Monday, May 2, 2011

Ware's UCF Commitment Explained

When high-major recruits commit to mid-major-major colleges, you can't help but scratch your head. The first thing that entered my mind when Kevin Ware announced his decision to attend UCF was, "Damn. Who got their palm greased in that one?" Well, it was apparently Kenneth Caldwell, who is a sketchy character out of Chicago (that through an odd story I'll tell had previously heard of).

The details of this relationship are extremely troubling- especially coming at a time in which scrutiny of these type of arrangements is at an all-time high. I happened upon this character a while back while investigating Ware's twitter thread for any indication of his recruiting status. Just for your information, this story is central to making my point, so I'll fax in my pride and tell you about one of my twitter stalking journeys.

 I noticed some exchanges between Ware and who I thought was Kentavious Caldwell (@kencaldwell2003). On further examination, I found the individual to be "the next guru of chicago hoops. now is the time to follow one of the finest in the game of hoops" and not KCP, so I kind of shook my head and moved on.

When hearing this guy's name for the second time, I perked up and thought, "Hmmm.... I've heard of this guy before." Sure enough it was the mistaken Kentavious character. After going back and examining some of these back and forths between the two, it made a lot of sense.

Apparently Mr. Caldwell has ties to several other current UCF student athletes, including Knights QB DaMarcus Smith and hoopster Michael Chandler, a 6'10 center.  Smith has asked for his release, but was not granted it by George O'Leary and is filing an appeal with the NCAA. Here are some comments on the matter from the Knights head coach (just another good op to get a jab in at the former Nerd boss):

"He really wanted to go to Louisville," O'Leary told ESPN.com. "I said, 'Well, you shouldn't have signed the document.' Every time he was here, he was fine. He said, 'Coach, I'm all UCF.' Every time he went back to Louisville, I think there was a lot of pressure from a lot of people." Pat Forde, ESPN.com

The New York Times has a really good article on this situation, as they did the hard work and broke the story. Some of the things documented in that story were unbelievable- especially the conference call portion. 

The whole point of my prior story is to illustrate a point (pardon the yelling)- IF I CAN TELL SOME DIRTBAG IS ATTACHING THEMSELVES TO A RECRUIT, WHY CAN'T THE NCAA DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT OBVIOUS ABUSE?!!?! 

Adding to the cache of dumbassery surrounding the NCAA, this is another glaring hole that they make no attempt to fill. They only punish the school, and by punish we mean, vacate some wins, add indirect pressure to suspend the coach for the first 4 conference games and tack on a little fine, and take away a couple scholarships. The bottom line is, no one is scared. Just cheat until you get caught.

What gets lost in all of this is the prospective student athlete. Everyone gets so caught up in punishing the people who commit the infractions, but never consider what this does to an 18-year old. Just because of that simple fact, this whole system needs a big change. When you have college coaches listening in on what a family thinks to be a private conversation, there is a huge problem. And I'm not talking about the legality of doing that; I'm talking about the basic human principal of decency versus the appeal of exploiting a kid for an extra dollar. 

It's messed up.

1 comment:

  1. The NCAA simply must vacate UCF's 2010 Libery Bowl win. That's the only thing that would remotely make things right!

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