Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Handling the Handlers

With the NCAA revealing its investigation into the alleged violations into Josh Nochimson, who is also under investigation into stealing money from Rip Hamilton, UConn is doing all it can to save face. They cut loose two of their assistant coaches in Pat Sellers and Beau Archibald, and Calhoun put on a press conference where he seemed remorseful but still distanced himself to protect his legacy. There were significant violations and the whole coaching staff knew what the rules are and still violated them. For that there will be a severe punishment.

The sad thing about this whole situation is the recruits involved. Nate Miles was teetering on the edge of eligibility with his transcripts and his living situation. UConn was doing the young man a service of offering him a scholarship. No other school of UConn’s caliber would touch him. He was a huge gamble and one that did not pay off. Majok, another of the recruits that was mentioned being involved in the investigation during the beginning of this fiasco, was another player that was living in a precarious situation. It was much different then the Nate Miles case with nothing negative looming over Ater, but he was a refugee from another country living in Australia. His living situation was turmoil and UConn extended their hand out, waiting through the long process of eligibility.

The problem with these two cases are not necessarily the players but the handlers that are controlling the players. They both are looking at basketball to escape their dire situations and it is these handlers that entice these impressionable youths. College recruiters must go through these shady conduits to deal with recruits and many of these handlers have their own interests at heart. Now, UConn knew the rules to begin with and they are culpable for their actions, but there is a dark underbelly to this story that isn’t being reported.

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