Blog Entry

And so it comes full circle

Posted on: July 31, 2008 5:24 pm

About 10 years ago when I covered ACC basketball for the Charlotte Observer, I wrote about a big-time college basketball recruit who had a circus around him, including his ambitious brother. His recruitment was getting strange. Manipulated. Coaches were constantly trying to figure out who was in charge of the recruitment, but they knew one thing: It wasn't the player himself. He was a pawn. Whose pawn? I never quite figured that out.

The player's name? Dwon Clifton.

Yes, the same Dwon Clifton who just got hired on the staff at Baylor and whose arrival could spur the country's No. 1 recruit from the class of 2009, John Wall, to go to Baylor as well. Wall plays for Clifton and Clifton's still-ambitious brother, Brian, for D-One Sports.

I'm not calling any of this illegal. I'm not even calling it unethical. I happen to like Baylor coach Scott Drew very much. I'm just saying it's difficult to watch the circle of life without suppressing a giggle.


Category: NCAAB
Tags: Baylor

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: August 11, 2009 5:47 pm

And so it comes full circle

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Fulfilling the long-standing dream of a basketball wife and mother, Tennessee coach Wade Houston and son Allan finally will get to be on the same team.

Tennessee announced yesterday it has gotten a ruling from the NCAA that Allan Houston can enroll at Tennessee, play as a freshman and have four years of eligibility.

Allan signed a national letter of intent last fall to play at Louisville, where his father was then an assistant coach. But when Wade Houston was hired by Tennessee in April, Allan appealed to the NCAA for special consideration of the circumstances.

Since: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: August 4, 2008 9:56 pm

And so it comes full circle

This sort of thing is why I am a fan of (so called) mid-major basketball in general, and (for many years) of Davidson in particular.  The kids really are student-athletes.  The coaches actually emphasize that if they don't put the student part first they won't have the athlete part.  I don't follow the pro game, and so I don't care which team or conference feeds the most players to the next level.  I also pay no attention to high school basketball, it is too raw.  The college game gives the right combination of enthusiasm and athleticism.  Deals like this smell too much of hired guns.  Why not just pay the player directly instead of in such an obtuse manner?

Not the point of this article, but for the same reason, I'd like to see the "one and done" rule (whatever its official name is) go away.  If everyone knows the player's ambition is to turn pro let him go.  Forcing him into college for a year serves no good purpose, and is corrupting the college game.  I salute the player who beat the process spending his mandatory one year between High school and the NBA by signing with an Italian pro team.

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2008 7:41 pm

And so it comes full circle

Buczor... you may be right, but I live in Louisville and I am pretty sure Houston never signed anything or verballed anything to U of L. I may be wrong, if so sorry in advance.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2008 4:45 pm

And so it comes full circle

 There's no dithering on this point: this is most definitely unethical.

Can't disagree there. Yes, my team has done it and yes I did not like it. I definitely agree with your sentiments about the separation between your excellent academic institution that the sports machine that bears its name. I feel precisely the same about mine.

The tough part is where the line gets drawn. For example, no question that K-State kept Frank Martin at least in part to keep Beasley. Unethical? Most here would say no. Baylor hires a kid's coach almost certainly to get the kid to sign. Unethical? Most here would say yes. What is the distinction? It's a tough call.

I really thought Drew was above this kind of thing. After what happened under Bliss, I would be very, very cautious if I were Baylor. The NCAA's memory may be selective, but it is exceptional when it chooses to remember...

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: August 2, 2008 10:44 am

And so it comes full circle

Sounds like smart hoops recruiting...If you cant beat'em join'em.

Every sport does this, including High School teams hiring youth league coaches from "loaded" teams.

This is non story!  It happens so much, its no longer worth a giggle!


Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: August 1, 2008 4:56 pm

And so it comes full circle

About 10 years ago when I covered ACC basketball for the Charlotte Observer, I wrote about a big-time college basketball

So nothing illegal happened and you decided to write this blurb so you could get your name out there.  I thought you were going to find out some more about college athletes transgressions, so we could better understand where Penn State fits into the college football world. 

Its time to start writing newsworthy articles Mr. Doyel, your last three were this:  Calling for Joe Paterno to be fired; Talking about arm wrestling with Steve Smith and now, talking about a recruit from 10 years ago.  Please tell me you have more...more in that head of yours than this drivel...more ambition. 

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2008 4:43 pm

And so it comes full circle

Just like UTenn hiring Wade Houston and taking Allan after he'd signed an LOI with Louisville.

After he was an all american and set every UT scoring record possible, he moved on to the NBA, and Wade was fired and never heard from again.

It's the game, play it or get played!

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: August 1, 2008 1:42 pm

And so it comes full circle

Unfortunately it does happen. Just like when Memphis hired Milt Wagner to sway his son DeJuan Wagner to come to Memphis.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: August 1, 2008 10:57 am

And so it comes full circle

There's no dithering on this point: this is most definitely unethical. 

College sports makes men do terrible things -- just pay the athletes already and cut out the middleman, the athletic department, between the players and the boosters who demand winning teams no matter the moral cost.  As an educator and student, I see absolutely no connection whatsoever between (for instance) the great University of North Carolina, my alma mater, and the sleazy sports machine that happens to be on the same campus cranking out one undereducated, pro athlete after another.

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: August 1, 2008 2:01 am

And so it comes full circle

Yeah, as a KU fan, I sort of cringe when I see this stuff. I'm not sure that it isn't unethical. I know it's not illegal, even under the mega-page NCAA handbook. BUT, let him without sin cast the first stone. Well, I'm a KU fan and so I'm not here to cast stones, I can't fault Baylor. Other KU fans shouldn't be too ready to throw rocks either. Remember 2 names, Manning and Chalmers, both Final 4 MOP's and yes, you guessed it, both of their father's were hired as KU coaches. Then guess what, their sons came to play for KU. So, unlike the mystery surrounding the possible pawns, Clifton and Wall, we went to the SOURCE (hey, had to get a Matrix reference in here). It would be nice to hope this stuff didn't and wouldn't happen, but hey, that would be like believing in the Wizard of Oz, or the tooth fairy, or maybe more appropriately ~~ honor among thieves.

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