â†µâ‡¥"I met Monday with officials from the Alabama High School Athletic Association regarding issues surrounding the eligibility of Eric Bledsoe during his years as a student in the Birmingham City Schools," Birmingham (Ala.) City Schools Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said in a statement. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"The Birmingham City Schools will conduct an investigation into Eric Bledsoe's grades to ensure that the rules, policies and procedures outlined by the AHSAA were followed. Upon conclusion of the investigation, I will reconvene with the AHSAA." â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µThis might make Kentucky fans collectively sweat a bit, but there's a key point that might make this all much ado about nothing: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"It is going to be going through documents and records," Witherspoon told the newspaper. "More so than interviews with individuals and that type of thing. ... The piece that we will be focused on will be grades and how that relates to AHSAA eligibility. We want to make sure there is supporting documentation for his grades and making sure all the pieces line up." â†µâ†µIf you read the first story, you would see a key piece that's missing, but if you didn't, I'll explain. While the grade issues might have been troubling, much of the commotion from the initial report came as a result of the New York Times report that featured this nugget: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥A college coach who recruited Bledsoe said that [Former Parker coach Maurice] Ford explicitly told his coaching staff that he needed a specific amount of money to let Bledsoe sign with that university. The coach, who did not want to be named out of fear of repercussions when recruiting in Birmingham, said Ford told him and his staff that he was asking for money because he was helping pay rent for Bledsoe and his mother. Ford denied this, saying, “I don’t prostitute my kids.” â†µâ†µ
â†µIf the investigation really only centers on grades and doesn't even touch this other accusation, then I imagine we'll see this whole issue pass quietly. Diving into a deeper investigation might be the kind of thing a school district simply doesn't have the money or resources to tackle. â†µâ†µ
â†µ(H/T to The Bylaw Blog) â†µâ†µ
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