In the past 24 hours, the family of Anthony Davis has been subjected to an all out attack on their credibility based on nothing more than unnamed sources who supposedly "heard rumors". While rumors like these are commonly floated by "friends" of rival programs, it's unprecedented that a national media entity like the Chicago Sun Times would runs this sort of story.
The predictable part is the inclusion of the University of Kentucky and John Calipari into the storyline. The forces behind this "story" clearly intend to do damage to UK, Calipari and as an added benefit, the recruitment of Anthony Davis. By adding these names to the story, not only do they get another shot at UK/Cal, but they attempt to derail a recruitment of a top UK target. For those looking to harm UK/Cal, this is what you'd call a "win / win".
The truth of the matter is.... if you show me ANY top recruit, I'll find you two or three college programs who are willing to whisper "they cheated to get him" so they can have a valid reason to have FAILED to recruit and sign a top kid. It's the oldest trick in the book, honestly. You don't get a kid, you claim that someone cheated you out of him. It has been that way for decades.
While I've never been one to buy into the "they are out to get us" mentality that some UK supporters believe, this is a totally different animal. There is WAY too much smoke and absolutely zero fire... this is a planted story from the get go.
So, who could possibly be planting such information in the media on the day of the Pitino trial's closing arguments?? Well, let's first look at who it isn't.....
It certainly isn't any of the majority of reporters who came out in print and twitter condemning the Sun Times story as irresponsible journalism at the least and ridiculous journalism at the most. It's not hard to see who the 98% of those guys are and see whose name is conspicuously missing from the list of reporting heavyweights who failed to even utter a peep to denounce the Sun Times. Obviously, if you were the one who planted a story, you wouldn't come out publicly and criticize the writer and publisher of that same story. What did Pat Forde say about the story?
You see, I've heard my own rumors from great sources.... from people who get calls BEFORE stories get printed..... these people knew this sort of story was coming out long before it ran. This is the reason I wrote last week to be prepared for this sort of thing. There is a determined effort from the "friends of Pitino" crowd to cause damage to UK/Cal by floating these sorts of stories. The first strong evidence I got was during the "Eric Bledsoe" story. Pete Thamel was the front, but the story came from the same person who is almost certainly behind this "Davis want's money" story.
The sad part is, I don't think Michael O'Brien knew what he was doing. As Matt Jones posted yesterday, his accusation of cheating was written as an aside.... as if it were a minor point. However, the most telling part of his story was in the way it was so carefully worded as to say everything without saying anything that would leave him open to a lawsuit. This story was handed to O'Brien already written by someone who knew exactly how to do it... someone who has had practice at handing out anti UK/Cal stories that are resistant to lawsuits due to careful wording.
So what am I saying? Who do I believe is behind all these ridiculous stories? The rumor is that Pat Forde is the evil mastermind who is handing out these stories. I heard rumors about him looking for Bledsoe stuff, but when ESPN wouldn't run it, the rumors are he gave it to Pete Thamel, who he worked with at ESPN before Thamel moved on to the New York Times, a paper known to print anything.
The funniest part of this Davis story is how totally unbelievable it is to anyone who really is involved with recruiting in the first place. The days of bags of cash being handed out are gone. IF someone wanted to give improper benefits to a family, it wouldn't be a large cash sum like the 200k that the Sun Times accuses the recruit's father of asking for.
Additionally, does anyone really think John Calipari HAS to cheat? He's the hottest coach at the hottest program in the nation. He got John Wall when Wall's closest advisor was opposed to it. He got Marquis Teague while Teague's high school coach was employed by Rick Pitino (who claims to be opposed to using relationships to get recruits). He got Terrence Jones from the west coast after Jones had an emotional press conference and mistakenly chose Washington in front of the world. John Calipari has the most attractive package in the nation to offer recruits. He has NO NEED to cheat at all. And as everyone here knows, when John Calipari was coaching at Memphis, I always wrote that I never heard a single credible story where Cal was accused of doing something improper. He didn't cheat at Memphis and he certainly doesn't have to cheat at UK.
UPDATE 1: Be prepared to have William Wesley's name brought into this story as the "bag man" who supposedly paid Anthony Davis. I've heard credible rumors that phone calls are being made asking for remarks about this sort of story. The funniest part of this story is that William Wesley has no relationship at all with Anthony Davis or his family. But that's not going to stop this from being the rumor thrown out there to sensationalize the story.
This entire story is a setup designed to get UK/Cal to sue someone. The idea is to get Calipari on the witness stand in a lawsuit and attempt to damage him under cross examination. By bringing William Wesley's name into this fake story, any resulting lawsuit could attempt to depose Wesley as well. I fully expect Wesley to be named at some point in the near future for this very pupose
No doubt this idea was thought up in "less than 15 seconds" by someone who probably understands how a public lawsuit can damage a career. The problem is, Calipari isn't cheating, so there isn't any "smoking lasagna".
UPDATE 2: Now the Sun Times is standing behind the story they pulled down yesterday. They claim to have 3 separate universities that are saying they claim that they were asked for money by Anhony Davis' father. I call BS and I'm sure many others will as well. Not only do I find it hard to believe Mr. Davis ever asked for money, I find it impossible to believe that 3 separate universities would be sources for a story if he had asked for money.
This is further proof that this entire story is designed to do nothing more than create a situation where John Calipari is forced to become involved in a lawsuit. You'd have to wonder if the Sun Times thinks whatever they'd lose in any lawsuit would be minimal compared to the attention they'd get by being involved in a suit by Calipari/UK. Risk vs. reward perhaps?
Anyone reading this story has my full permission to repost this on any message board.