The Josh Selby Hubbub
So a stud basketball player decommits from a team he pledged his eligibility to when he was 16 and reopens the recruiting process. All-in-all, it’s just another day in the world of college basketball recruiting, where the fates of millionaire coaches are decided by the whims of athletically-gifted children. Why is it, then, when John Calipari’s name is mentioned, everybody assumes there’s something underhanded going on?
First a little more detail: The player in question is Josh Selby, an incredibly talented guard who committed to the Tennessee Volunteers last fall. Shortly after a productive stint at LeBron’s infamous camp — I’m guessing Selby didn’t dunk on the King — Selby withdrew his commitment from Bruce Pearl. Again, while disheartening for a coach, these things happen.
However, once you add the name “John Calipari” to the mix, and folks evidently lose their collective minds — or they display an appalling lack of recall. Even big name blogs aren’t immune to throwing some hyperbole around, leading to suggestions of Selby’s decommitment was a move driven and/or orchestrated by the shoe companies (Kentucky is Nike school, Tennessee is adidas) with the idea that Selby’s being pushed towards a Nike school.
Oddly enough, on Selby’s Rivals profile –which has been updated to reflect his change of heart — three adidas-sponsored schools are listed: Tennessee, Louisville and Kansas. And then there are comments like this — courtesy of the same linked post — from Tennessee fans, who apparently have memories that only last one season.
Yep this has been on the Knoxville radio circuit all day today. It’s total BS, and just shows how dirty both college basketball and Calipari are. Enjoy your probation in a few years UK.
I’m curious if those Tennessee fans who feel the same about Selby and Calipari had these same kinds of responses when Bruce Pearl began recruiting Scotty Hopson? You know, the kid that committed to Mississippi State as junior in college but reopened his recruitment during his senior season? Oh, I know, I know. Bruce Pearl doesn’t have World Wide Wes in his back pocket like the Nike schools do… Or something along those lines.
It should be noted, when Calipari signed Derrick Rose — another World Wide Wes “protege” — Memphis was still an adidas school (look at the shoes in question). This couldn’t simply be a case of a kid changing his mind, could it? As long as the names like “Calipari” and “World Wide Wes” are involved, that answer, rightly or wrongly, is a resounding “no.”