USA Today college basketball writer Eric Prisbell spent some time yesterday teasing his upcoming story on the influence of AAU coaches and other third parties in the recruiting process. That story dropped this morning, and John Calipari and William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley had cameos toward the end.
The whole thing is worth reading. It comes a day after Central Florida was hit with a postseason ban for recruiting violations and at a time when the NCAA looks like it’ll hit harder when it judges that programs have gone astray.
But it’s the local ties that make this one especially interesting. Former Louisville basketball player Brandon Bender’s involvement with the Central Florida case has been well documented. And any story involving Worldwide Wes is always sure to draw attention.
Prisbell includes great quotes from Tom Izzo, Roy Williams, Fran Fraschilla and Tom Penders. And, of course, there’s Calipari, who said this about dealing with third parties while recruiting:
“If I were where I used to coach, it probably would be more of an issue for me, you know what I’m saying? There’s always been more than just the high school coach or the kid you’re talking to in recruiting to figure out who is who. I’m at Kentucky now. When I was at Memphis and Massachusetts, it was a lot harder than it is now. Fifteen NBA draft picks the last three years, it’s gotten easier.”