Whoopsie Daisy …

We are way behind on updating. Facts:

1) Work/school have actually been relevant for the past couple days. Not good, just relevant.

2) Nothing is happening in the sports world except stupid follow ups on Jay Cutler, all of which mean nothing, and allegations that UConn had a recruiting violation. Duh, it’s fucking Jim Calhoun, he’s the second dirtiest coach in basketball (#1: John Calipari). Also, he’s the most highly paid state employee in Connecticut, and doesn’t want you to forget it. Seriously, everyone knows Calhoun, Calipari, Pete Carroll, Jim Tressel, and their ilk commit recruiting violations; it’s just a question of who gets caught. I know this was more serious, but trivialities like calling a player more than once a month his junior year is a violation. I bet there are rules about Facebook by this point.  It’s not about the rules, it’s about the “fairness” … and fairness doesn’t exist in the current state of recruiting today.

3) We will probably be liveblogging the Duke game tomorrow night. Liveblogging is basically the coolest thing on the internet, at least it was until Twitter was invented. Maybe we’ll live-twit the game.

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4 Responses to Whoopsie Daisy …

  1. matt says:

    “Seriously, every coach commits recruiting violations; it’s just a question of who gets caught. Calling a player more than once a month his junior year is a violation.”

    Waaaaait a second. I know this news just broke and therefore asking for a reasonable blog post on it is a bit much, but the UConn violation is not simply a matter of bad luck, as you seem to imply. No, “everyone” does not knowingly use a former student manager to pay for everything in a recruit’s life for a few years before they even step foot on campus (not to mention Rip Hamilton accusing said former team manager of stealing over [!] a million dollars from him over two years of employment). Nor does “everyone” KNOW about such an extraordinary violation (as the UConn staff has admitted to knowing) and look the other way while it occurs.

    It’s one thing to send one text too many; UConn’s alleged violation is not just different in quantity but in quality from that forgivable hypothetical. I don’t feel I need to argue further on that point.

    Finally, let’s think for a second about why NCAA violations matter. It’s the same reason steroid use “matters” — the bottom line question has to always be, “Is violating this rule giving one competitor an advantage over another?” That’s why this violation matters. It’s an ABSURDLY huge, and quite open, run-around recruiting rules generally. How can other schools compete with this type of behavior? In contrast, do I mind when Villanova players violate NCAA rules by using school phone cards to make their long distance calls? Not really, unless and until someone shows that ‘Nova coaches knew about it and used it to their advantage in hawking the school to recruits. Do I care when Bill Self “accidentally” waits outside a top recruit’s high school locker room outside of the appropriate recruiting window? A little bit, but only because it appears to give him an advantage in the sport itself if that kid commits to him over others for that reason.

    The point of rules in sports is to have a common starting point and boundaries within which people can compete as hard as possible and be rewarded for superior effort and skill (combined with chance) at the termination of said competition. If one side violates the rules and boundaries in a way that assures a decisive advantage in the competition, that should matter. Suggesting that this is equivalent to what every coaching staff has surely done — sent one too many texts, called twenty minutes before the proper window, mistakenly sent two assistants to an event that allows just one — is not just irresponsible but, more significantly, flatly inaccurate.

  2. mike says:

    I should have clarified and said, “everybody knows that Jim Calhoun violates recruiting rules.” I’ll change my post to reflect this.

    Likewise, I should have mentioned that the reason I don’t care about this is because it will be a non-story ultimately. It confirms what we knew (that Calhoun is dirty, that agents are way too involved in HS and college ball) but won’t affect any final fours or championships, and if the video I linked doesn’t get Calhoun in trouble with the university, I doubt this will do much either. We will get the same shit we do every time: a mea culpa, I didn’t realize the extent of it, and we deserve to have X Y and Z stricken from the record. The only upside is that it could
    a) result in a thorough investigation revealing that every Calhoun player for a decade has been improperly recruited
    b) make him less likely to play dirty in the future

    I think, Matt, you should go read the washington post articles on Gary Williams. There’s a guy who won’t “play the game” that agents, shoe companies, and AAU teams (the latter basically being conduits to the former two) mandate for coaches. Do you really think Michael Beasley wanted to go to K State? Really?

    Still, an excellent response, particularly with the last paragraph. I’m glad you care enough to take that much time out of your busy day.

    I think what’s curious here is that both types of violations seem to have occurred … both those that we consider more run of the mill (too-frequent calls, inappropriate contact from coaches [not the catholic kind of inappropriate contact]), and those that are clearly more nefarious (paying for shit/handing the player to an agent).

    That said, Steriods are not at all like improper recruiting. It’s more like the Yankees and Sox versus the rest of baseball … some places just have more power than the others possibly can, and are playing with a loaded deck. Sort of like the entire SEC + Ohio State + USC in football. I know that “no salary cap” is legal, and recruiting violations arent … but I restate, you should really go read the articles on Gary Williams. Just because certain kinds of imbalances are “legal” doesn’t make them “fair.” I think this boundary needs to be more fully explored in sports.

    I wish someone would address the presence of agents at college basketball games. I wish someone would make the contact rules a little more “track-able.” And I wish people would stop considering coaches like Calhoun and Pete Carroll talented; they have just been getting away with disseminating $$ to players (through intermediaries).

  3. matt says:

    Absolutely right on Calhoun and really good point on steroids.

    I had previously read the Gary articles, and I think he is excusing himself a bit by saying he doesn’t play the game…there is, of course, a middle ground. Rudy Gay and Michael Beasley were bought, pure and simple. Fine, I get Gary being pissed about that and saying he’s above it, and we should applaud that stand. However, the alternative isn’t to completely alienate and ignore all local AAU programs, which I think a lot of Maryland fans are concerned about. You have to deal with AAU coaches; you need not hire them as assistant coaches or buy their brothers SUVs, but you can’t just ignore them totally and try to speak directly to the kids only. If you do, you end up with an overrated South American player taking all of your shots and barely scraping to get a 10 seed.

  4. mike says:

    You are correct sir, Gary could certainly do more; recruiting well is still part of his job, and Greivis is a pimpled twit.

    However, anything that causes UMD fans concern is fine by me.

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