Local reaction to report that NCAA is investigating UK basketball players


by Joe Arnold


Posted on July 2, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 2 at 8:22 PM

(WHAS11) - Kentucky college basketball fans are expressing doubts and concerns after TMZ.com reported that the NCAA "is taking an aggressive look at University of Kentucky basketball players" and their relationships with sports agents.

The website attributes the information to "a source who was interviewed by an NCAA investigator."

Both the University and the NCAA declined comment.

Callers to WKRD-AM's "Afternoon Underdogs" show in Louisville were more critical of the website than the program, saying the "paparazzi" only wants to knock down celebrities.  However, the callers were equally critical of sports agents. 

No stranger to controversy and questions about past teams, Kentucky coach John Calipari said last week after five Wildcats were taken in the first round of the NBA draft that he was aware of the NCAA's consternation about "one and done" players who make college cameos to springboard to the pro's.

"All I can say is the rules are the way they are," Calipari said, "We're going to continue to recruit the best and the brightest and we have another young team, We could start as many as five freshmen, (though) I don't believe we will."
The number one pick in the draft was John Wall, who had to sit out two games and pay back just under $800 when the NCAA ruled that wall's former a-a-u coach was still considered an NBA agent during Wall's recruitment. 

Both times Calipari has advanced teams to the final four, with Massachusetts and Memphis, the NCAA has vacated his team's wins. 
Though Calipari, himself, was not implicated, Courier-Journal columnist Eric Crawford suggests that Calipari's friendship with an NBA and NFL insider known as "World Wide Wes" triggers questions.
"His association with William Wesley, people still aren't sure what his role is," Crawford said.  "There's still a lot of questions about what he has.  And when he's sitting behind your bench and he's publicly about what you're doing, I think people naturally have questions and I think that's causing some people to look."