Sampson, Pearl: Shameless Recruiting Violators 2.0

  • Houston could have hired a good, honest coach.

    Auburn could have hired a good honest coach.

    But instead both schools hired guys that have had to cheat egregiously just to get to 20 wins and a low seed in March.

    New low in college hoops.

    Think how many great young and old coaches–right way coaches–got passed over for these documented wrong way mediocrities.

    Notice Tom Crean rebuilt Indiana without cheating.

    Notice Tennessee doesn’t have any joy ride packing heat arrests without Bruce around.

    What is next at Auburn and Houston?

    Hiring agent runners as directors of compliance? How about busting some ENRON execs out of the joint to handle financing?

    Auburn and Houston = jokes.

    Which SHOECO will sponsor these two?

    Someone call George Raveling.


    P.S.: decided to change the title of this post out of respect to sex workers.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Both of those guys are liars, which is the crux of the problem. Both of their infractions were pretty silly rule violations, but it comes back to knowingly breaking rules, lying to cover it up, and then blaming the rules as being the cause of their failure in integrity. Pearl and Sampson apologists will point towards the silliness of the rules ( I think Sampson’s violation for texting is no longer a rule), but there has to be a person in charge willing to follow a silly rule, simply because it is a rule.

  • The irony about Pearle is that he ratted out Deon Thomas of Illinois in 1988-90 timeframe by turning over the taping of a recruit/ coach conversation offering benjamins to play there.

    Vitale was quoted saying “He committed coaching suicide” at the time.-that’s a good one, ESPN hired him almost on the spot after Tennessee nailed him for lying about the Aaron Craft recruitment. Hey, now there’s a guy you can trust to mentor your children !!

    While even most felons deserve a second chance, and I’m all for these two getting one also, they should not be directly handed over the reins to a D-1 program without a few years prior at a JC or D 2 school. That is like giving a kid the keys to a new Mercedes when he gets his learners permit. When I got my first Chuck Taylors, I was learning how to put brakes on a 54 Dodge Royal that had set in the pasture for several years. A few accidents & tickets later, I became a responsible driver without a violation for over 30 years.

    Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  • What these 2 & countless other people never do understand, is that If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

  • I wish they would have hired Seth Greenberg so I didn’t have to listen to his commentary on ESPN anymore. Then I’d only have to listen to him whine about barely missing the tournament in March.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    “How about busting some ENRON execs out of the joint to handle financing?”

    Love it! A+!

  • Funny to hear the name Bruce Pearl because he attends the church where my wife’s cousin is the pastor. Just one week ago, I spoke with my uncle in law who was at a wedding at that church and knows Bruce, and speaks glowingly about him. I’ve never had any positive vibes about him until that conversation, and that goes all the way back to his Iowa asst. days when he snitched on Illinois! I do agree though, not sure why schools would take chances on guys like this.

  • @wissoxfan83-Most likely not just to be nice-instead to get W’s. While 2nd chances are needed, I’m not sure a bank or retail business would hire a thief to handle cash. What else could it be other than winning?

  • @globaljaybird Uh, it’s winning. The great elixir.

  • Pearl may not have been a national champion, but he did lead Tennessee to their only #1 ranking in school history. He also took them to their first elite eight and took them to five straight NCAA tournaments, something that had not been done previously at UT.

    Likewise, Sampson’s record at OU is pretty solid. He has the highest winning percentage in school history. He has a Final Four under his belt. He took Washington State to their first NCAA tournament in over a decade.

    They’re both good coaches with some baggage. Auburn and Houston are both struggling programs looking to make some noise. The only way to do that is to either bet on an up and coming coach or roll the dice with someone with a shaky background. How else would Auburn or Houston attract a coach of that caliber?

  • @justanotherfan

    They are solid coaches, when they cheat, or so their encounters with the NCAA suggest.

    But it remains to be seen what they can do the right way, because I for one cannot clearly discern when they were and were not cheating.

    To the best of my recollection, I don’t recall the NCAA telling Kelvin and Bruce, “Hey, guys, you know you were squeaky clean up until you made these two incredibly minor infractions that we overreacted to and gave you 5 years (or whatever it was) out of the game, Kelvin, and gave you Brucie 3 years (or whatever it was) out of the game.” At least I don’t recall them calling both coaches squeakily clean types and that each just made ridiculously minor errors. Or did they? 🙂

    The most interesting thing about both returning at the same time is that it makes me wonder: is there a ShoeCo, or two, in the background?

    It will be interesting to see if each coach contracts with the same ShoeCo, or a different one.

    It appears neither guy has a prayer of bringing in draft choices, or OADs, to those schools in this day and age, without ShoeCo hep, if my hypothesizin’ were to have any basis in fact.

    Here is a thought experiment.

    If I were adidas trying to catch up to Nike, and feeling all warm and fuzzy about what LB did just appearing to give him one preferred stock player, well, I might sign them both up, especially after the way Self seemed to blow his hypothetical preferred stock in a second round out.

    But if I were Nike, I would hypothetically be VERY disappointed with what Stumpy Miller has done with the hypothetically stacked deck Nike appeared to hand him.

    My guess, hypothetically of course, would be that one, or both of these guys, if they were to sign with Nike, would hypothetically be going to get some of Stumpy’s preferred stock to see if one of them might do better. Of course it is just a wild guess of a hypothesis. I have no insider info.

    Stumpy appeared to me to have the most talent in the country last season. Even UK, which hypothetically speaking, Nike appeared to give a straight flush to did not have Stumpy’s hypothetical Royal Flush. That was two straight years of Stumpy gagging on hypothetically preferred stock recruits, if the hypothesis were to hold water.

    One can almost hear Sampson and Pearl being asked by the Cigarette Smoking Man, now out of the deep state/alien complex stuff and into deep sports puffing and saying: “If we load you up, can you at least get to the Finals? Oh,did I tell you both that your families are being kept in flying saucers in stationary orbit? Ah, so I did. Anyway, Auburn and Houston are out of the spotlight. Just do what you have to do. Mulder and Sculley are still asking the wrong questions, so we don’t have to worry about their answers. And we don’t have to worry about Thomas Pynchon’s either. You’re under the radar–both of you. Get it done. What the hell! If anyone gets onto you, Bruce, down at Auburn, we’ll call in some IOUs from some crazy Austrians down at the Ludwig von MIses Institute. And down in Houston? Kelvin, we can always call the Fair Play for Cuba folks to pay a visit from New Orleans. I hear David Ferrie is still willing to work with the new face and identity we gave him. He’s old, but he runs a strip joint down in Brownsville that keeps his blood pumping.” 🙂

    I know, I know, I’m just having some fun here. There’s nothing sinister going on. This is just D1.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    It seems not JUST about winning.

    It seems more about winning FOR THE SHOE MAN.

    I suspect the Chancellors, ADs and alums aren’t putting any pressure on the coaches at the Elite Schools. Those schools are winning so regularly that they keep the arenas full and the TV contracts are fixed. The only player at the table that needs to do better than that is the SHOE MAN.

    SHOE MAN’s gotta win!

    Ain’t no other way to sell shoes, or sparkle the brand, of Superstar A, if he goes out second round. Ain’t no branding haps there. Ain’t nobody buyin’ no shoes of Sir Hypealot parked at 30’ protectin’ the merchandize cuz the team can’t bring rain in the finals. Gotta protect the merchandize, if you ain’t gonna win nuthin’. But that ain’t good enough uh outcome to keep stacking’ a coach with preferred player stock.

    I suspect the pressure now all comes from the ShoeCos, but that’s just a hypothesis.

    Think about just how rotten adidas might feel about how poorly KU did with Wiggins, Embiid and Selden in the Madness. adidas has to be asking themselves: would Wiggins, Embiid and Selden have done better with Pitino? Slick Rick got 'em a ring the year before. Imagine what Slick would have done last season, if KU three of a kind had been channelled to Slick’deville to go with what he already had.

    IMHO Self is probably under XTReme pressure to make the Final Four this season. One more flame out with ShoeCo preferred stock and there might not be anymore ShoeCo preferred player stock. Self will be back to busting his tail for 3-4 year players and sloppy seconds on imploding programs.

    I mentioned below that I suspect Stumpy Miller is probably on an even hotter seat. Whew! that team of his appeared to be stacked the last two seasons with guys a newbie from Xavier sure as heck wouldn’t attract to Aridzona without some hep, if’n ya catch mah drift here.

    And for what its worth, John Calipari probably does not have a ShoeCo Preferred Card indefinitely either.

    The ShoeCos appear to be in a very, very high stakes game.

    If they are stacking teams, as I hypothesize, they sure as heck are not going to look kindly on guys squandering gift sets of 3-5 first rounders in second round disappearances, like Self did, or even pretty deep, like Stumpy did.

    My hypothesis for the reason they would stack two teams each season would to maximize their chances of winning a ring, and knocking out their competitor’s one stacked team. Its not just about getting two stacked teams to the Final Four. Its about winning the Finals.

    Just win, baby!

  • @jaybate 1.0

    I’m all eyes and ears for your words on the ShoeCos…

    Guess in the past, I lived in denial because I didn’t want to believe it. But I’m there with you now.

    I wonder how much of the pressure is on the coaches versus the players? Self could only bring them to the tournament… but the players had to go out and win. A coach can only do so much.

    Isn’t the pressure on Wiggins and Embiid now?

    I can’t imagine what the pressure must be like on these kids. When I was 19 my only worries were beer and girls.

  • @jaybate JayBeeeee you’ve got some splaining to do!

    You know I love you, right? And I’m with you about 98% of the time…but this is where we diverge…if only slightly…still with love and definitely no malice!

    You’re saying Adidas told/swayed/influenced/encouraged Wiggs and Beed to come to KU?

    And now they’re pros and will be wearing Adidas?

  • @VailHawk

    Luv tuh splain tuh ewe, Vail.

    No, NOT saying it is so. I am HYPOTHESIZING AND WONDERING COULD IT BE SO; that it seems counterintuitive for talent to CLUMP this way at certain schools without something beyond a coach’s winning smile, an assistant’s text messages and some tradition making the clumping happen, sometimes, but not others. Darnedest thing, don’t you agree?

    I mean, if a coach’s smile, an assistant coach’s text messages, and some tradition were all it took to make it rain clumps of draft choices, well, then a whole bunch of schools ought to get clumps of draft choices, and a whole bunch more ought not even get, oh, I don’t know, even one draft choice, should they?

    Maybe ewe got some splainin’ tuh do, too!

    I is all ears and uh seekin’ tuh larn me something here, as always.

  • @drgnslayr

    I’m still just in the hypothesizin’ mode about all of this stuff. I’m just not smart enough to figure it all out.

    Likewise, I’m not smart enough to figure out the ins and outs of who might, or might not, be feelin’ pressure, beyond taking a wild guess at suspecting coaches may feel some, if the hypothesis were to prove to have any basis in fact.

    Again, I’m just trying’ to understand all of this stuff, as a fan. I’m not judging anyone, except maybe Auburn and Houston for passing over so many coaches old and young that have not had to sit out of D1, because the NCAA made a finding and kept them out.

    I know. It could be that these two men are men of exceptional character despite being asked to leave the game for infractions. And I hope they are. But, dang, it sure seems like they got their shots and maybe now its time for some young guy without a record of infractions to get his shot.

    Here is the cascade that always gets me wondering about things and occasionally making hypotheses to try to understand what may be going on.

    1. In high school ShoeCos sponsor summer game teams.

    2. In D1, ShoeCos sponsor schools and coaches.

    3. After D1, ShoeCos sign certain players as they leave D1 for the pros to endorsement contracts.

    This makes me wonder if there really are fully effective firewalls separating each of these steps?

    But as always, I remain just a fan wondering.

    And I remain a fan that has read “College Sports, Inc.” by Murray Sperber, and “Raw Recruits” by Alexander Wolff and Armen Keteyian, and “Sole Influence” by Dan Wetzel and Don Yaeger, and wonder have things ever really been cleaned up?

    One thing for sure: I hope the kids are not under the kind of pressure you are concerned about. But I have learned not to ignore your concerns over the years, either.

  • @jaybate

    Have you read “Play their hearts out?” Interesting read on AAU hoops.

    I definitely don’t want to be naive and/or blind to these possibilities…but I just want to believe we run a squeaky clean program in all aspects.

    By all means keep up your assault on Stumpy, tho!

    And do we know if WWW is staying in the Squids’ pool house this summer?

  • @VailHawk

    Not yet. Is ithe book a corruption expose or a positive cockle warmer?

    Here is the kind of book I am looking for: a book that tells the story of how D1 hoops was cleaned up after the three books on corruption I listed above were written.

    I am also looking for a book that tells the story of how the coaching code that Jud Heathcoate mentioned in one of the above mentioned books–the code wherein young assistant coaches were intentionally compromised, so they would uphold the code of never ratting out their fellow coaches–is no longer in place.

    Next, I’m looking for a book that refutes even most of the allegations of cheating made by Bob Knight over the years.

    Regarding KU, I suspect Self runs a clean program relative to most programs.

    Regarding SHOECOs influence, I doubt anything going on is illegal. I doubt rules have ever been written that prohibit what goes on. I am just trying to figure what goes so as to understand if some rules ought to be written.

    Regarding Stumpy Miller, assault seems an inappropriate word choice on your part. I just wonder how a coach from a mid major that moves to an Arizona program in disarray can rapidly beat proven coaches at elite programs out of so much talent. Zona’s team was filled with guys all of the elite teams tried hard to sign.

    It is not assault to question means of recruiting, nor is opining that he doesn’t seem to coach it all that well.

    But maybe you just meant assault as a colorful term.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @VailHawk When you wallow with the pigs, expect to get dirty.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Always drink upstream from the rest of the herd.

  • Interesting topic to “kick” around. Would hate to run “rough shod” over this ShoeCo. idea. Maybe its gaining “traction”. Maybe some schools are trying to “stomp” it out as a factor…

    I did see Andrew Wiggins photo for his vertical jump, wearing old-school AirJordans…

    Where I would say Adidas has succeeded, is making themselves an acceptably cool shoe choice for the common kid who buys shoes and plays basketball in them, or even wears the basketball shoes as simply daily style-wear, as MJ-shoes ultimately became. I play ball with plenty of 18-28yr old guys that wear adidas, as well as Nike and UArmour brands. I still wear MJ’s from back in the era they were really good basketball shoes (the XII’s, and the Jordan ProStrong), along with my KU shorts. The Adidas Adizero Shadow (as worn by Thomas Robinson) was an exceptionally cool shoe in KU colors. The Crazylights, not so much, and had grip issues (witness all those times Tyshawn Taylor would slip and fall…I absolutely knew it was the shoes, it happened repeatedly to me on change-of-direction type of plays, had the exact same blue pair.)

    Favorite KU shoes ever were the FrenchBlue/white JordanXIIs and JordanXIIIs worn by Keith Langford and Aaron Miles in 2003, 2004. Baller!

  • Mention was made of Arizona’s stacked team. They get bounced out of the Tourney…and another fact that drew negative attention to them was Aaron Gordon’s absolutely laffable FT%. Yep, in the 40’s%. HackaGordon should be in full effect, 100% of the time, using some hack off the bench…thus allowing Gordon to unwittingly put his bad “footprint” on the game. Ooops, was that an Adidas footprint or a Nike footprint that caused Arizona to go down in flames? Or do we throw the stinky sneakers at Stumpy Miller…for allowing such to happen? Gordon shouldnt have been allowed to sleep or eat until he was hitting over 60% FTs. Would have taken a day or two…Too funny!

  • @VailHawk

    "You’re saying Adidas told/swayed/influenced/encouraged Wiggs and Beed to come to KU? "

    Let’s just call it “influence.”

    First… these are kids in HS and they can change their minds on a dime or take being pushed into something with unpredictable reactions.

    But… we’ve seen the people who do often influence players… HS coaches… AAU coaches… etc… and why wouldn’t these people be manicured by ShoeCos? It’s almost ridiculous to think that they would be left alone.

    With shoe contracts now reaching and passing $100 million it becomes obvious how important it is to influence players as early as possible. I’m amazed it isn’t even in a lower gutter, like mob controlled. Maybe it is on the east coast, they still have mega influence in everything else.

    Right now, as we go about our blogging and summer vegetable gardens there is a reporter (or wannabe reporter) entrenched somewhere who is gathering insane evidence for a book that will explode this entire topic. You can count on it… you just can’t predict when that book will hit the shelves and media outlets.

  • I have red flags on Stumpy Miller’s recruiting. What has he done to project himself as a top recruiter?

    He’s not exactly the new kid on the block. He’s been in coaching for quite some time and he’s never made it to the FF. He hasn’t revolutionized anything in coaching. He doesn’t have a record of developing lower ranked players into NBA players. What exactly has he done?

    His Wiki page is tiny, smaller even than Honey Boo Boo!

    I’ve always seen him as a “Calipari Lite.”

  • @drgnslayr

    “What has he done to project himself as a top recruiter?”

    This is the essence of it.

    I have thought about Self at Illini in comparison with Stumpy at Arizona.

    Kruger had turned Illinois around. He had solid Chicago talent. Self came in after an Elite Eight at Tulsa and basically had Kruger’s blessing and kept Kruger’s recruiter. Self got a bunch of very good Chicago talent shortly, which is what a new coach building off a rising program and retaining the previous coach’s recruiter at Illinois is supposed to do.

    Now think about Stumpy. He leads Xavier to the Dance, but not an Elite Eight, as I recall. He gets hired by Arizona, which was good under Lute Olson, but fell apart as Lute left the program. It was struggling. Interim coach problems. Replacement coach problems. Program seemed in disarray. Not sure what went on there. Enter Stumpy, who has not recruited Arizona, which doesn’t produce much talent, or SoCal, which produces a significant amount of the players Lute used to play and win with. Suddenly Stumpy is drawing them in from all over and beating long established coaches with rings at more prestigious programs not in disarray for talent.

    How does this happen?

  • @drgnslayr I “favourited” your last post to get your reputation back equal w your posts!

    @jaybate. The book is probably more in line w the others as it shows how the shoecos started pumping $ into AAU ball thru camps and directly to the coaches. One coach in particular started making loads of cash and became a prostitute for the kids just trying to get them exposure and a high ranking at the cost of teaching them how to PLAY basketball (ie: defense!).

    @jaybate. It’s funny you keyed in on “assault”…I changed my mind a few times on that word…thought you would like it bc of your keen military mind!

  • @jaybate 1.0

    I don’t get the hatred for Coach Miller. In his three years as Assistant HC at Xavier they went to the to the NCAA 3 times:

    NCAA 2nd round

    NCAA 2nd round

    NCAA Elite 8

    In his four years as Head Coach at Xavier Coach Miller took them to the NCAA 4 times:

    NCAA 1st round

    NCAA 2nd round

    NCAA Elite 8

    NCAA Sweet 16

    This is almost identical to the record Bill Self had at Illinois:

    NCAA Elite 8

    NCAA Sweet 16

    NCAA 2nd round

    …and a better record than 98% of coaches in college BBall, and he did it with Xavier, not an Elite program such as KU or Duke or UK or even Illinois. At the time, Miller was considered one of the top up and coming coaches and was chosen by Arizona where he has done rather well.

    His record obviously has made him attractive to top prospects as shown by the highly ranked classes he has brought to Arizona.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I slam Stubby every chance I get. I also slam Coach Rat, the Squid, Daggum it Roy, Nostrils Boeheim, Rick the Italian sausage boy, Billy Donovan wearing his pants up to his chin, and many other coaches. Hatred? Really? I thought we rooted for KU. If Stubby ever coaches KU, then I might reconsider. Until then, he’s the guy with no neck I call Stubby.

  • @KUSTEVE Man. I would LOVE to know your thoughts on Scot Drew of Baylor? Mike Anderson? Frank Haith? Tubby Smith? Thad Matta? Mark Turgeon? Shaka Smart? Gregg Marshall?

  • @ralster Jethro doesn’t hold back!

  • @ralster LOL…Ok, I’ll give it a whirl… Drew- KU’s best friend. Couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper sack.

    Mike Anderson - 40 minutes of slight annoyance

    Frank Haith- Mafia member. Donna Shalala bought his freedom from the criminal enterprise he ran in Miami.

    Tubby- Love the Tubster. Love what he did back when he was at Tulsa. I pull for any guy named Tubby.

    Thad Matta - Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

    Turgeon - No comment ( he’s KU)

    Shaka Smart - I call him the little bastard, actually. He can flat coach, but I haven’t forgiven him for 2009.

    Greg Marshall - goes to Jiffy Lube to get the oil in his hair replaced every 3000 miles. I have dubbed him " the weasel".

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