A Possible Fallacy in Equating UCLA's Reign with UK's Current Situation

  • To make comparisons convincing, one needs sufficient similarity of context and dynamics to make deduction, at whatever level of abstraction, valid.

    UCLA rose to power with a team of 4 year guys under 6-6 and with less overall talent than several other programs.

    UK has since Cal’s arrival, boasted sharply more OAD/TAD talent than other teams.

    UCLA’s early champions involved very little recruiting at all.

    UK’s first champion under Cal involved heavily systematized recruiting.

    After two rings, when Sam Gilbert entered the UCLA scene and reputedly began helping UCLA recruit via reputedly illegal assistance to players, there has never been one shred of evidence indicating that Gilbert did anything but bring UCLA up to the level of illegal recruiting assistance already long found at most of the elite and major programs of the time.

    UK and its advocates boast of many legal resources being applied much more intelligently by UK to achieve UK’s extraordinary recruiting classes that is reputedly not being done at other elite programs.

    UCLA competed during the age of the Converse basketball shoe monopoly in college basketball. There was to the best of my recollection no other shoe maker supplying shoes to teams until very near the end of Wooden’s tenure. Converse offered no huge endorsement contracts to coaches, or schools, that I recall either.

    UK competes during an age of a Nike dominated shore/apparel producer oligopoly of Nike, adidas and Under Armour with endorsement/marketing agreements in the millions to tens of millions of dollars with schools and coaches and with OAD/TAD players receiving multimillion dollar endorsement contracts within a year to two years of signing with UK.

    Perhaps most importantly of all, UCLA won 10 rings in 11 years with rarely more than 2-3 players turning pro and 4 of those 10 seasons having equal, or inferior, talent to the elite programs in the country.

    Conversely, UK has so far only won 1 ring competing with talent generally equal to, or sometimes sharply superior to other elite programs.

    All of the above makes me doubt what insight can be gained in comparing Wooden’s ten year ring dominance with what UK has done so far, and what UK is likely to do.

    IMHO, and somewhat ironically, as UK seems to be operating in an era of larger scale talent concentrations, and effectively unprecedented Big Shoe-Agency-TV-gaming revenue inputs into the process, that what seems to be happening, based on the early results of UK operating with sharply rising and increasingly asymmetric talent advantages that, the importance of actually winning rings is diminishing. UCLA with a few dominant players–Alcindor and Walton, completely dominated the championship process for 6 years. UK with its steadily increasing stream of superior talent can only win one ring…so far. Without putting too fine of a point on it, showcasing, rather than winning rings, increasingly seems to be the function of UK basketball. And this makes some anecdotal sense. If the bulk of the incentives of college basketball lie increasingly just 12 to 24 months ahead for a team of 9-10 OAD/TADs, and winning a ring does not sharply alter the NBA contract size, or the Big Shoe endorsement size, what really matters most is getting the most season long branding and promoting exposure on TV for a 40 game season. Winning a ring would be nice, but it is hardly crucial, for a team with 10 OAD/TADs at all to accomplish the branding sought by the Big Shoe-Agency-NBA complex. But getting to the Final Four, and preferably the Finals is pretty important because it implies a lot of additional hours of prime exposure in media.

    And if one were a shoeco legally supplying talent to, say, 3-4 elites, all that would really be important would be that that all four reach the Final Four, and after that it wouldn’t matter a whit which one won the ring.

    Or so it seems.

  • IMHO, anyone who thinks that Sam Gilbert did not help UCLA get their titles is doing the same thing John Wooden did, willfully look the other way and ignore what was in front of him. This is in no way a criticism of Wooden, the coach, who in many ways revolutionizes the sport, but Wooden the program’s de-facto head who allowed these excesses to happen during his tenure and under his nose. Even Wooden himself, belatedly and half-heatedly said: "Maybe I had tunnels vision."

    "Gilbert’s influence ultimately helped land UCLA basketball on NCAA probation. In December 1981, UCLA was cited for nine infractions and received two years’ probation, which included a one-year NCAA tournament ban and an order to vacate its 1980 NCAA national title game appearance against Louisville."

    So much for reputedly and no shred of evidence…and this was only for the time after Wooden left. There were a large number of violations from the Wooden era that the NCAA willfully ignored because too much time had elapsed, much like it did some of the most egregious violations at UK. You don’t have to believe one word I write, check the NCAA records or Google Sam Gilbert and you will find all the unsavory details that had been largely kept quiet to protects the legacy of the Wizard of Westwood.

    Please don’t shoot the messenger; look it up and draw your own conclusions. I don’t want to get drawn into protracted discussion about an issue that is not even KU related, so In the spirit of Christmas, this is my last post on the subject.

  • Anyone that expects to be taken seriously claiming that Gilbert did more illegally for UCLA than what was being done at several major programs of the time, simply has no choice but to document that MORE was being done. It is so simple to do, if one has the evidence.

    Just type it.

    Everyone fan of every other elite program wants to read it.

    Pleeeeeeease type it.

    Next, it doesn’t matter a whit when someone shoots messenger a messenger with all the facts already typed down. If the truth is out in black and white on the screen, then the messenger can be shot repeatedly and the evidence stands irrefutably.

    But of course, anyone can see that there is no sign of messenger shooting going on in this thread, so its kind of an irrelevant rhetorical point.

    Next, anyone that claims Gilbert at UCLA was doing more illegally for UCLA than what was being done at several other major programs of the time, also has to square this claim with all the evidence documented in other books indicating that corruption during recruiting and during enrollment was widespread throughout the Gilbert boostering UCLA era.

    Anyone should read “College Sports, Inc.” (1990) by Murray Sperber, because it is a superbly documented account of the scale, breadth, and long duration of recruiting corruption and will likely lead one to a conclusion that what went on at UCLA was the tip of an ice berg called college basketball sports corruption. Sperber made it shockingly clear how widespread corruption was in college basketball and football of the era.

    And no amount of reducing the discussion to Gilbert and UCLA to taint UCLA’s run of rings can change this. For if one wishes to say that UCLA could not have won those rings without Gilbert’s improper activities, then one is similarly stuck saying that, at the very least, many of those that won rings before UCLA’s run only won them because of their boosters’ inappropriate activities, and after the Gilbert-UCLA era also. North Carolina State and Norm Sloan interrupted UCLA’s streak and they reputedly had recruiting improprieties. And think of all of the runners up to UCLA over the years. Quite a few of them probably did not get to where they got without improper booster activity, at least of “College Sports, Inc.” was accurate.

    The apparent situation of that time, until someone produces irrefutable evidence to the contrary, was that many, if not most programs were cheating like hell, Wooden eventually went along, wittingly, or unwittingly (and it really doesn’t matter which for he was responsible either way), and kicked everyone’s asses on a frankly pretty level playing field of cheating. And that’s what really irks so many persons. It sure used to irk me.

    But anyone that can produce irrefutable evidence to the contrary of this summary of the time should do so immediately and should expect my warmest thanks and gratitude for doing so.


    Because I used to love believing that UCLA was cheating way worse than everyone else and that that was the only reason Wooden and UCLA won all those titles.

    It was so easy to believe that.

    It meant college basketball was not pervasively, structurally corrupt–only Gilbert and UCLA were.

    But books like Sperber’s took that naive fantasy away from me.

    Anyone that can give me that naive fantasy back to me at this late date, please do.

    Quick! Document Gilbert and UCLA were cheating way worse than many other programs during Wooden’s ring run, and then again during the rest of the 70s and the 80s.

    Anyone doesn’t have to even address the 1990s, naught decade and our current teen decade.

    Just document for me that Gilbert and UCLA were cheating way worse than others in the 1960s.

    No one’s done it yet.

    I’m beginning to worry that no one ever will.

    Jesus, anyone out there, please do it quickly.

    I haven’t got forever on this mortal coil.

    Document how fantastically much more Gilbert and UCLA cheated than many other top programs of the time.

    Please, do it.

    Right now.

    I am so wanting my fantasy back.

    Restore it.

    Pretty please with sugar on top.

    Just type all the evidence that Gilbert and UCLA were cheating worse than the other major programs.

    Do it.

    Do it.


    Rock Chalk!!!

  • Banned

    I can’t say one way or the other. Is Coach Cal cheating? Did the Wizard cheat? I’m guessing not. Don’t get me wrong I would love UK to get the death penalty but I’m not even so sure the school is cheating. Let me put it this way, if HCBS got a 5 oad’s next year would we consider him cheating?

    I can’t speak for what happened in the era of UCLA dominance. I just wasn’t really there and really don’t know enough to point a finger.

    I really believe @jaybate-1.0 is on to something with the whole shoe wars theory. When I first stumbled onto this this theory I thought it was kind of funny, yet interesting. So I began to research it, to keep an eye open to it. I would take it a step further and say the shoe wars effect the NBA game as well.

    I’ll make two points. Anybody can rebuttal if they wish.

    1. Maybe I wrong but it seems to me most Jayhawks gifted enough to make it to the NBA sign shoe deals with adidas. This assumption being made under HCBS kids.

    2. I’m not so sure Wiggins getting forced out of Cleveland wasn’t an act of war by Nike. Just saying.

    In this regard @jaybate-1.0 has me sold on the whole shoe war theory.

  • @JayHawkFanToo @jaybate-1.0

    Anyone that starts their post with “Anyone that…” Come on guys! 🎅 👀

  • @approxinfinity

    Sorry @approxinfinity. I simply posted information that is widely available, included a link, encouraged members to do their own research, draw their own conclusions and clearly indicated I would not post on the thread again precisely to avoid protracted “discussions.” I am writing this post in deference to you, the forum owner and administrator.

    🎅 Merry Christmas!!!

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You often challenge people in here, including myself, and I really appreciate that! We all need to be challenged, and it ends up creating better posts to follow when people are challenged. Keep it up!

    We do need to maintain a civil form of decorum, but we do that. What we don’t want to do is fall into too deep of politeness and shy away from challenges.

    Everyone in here has a common thread… Jayhawk basketball. I can’t think of a single poster in here that I would challenge on their commitment to being a Jayhawk!

    Keep it up, great Jayhawk fans!

  • @drgnslayr @JayHawkFanToo Alright guys, I don’t want to take a step back when it seems we righted the ship on the previous blow up. I believe attempting to isolate groups of people based upon a shared specific belief can easily be construed as divisive. Instead of identifying "anyone that thinks that… " etc, as if the belief described is a character flaw, we should be talking specifically about the merits of the idea. “The idea that … blah blah… doesn’t add up” etc.

    Also, goading someone to action ex. “Do it. Do it. Now” seems to me incendiary.

    I appreciate passion and challenging one another, and if you guys can stay civil then I can stay out of it.

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