Uh-oh. Anytime you start throwing around accusations like THAT, you'd better have some airtight, courtroom-type proof. A real smoking gun. The controversy in this case surrounds Anthony Davis, a player that's emerged out of nowhere to become the most sought-after recruit in America. But worth $200,000? From the Chicago Sun-Times:
According to a reliable source, Davis will choose Kentucky. The Kentucky-based blog "Nation of Blue" has reported that two unnamed sources are also claiming Davis has chosen Kentucky. The rumors/sources that have Davis choosing Kentucky are also alleging that the commitment cost $200,000. Davis Sr. has flat out denied everything.
THAT is the airtight, courtroom-type smoking gun? The reliable source that's only "reliable" because the Chicago Sun-Times says so? This will not end well for anyone involved.
And of course, cue the outrage from fellow college basketball journalists:
Once upon a time, there was this thing called journalism ... If someone had actual proof a high school recruit had been bought, wouldn't that reporter want to place said info in the first few graffs? - Mike Decourcy
You can't just throw out rumors and accusations without any facts. If that were the case, I'd be writing them all day long. My guess is that part of the Chicago Sun-Times story will be removed within the hour. - Jeff Goodman
And they raise a good point. As journalists, you can't just print what you hear, especially in a field where false rumors run rampant, and smear campaigns happen every hour on the hour. It's unethical, but moreso, it's incompetent. Chances are, if you've only got one source and he's putting an exact dollar amount on it (like $200,000), that source is lying and/or has an agenda of his own.
As for Anthony Davis, it's hard to believe that he's gone from complete unknown in April to a full-fledged power broker in college basketball, demanding six figures in exchange for his signature. It's not impossible, but as far as handouts go, it's usually the superstar that's been famous since 7th grade and travels with an entourage that has the gall to demand a signing bonus. Anthony Davis doesn't seem to fit that stereotype.
But whether he took money or not is beside the point. Some kids definitely took money this summer, just like they do every summer in college sports, and just like they always will. Which brings me back to the point about journalistic ethics raised by Goodman and Decourcy.
It's fine for them to question the report's accuracy, but spare me the sanctimony.
These are guys that have dedicated their life's work to covering college basketball, and they should know better than anyone that this stuff goes on all the time, and it's entirely possible that Anthony Davis DID take $200,000. If they want to talk about preserving the lofty ideals of journalism, then fine. Goodman says he could "write all day long" about the accusations he hears. Well how 'bout investigating some of those accusations, and not stopping until you expose the NCAA for the complete farce that it absolutely is.
Even if Anthony Davis took nothing, the corruption in college basketball is real and it's more universal than anyone would care to admit. And if you ask me, the big-name journalists that hear this stuff but do nothing, year after year, are doing more of a disservice than an anonymous reporter who published a rumor by mistake.
And as for the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jonas Brothers advertising all over their website was by far the most offensive aspect of their coverage here: