and all the things he and his mama wanted to hear.

The same fellow shared the exact financial details of a deal that got a heralded player to a school formerly coached by one of the current local coaches. He got the legit info from the player’s father, who happened to be a good friend. $60 Gsat time of commitment. $40 large more when the kid enrolled.

I’ve had a local banker essentially verify the basics of a tale I’d heard about a superstar’s mom who wanted assurances that a member of her son’s posse would “be taken care of.” The kid went elsewhere to great success. The school around here who lost him could have really used him.

It’s everywhere. It’s everywhere.

Bruce Pearl isn’t alone. He just got nabbed by his duplicity. And was stupid enough to allow photos to be taken.

Coach Cal isn’t alone. He’s just mastered the art. And knows how to don that Teflon blazer. At least so far.

Brandon Jennings — you know, the guard who eschewed college, played in Europe, then came back and had a stellar rookie season — says he didn’t even get a tryout with the US national hoops team, because, well, he had the audacity to take Under ArmourĀ®’s moolah instead of Phil Knight’s.

Implies he, he was shut out by Nike. Coach K is a Nike guy. Nine of the ballers who made the championship team are Nike guys. Well, you get the photo.

The shoe companies are part of it. The AAU coaches are part of it. The college coaches are part of it. Even the holier than thou ones, who, frankly, are the most duplicitous.

Which brings us to this question, the most salient of them all. Are the Cards going to get Quincy Miller?

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. cbcard
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    The way things are going if we do get him somehow he won’t be eligible.

  2. kevin
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    One of the thigs that upsetbout Ky sports writers is the “hands off” approach of the golden boy in Louisville. Pitino is a cheater from long days ago…he was cheating back in his Ky days and everyone knew it. Everyone makes Calipari out to be the evil one but 70 miles away is Don Juan.

  3. Paul
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Most fans could give a farthing on how the kids show up on campus as long as the team does several things…

    1) Beat the in-state or other rival.

    2) Make it to the post season bash

    3) See (1)

    4) See (2)

    If righteousness and piety is what you’re looking for in a program…the season tickets for Bellarmine basketball are fairly inexpensive.

    Calipari is slime. So is Pitino. Add Crean and Pearl to the mix. Simmer slightly till ready and serve with ESPN Top 20 garnish and McDonald’s All Star game dressing.

    Serves a fervent fan base.

    And someone will blow a gasket after reading this. These guys aren’t underpaid social workers. Or, as a Memphis fan mentioned to me several years back…

    “Neither Louisville or Memphis has basketball coaches. But we both have a couple of excellent Italian salesmen.”

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