Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bill Self: Security tricky subject

Kansas guard Ben McLemore smiles next to head coach Bill Self after saying that he will miss Self during a news conference in which McLemore declared his intention to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Kansas guard Ben McLemore smiles next to head coach Bill Self after saying that he will miss Self during a news conference in which McLemore declared his intention to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo


Longtime college basketball coach/ESPN announcer Seth Greenberg on Friday asked Kansas University’s Bill Self if it’s time schools create a new position called “director of security.”

That person’s duties could include looking into players’ relationships with individuals who might ultimately cause problems with the NCAA. In KU’s case, that means individuals such as Rodney Blackstock, the man who allegedly tried to get close to KU freshman Ben McLemore the second half of last season in order to steer him to agent candidates.

“We have not thought about that. We have thought about other things (like) putting people on our staff in charge of certain things, and our athletic department has talked about potentially even doing background checks for every person that a kid ever leaves tickets for,” Self said on the ESPNU college basketball show hosted by Greenberg and Andy Katz.

“A lot of times on situations like that, even with background checks, it’d turn up nothing. Just like this case would turn up nothing. You can get information on people, but you can’t measure motives.”

Blackstock, who is not a registered agent, attended three home games on McLemore’s personal ticket list last season. Players are allowed four tickets to distribute per game. McLemore in published reports has described Blackstock as a friend.

“It’s hard to totally monitor,” Self said of ticket lists and keeping track of who players are associating with. “What if a kid is dating a girlfriend whose father or uncle has a criminal background? Is that a problem? No, it’s not a problem at all. There’s no legislation that says anything like that remotely would be a problem (in leaving tickets). What you have to get into is obviously the agent and working for agents, those kind of things. I think we could do more. I think all programs could do more, but I think it could potentially be very difficult, taking away the freedoms to basically live and do what they (players’ families) feel they need to do for themselves and their family.”

Self said a potential warning sign of impropriety could be if a player’s family members start showing up from faraway distances at both home and away games, if it is known they don’t have much money.

Yet, Self cautioned ...

“Does that mean we have to monitor every single receipt that they have just because they are low income when you don’t do that with any other families from higher income?” Self asked.

“(They might ask) ‘Can’t we save our money, too?’ I think you’re getting into so many personal things. We have to be real careful we don’t go too far because where does it stop? I’m all for keeping third parties (runners, agents) out of the game and all those things.

“But I think if somebody comes to a game and we said, ‘OK, you can watch your son play, but I need you to document every receipt on how you got here,’ I think you are getting personal. If I were a parent, I’d say, ‘Who do you think you are?’ It’s something we have to watch out for also.”

McLemore told ESPN’s Katz at the NBA combine that he knew nothing about any payments that his former AAU coach (Darius Cobb) told USA Today he received from Blackstock. The payments allegedly were to direct McLemore to an agent.

Cobb told USA Today he took $10,000 in two separate payments. “I think this was just to attack Rodney Blackstock,” said McLemore, who told Katz he took no money personally from Blackstock and did not commit any NCAA violations.

“The whole thing is ... I think it is school’s responsibility to monitor and try (to stop players from associating with agents and runners). I don’t think Ben in any way, shape or form benefited from this, at least from our opinion,” Self told Katz and Greenberg.

Big 12: Self on next year’s Big 12 race, now that Andrew Wiggins has joined the fold to counter Oklahoma State phenom Marcus Smart: “I think from a national perspective a lot of people thought we took a dip based on prior years,” Self said of the league in 2012-13. “Our RPI in the last five years was top three. This year it took a little bit of a dip. I think we are back to being one of the premier leagues. Baylor is going to be good. Oklahoma State will be a preseason top-five team. We have a chance to be good. Other teams will be good. I think our league is back where it needs to be.”

K-State is hoping for a boost Sunday. That’s the day Memphis transfer Antonio Barton will choose either Kansas State, Maryland, Texas A&M; or Tennessee.


Steve Reigle 9 years, 4 months ago

Change from what, to what? Generalities don't get it done.

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

"Change, change, it will do you good."

--Sheryl Crow

Kurt Eskilson 9 years, 4 months ago

"T-t-t-turn and face the strange Ch-ch-changes!" --Bowie

daytonahawk2 9 years, 4 months ago

"Money Changes Everything." - Cyndi Lauper

Don't ask how I know that.

VaJay 9 years, 4 months ago

Man in the Mirror song by Michael Jackson, finishes with "Make that Change!"

Ann Oneill 9 years, 4 months ago

Change, change, change. Change of fools. Errrrrrr.

Jeff Schartz 9 years, 4 months ago

More pocket change? Just saying. I like, like, how everybody says "just saying". Just saying.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 4 months ago

I disregard almost every comment that begins with or concludes with "Just sayin'"

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't just say for the sake of saying!

Gene Jackson 9 years, 4 months ago

Wouldn't it make sense to have a staff person (and maybe we do this now, but I have a feeling we don't) sit down with the signed recruit and his family to go over the rules after the player has signed? Perhaps even bring into this group the players coach and close adult mentors. Not only explain the rules, but give examples of things that are OK and things that are not legit. Include in this session penalties that can be levied against the player and/or the school with examples of penalties assessed by the various authorities in recent years. This staff person would then update the families and others close to the player yearly or whenever warranted by specific situations.

Tim Orel 9 years, 4 months ago

The Jayhawks could use someone like Niko (from Necessary Roughness on USA).

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 4 months ago

Wheat, I would like to think that they go over all of this during orientation when the student-player gets to campus. Maybe it should be expanded to include the "extended" family and clearly outline the consequences of breaking the rules as you indicated.. Colorado JH, I was thinking the same thing.

Greg Lux 9 years, 4 months ago

Its time for the NCAA to accept the fact that Money will always follow the talent and the schools should not be held responsible for any monies they don't personally generate or procure for a student athlete ( except UK that is ). When a player like Ben Mac is projected to make in salary alone almost 18,000,000 over the next 4 years plus many more millions in endorsements. His agent is going to get millions. Those agents are going to do almost anything to sign that player. 20,000 is nothing when you are talking many millions. Schools know its going to happen and there is almost nothing they can do about it legally. This is after college money and the NCAA needs to stay out of it before an honest program is hurt by a greedy agent looking for a lottery win.

Rock Chalk

Marc Frey 9 years, 4 months ago

I think the NCAA, as much as anyone else knows what money does. They are all about the dollar as well.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

" Chill out (Things Gonna Change) " John Lee Hooker

Woody Cragg 9 years, 4 months ago

Put Dick Tracy on the staff, accompanied by one Fearless Fosdick-that should cover all concerns, at least until we hear from the ACLU that we're profiling. Hell, after the Melvin Weatherwax affair in Ames, the staff is the one in need of security. Maybe if we turn the NCAA over to the Feds we can have an entirely new department, and create more jobs for the masses! This is a great idea-complete with job security for the entire scope of all D1 families! Right on bro-right on! Where do I sign?

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 4 months ago

Turning a blind eye to Blackstock is pretty naive. Ben's mom DID show up to a game or two in Texas when she had been unable to hardly pay bills. That is a sign according to Bill. Plus, Ben KNEW his mom was extremely close to her on a personal basis. Did Ben tell Self? Who knows. However, it was public knowledge by being seen at events with Blackstock and his known background which should have definitely set off alarms. Somebody on staff should have and no doubt did have responsibilty to inform Self.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 4 months ago

You are correct on all counts. I mentioned in a previous thread that Ben's mom showing up at games in Texas should have raised all kinds of red flags. Same thing with the birthday party at the bowling alley; I find it hard to believe that a party that big would go unnoticed to the program's staff. Somebody was asleep at the switch.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 4 months ago

Do we know if she flew or drove? I, Like coach would think it rude to ask.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 4 months ago

Does this mean I can come out of retirement? The wife will be all for it...if mama ain;t happy ain;t nobody happy! Does it mean I can finally get some melons?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

Bill Self did the "I don't want to know" tap dance. I posted on this topic when the Blackstock story broke -- it would have been very easy to identify Blackstock if we would have wanted to. "Alarms" as keithmiles05 said above. Plausible deniability can get you in trouble with the NCAA because you have a duty to know.

This is not hard. If you look at Self's responses, it's the classic avoidance. Answering questions with questions. Trying to take points and nit-pick them with examples that aren't really issues. Trying to find ways that it can't work. On an issue like this, everyone can say "yea but what if this happens." Or "yea but how do you do this." It's all B.S. They don't want to know.

Self refers to "legislation" -- referring to NCAA rules. This is your program. You can set policies that ensure compliance with the rules. It is idiotic to act like you can't. Self refers to folks providing "every receipt" .. no one says that. A red herring.

On Self's example related to treating low income families different -- of course you do. It's common sense. It may not be politically correct. But you manage that by treating everyone the same. Of course you would scrutinize Ben's family, or Cole Aldrich's family more. It makes sense. They both had known money problems. But again, you do that by objectively treating everyone the same.

Some things that could be considered:

-Every person that receives complimentary tickets to any game, home or away, must fill out an application that includes detailed information. Could ask a series of questions specifically about agent related issues. It is done with an "under oath" provision. It authorizes KU to do confidential background checks. Once a person has filled out this form, they don't have to do it again during the current season. Photo ID has to be provided, and a copy is made of the ID.

-I had mentioned when this Blackstock stuff came out that KU should employ private investigators. A "security" guy is fine. But a designated person(s) to "dig" on questionable individuals. Ben's mom? Fine. Ben's girlfriend? We'll confirm. Ben's cousin? Is he a cousin, what's his story, how close is he to Ben, who does he associate with? Rodney Blackstock? Uh, red flag. His employment would have done just that, as would have a simple internet search.

-If a parent or relative receives tickets to an away game, that person completes a form that includes verifying the source of funds that permitted them to attend, who they traveled with, who they are attending with.

(continued below)

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

(continued from above)

-Each player is obligated to interview with KU staff (investigator) as requested to further delve into folks that are questionable that they may be associating with, whether they received tickets or not. The player represents the university, and the university has a obligation to protect itself.

-Each person who receives tickets is obligated to interview with KU staff (investigator) as requested; if they refuse, they no longer receive any tickets.

-Provide a policy to focus on your guys that are of NBA potential. That's where the real trouble usually is.

I just touched on some easy things. I can assure you that a very detailed plan could be developed to handle these issues ... if Self wanted to do it. Remember, this is not perfect. Don't expect perfection on something like this. What it does is provides a layer of defense. It provides information that can be followed up on. It increases chances that things don't slip through. It also demonstrates to the NCAA that KU is being proactive, which can only help when something goes awry.

The question is ... does anyone, anywhere, really want to know what goes on?

kckuguy 9 years, 4 months ago

I have no idea how KU ever managed to get along 15 years ago, before you were born. I bet coach looks for your comments every day so he can some how get by. Coach must really feel blessed to have your expertise only a click away for all 12 months a year.

AverageCitizen 9 years, 4 months ago

High Elite- Holy crap, are you talking about Soviet Russia, Iran, North Korea? Kansas is not in the security business. The tickets might be easier to monitor but what about Ben's birthday party? I can see it now..........Ben (or someone on the staff) has to intervene and say- "before I go to the birthday party you are throwing for me, I need to know who is attending, who is paying for their hotel bill. I need to see receipts and proof who is paying for my bowling expenses. That cake looks expensive to me. Did a bakery charge a lot for it? I need to see a receipt ."

That kind of scrutiny is ridiculous. It's one thing holding a player to standards that he not take money but when you start making players responsible for other's behavior this is just beyond the pale. This is America. We are only responsible for our own behavior, not others. We don't guess at other people's intent. That is very dangerous grounds to walk on in a free society.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 4 months ago

HEM, I am not sure what your background is but I can assure that in the real world you just cannot do this. You try to implement some of your suggestion and you are going to have the ACLU, NAACP, EEOC, and the Department of Justice, (just to name a few) all over you. In that respect HC Self is absolutely right.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree HEM, but, he cannot actually comment on the allegations. He was talking with people he's been friends with on a radio talk show. He was answering a question about whether there should be at all colleges a person who does background checks on the 4 who receive a free ticket. He was not tap dancing about anything, he was showing the predicaments and backlashes caused by pre-assumptions. He also admitted that even without any guidance from the NCAA, they had even done some background checks which had all proved embarrassingly fruitless

kay_you 9 years, 4 months ago

Like Bill said, a background check on Blackstock would have shown nothing. And why would it. He was the president of a non-profit. You can expect athletes to follow a code of conduct but it's not realistic or possible to make every person who comes in contact with you to comply.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

Guys, it's not hard.

I don't think some of you fully understand what business does. Many, many big businesses have an entire security division (and as business get smaller, less staff, etc). They deal with corporate espionage, internal threats, hacking, theft of ideas and strategy, etc. This may amaze you, but companies hire folks to get jobs at other companies to get information. This is America. Workplaces are not a democracy. The first amendment does not apply.

But our discussion is many levels below that. For a starting point, a player that "tweets" the wrong thing, he will get suspended. The first amendment does not apply. A player is drug tested. Where's that "right of privacy"?

JayHawkFanToo -- You're right, you don't know my background. And you're wrong, you can do everything I said. Respectfully, you just do not know. And really, my suggestions are minimal. For the privilege of KU tickets, you have to agree as suggested. If not, you may purchase your own tickets. Your post (again, respectfully) is the height of ignorance. It's drivel. I challenge you to research this and point me to any legal authority, or NCAA rule, that prohibits what I have suggested.

The post of AverageCitizen is the complete red herring I was referring to. I never said look at receipts. None of what he said is even what I was referring to. I'm sorry, but his post is not even a sensible reply. My suggestion is preventative medicine.

But the birthday party thing raises an interesting point -- if Blackstock was identified before the party as a "threat" so to speak, and this is discussed with Ben, do you think Blackstock paying for the party even happens? Hooplife Academy was on-line, for all to see. Now it's not. But it would have been very easy to connect he dots by a simple internet search.

For any that think that this is "ridiculous", remember that this is a multi-million dollar enterprise here. Careers, reputations, and money is at stake.

And for those of you that think that a background check on Blackstock would not have shown anything, how do you know? Because Self said so? I can assure you that a minimal investigation would have. I'm not talking about just seeing if he has a criminal record. Remember, as I pointed out, his website .. public information .. would have pointed the way.

It is amazing how many people just say "can't" because it is an unpleasant subject. Self never said "can't." He made excuses for not doing something.

The only real drawback is the practical one .. what reaction would recruits have to the policy? And as I mentioned, do we really want to know?

Personally, I'd do whatever I could to keep this scum away from my team.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 4 months ago

Just the other day I listened to a retired FBI agent that said we, as individuals should google our own name once a month just to see if anyone is posting mis-information about us with specifics to credit rating, social media, or any other potential negative or derogatory events, real or fictional. "Paranoia strikes deep!" Like crap in the pasture men, Big Brother & his army of drones are everywhere!

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 4 months ago

"JayHawkFanToo -- You're right, you don't know my background. And you're wrong, you can do everything I said. Respectfully, you just do not know. And really, my suggestions are minimal. For the privilege of KU tickets, you have to agree as suggested. If not, you may purchase your own tickets. Your post (again, respectfully) is the height of ignorance. It's drivel. I challenge you to research this and point me to any legal authority, or NCAA rule, that prohibits what I have suggested."

First, the NCAA has ZERO, ZILCH legal authority to enforce any "laws," The only thing it can enforce is the "regulations" they have created and to which school voluntarily agree to follow in issues related to sports. You will notice that I did not mention the NCAA. The federal government, on the other hand, has the legal authority to enforce the laws of the land. The Department of Justice and the EEOC have legal authority and the ACLU and NAACP have considerable political clout that can trigger a federal investigation. 15 player at 4 ticket per player makes it 60 guest per game time 2-3 games a week is 120 to 180 guest per week. How exactly do you plan to investigate that many people? The only way is to select the most likely "suspicious" guests and this is called profiling. The federal government does not even allow law enforcement agencies to use this technique to investigate actual crimes; what makes you think that KU can get away with profiling who attends a college basketball game? Are you going to do it based on income?Tthis is called discrimination and it is against the law. Even if you find that a guest was just released from jail, what are you going to do about it? There is no law that says a person with a criminal record cannot attend a college basketball game. What would you do if Ben McLemore older brother is paroled and gets one of Ben's tickets; are you going to deny him entry because he did hard time in a maximum security prison? Further, if you are going to do a background investigation on guest of players, you will likely have to do the same thing for all people that get complimentary tickets, that includes guest of the Athletic Department, Williams Fund, and even guest of coach Self. Selective enforcement is called discrimination and it is against the law.
Like you, I wish something could be done about this issue; however, your suggestions are mostly a knee-jerk reaction with zero chance of implementation.
So, I suggest (respectfully, of course) that it is your post the one that is the height of naivety; no offense intended.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

JayHawkFanToo: I wonder if you even read what I wrote. I do know one thing, you took no time to research. You're just talking out of your a**.

First, I did not say the NCAA has authority to enforce the laws. I mentioned that they did not have a rule prohibiting what I was suggesting. They have authority over the institution. That's the first place to start .. can you do what I suggested under NCAA rules. That was lost on you.

Second, you will not need to investigate everyone. Most you won't. Mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, etc. You would investigate Ben's brother, but remember the focus -- trying to prevent conduct that triggers an NCAA violation. Not, "will the guy steal a car in Allen Fieldhouse's parking lot." That point escapes you, too. It is a very limited scope. It may pick up other red flags to help an athlete, but this is about staying away from NCAA violations.

Third, you refer to "profiling." And I hate to enlighten you, but profiling is not illegal in most every form. We're not saying investigate only hispanic folks. Federal law enforcement agencies create "profiles" all the time of potential criminals. An investigation would have different levels based upon set criteria. Again, you're out of your league here. You lack an understanding of the concepts. It is pretty funny how folks have the broad idea of what is against the law. You actually can discriminate. That's ok. Generally, under the law, you can "discriminate" unless it's based on a legally protected category -- can't do it just based "race", or "gender", or "religion", or "national origin", or "age", etc. Even within the protected categories, there are exceptions. So you have no clue here. And sorry, "income" isn't one. For example, I can refuse to hire someone because he has financial difficulties -- employers do credit checks on potential employees.

No, you would not have to investigate all complimentary tickets. There is not the risk associated with those tickets. You can "discriminate" and limit it to those tickets that have the risk attached to them -- potential NCAA violation.

On Ben's brother, if he got out of jail, I would be much less concerned than a "Rodney Blackstock." And remember, most of these kids leave tickets for close family and friends. Folks that are easily identified and confirmed. The job would taper considerably. And it wouldn't be perfect. But it would flag a Rodney Blackstock.

I do appreciate your passion on the subject. But you are clearly coming from a background where you have no understanding of the law, or this topic. I would caution you to think about that.

As I said before, CITE something to show me I'm wrong. You won't because you can't.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 4 months ago

I am not going to argue with you about concepts in which you are obviously a dilettante with little or no understanding of how thing work in the "real" world.
Trueblue has the right idea, there is no sense arguing with you.
Go ahead, have the last word.

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with all of this and I'm pretty sure most of it could be done just by assigning 2-3 people in the compliance office with these responsibilities. One big issue with just signing a form though is that if someone is doing something wrong, chances are they would have no issues lying about it and by the time the lie is found out, the damage has been done. Obviously this is an issue with no simple answers about how to stop it otherwise stuff like this wouldn't be an issue.

Benz Junque 9 years, 4 months ago

By the way, it is NOT against any rule whatsoever for an athlete to meet with an agent while still in school or to meet with a "runner" of that agent. There is not an NBA or NFL prospect out there that doesn't spend time in their expected last year of school trying to figure out who they will use as representation. That is not a relationship to be entered into quickly. Meeting with these guys isn't the problem. It's just the money back and forth and outside of locking down your athlete at all times there is simply no way to 100% avoid this type of situation.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

You are right .. there is "no way to 100% avoid this type of situation." But there is a way to significantly reduce the risks. There isn't a 100% way to avoid most things.

mikehawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't think coach is "dancing" around it all. He is bringing out real, and potentially unintended consequences of increasing levels of "security." Put yourselves in a family's shoes and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is it is "none of your dang business." Whatever we do, it can't be far out of the realm of what reasonable measures other schools are taking, or it gets thrown in your face by other schools after the same kids. It is everyone, or the risk of your security measures sticking out like a sore thumb. How hard is security? Well, let's not forget the ticket scandal right under the nose of the athletic department and the KU administration which sent three high ranking KU employees to prison. Money always corrupts. Big money really corrupts. And we are talking really big money.

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 4 months ago

Tickets for family members only, wait, this family can't pay their heating bill how did they get here? Travel allowance, lodging, food for a limited number of family members is part of the players "payment" allowed by the NCAA so issues like Blackstockgate don't happen. I am not talented enough to provide the type presentation that H.E.M. and others can. Money is the center of all this controversy. Perhaps if the NCAA and the schools that earn money off the players made it possible for families to avoid the almost certain traps that talented players are going be exposed to and it would be easier to monitor. If help were provided then "back ground" checks and possible invasion of peoples privacy could be avoided.

There was always family week in rehab. Now I'll admit that there is a huge difference between being a gutter drunk and a div. 1 basketball player. I didn't generate any money like these athletes do. I did however get a scholarship, a full ride to a 30 day facility. This is true. My point is that I was given real help for free. The NCAA and the schools need to do more to protect these kids. By the way, the help came from a private institution, no state or fed. connection. One game at a time.

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

Solving issues like this are not simple matters, that's why there hasn't been a real solution by any school that faces these issues. Even doing what HEM has suggested comes with its own set of issues such as the integrity of the people doing the job, the costs of training people to do the job, and the costs of someone doing the job. The information that is relevant to keep KU out of NCAA trouble is not information that's violating anyone's privacy unless there are unpure motives that a person doesn't want found out. People around these players who don't have any desire to make money off of them aren't going to have an issue with showing how they can afford to travel to a game if it's a significant distance to travel and won't travel if they can't afford to.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 4 months ago

Good for you buddy. Being a Jayhawk fan helps. doesn't it?

JayHok 9 years, 4 months ago

Today's poll. Self vs. Coach K. UFC bout in Vegas, fall of 2013. Month to train. Who wins? How many seconds into the bout is it called?

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 4 months ago

Love the P-51 Mustang, particularly the ones with the nose painted with shark teeth.

JayHok 9 years, 4 months ago

Well thought ralster. With a whole month to train Coach K could develop some nice flop moves. Kind of like a fake knockout then he tries to kick Self in the prostate. That would be my biggest fear. I'm with you though. An old fashioned a$$whoopin. Poll result so far. Self 2. Coach K 0.

kennethst 9 years, 4 months ago

I can't wait for KU basketball to start.......Until then there is nothing for me. The Royals have imploded as usual.......and The Chiefs? Probably 8-8 at best. good thing about the Royals is "Slugger". He gave my little 3 year daughter a hug last night at the game......and she was so happy......jumping up and down and squealing. Kids crack me up.

But her favorite mascot is BabyJay.....then regular Jayhawk......then Slugger. She saw Warpaint once on TV. And she has learned to despise Tigers.

kay_you 9 years, 4 months ago

How about some cooperation from the NBA. You can't represent a player if it was shown you violated NCAA regs.

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

^^^^^^TROLL ALERT^^^^^^^

You should have probably "keeped" quiet runwildjayhawk.

Joseph Bullock 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm just wondering why so many post's here, only pertain to checking what low income families do? That is really ignorant! If any player is expected to go pro, especially as a high draft pick, do you think there could never be shady people trying to get in with them? Do you assume that a parent or a relative who may be middle class or above, can't be enticed by someone dangling big $ in front of them? And to check on Ben's mom, because she showed up at some away games is aalso ignorant, and would be offensive to any parent. She may have had a boss who let her work over time, or an actual friend or relative who helped her out, even if they didn't help her with her bills. Yep, doing that to parents will really help you recruit. Also, every parent and player "Absolutely Is" informed about what they can, and can't do! PS: Were the ticket scandle people low income individuals? Not remotely. And this stuff happens at every school. They catch a lot of stuff, but most is not made public, and should not be. We all need to chill, and be more positive, and let coach Self and the Administration handle things. They learn as they go, and I'm sure they have already, and will continue to look a many different preventative measures. Now let's talk nice!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't see anyone advocating for low income only. But I'll address your point. The fact is, whether you like it or not, low income folks are more likely to commit crimes that involve theft. That's because they are more likely "financially distressed." It is basic risk management. It is the same reason why companies do credit checks on potential employees .. if a potential employee is distressed financially, do you want him in certain jobs? No one assumes that a person with better finances won't also be enticed by money. But the risk isn't as high. Folks do things they otherwise wouldn't do when they need money.

The example that is right in front of us is Ben's AAU coach, Cobb. He was financially distressed, right? Said he was hurting money-wise. A measly $10,000 was all it took with him. $10,000 is not "big money" for example to many folks. It may be one paycheck.

As mentioned, the bigger key in my mind is not low income -- it's financially distressed. You could be low income and have your financial house in order, or high income and be on the verge of bankruptcy.

Joseph Bullock 9 years, 4 months ago

Low income does not drive whether or not you steal, or commit crimes. When you look at the U.S., and the # of poor people there are, to the # of crimes low income people commit, the statistics are not as skewed as you make it out to be. I am a Professional person, as I assume you also are, and I know exactly what big business looks for in their hiring processes. also, most higher income people who are stealing, get away with it a lot more than they get caught, because people who are profilers,like yourself, don't normally watch them. Some people here have the "Judge Thomas" Rules. lol Oh, and by the way, I grew up very poor, and now I am more financially secure than most people in this Country, but I did not grow up stealing because I was a poor kid. I grew up wanting to prove I could do as well as anybody else, no matter what background they were, and I have done so. I also had lots and lots of very poor friends, growing up, and very few of them were criminals. I have not heard Ben's AAU coach say he was poor (maybe I missed that article). But it seems to me that he was someone who was just trying to get in with some people who are all in it for the money, and by the way, the people who gave him the money are the criminals here, and their associates. Do you think they are poor. Also, $10,000 is a lot of money, even to many people who are middle class, because even though they make really good money, they still have lots of bills to pay, so maybe you are just way above most other folks, so more power to you. But even saying something like that was very arrogant and ignorant. Have a nice day! PS: I am not going to go back and forth with you on this matter (but I'm sure you will need to get the last word in, because, that is who you are--lmao), because you are not worth it! Have a nice day!

Joseph Bullock 9 years, 4 months ago

like anyone is gonna listen to you! if you don't like what you read, stop reading!!!

Joseph Bullock 9 years, 4 months ago

oh, that's right, you can't read! ha ha ha ha

Sam Constance 9 years, 4 months ago

This isn't as simple as instituting better "security", as Seth Greenberg calls it. I too am uncomfortable with HEM's proposal, but not because I think there is any real danger of a legal investigation into KU's "profiling" or practices regarding security.

What makes me uncomfortable is that any kind of background research that is likely to yield usable, meaningful results is also likely to have implications for the feelings and attitudes of the recruits we want to come to KU. Feeling like they are being unfairly targeted (whether or not it is actually unfair--but that's another issue entirely) can be a major turn-off to people who are already having to weigh an enormous amount of information in choosing their school.

And I'm not talking about just the cream of the crop players like Andrew Wiggins--less elite recruits are no less susceptible to feeling targeted, even if their talent may not be on the level that generates the kind of money and hubbub that someone like Wiggins does. KU has to strike a balance between covering its own behind and not making recruits/players feel unwelcome. It's a delicate line to walk, and can't be done hastily, even if it might ultimately be the right thing to do.

Maybe it's as simple as making the recipients of free tickets fill out a form. That's something that would 1) not put the actual players and their families under the spotlight, and 2) would provide enough of a pushback to potentially discourage anyone from doing anything that wasn't on the up-and-up. Maybe include some legal language on the tickets about how KU has the right to pursue compensation if the person either lies on their sheet or is found to, at some point, behave in a way contrary to NCAA guidelines.

But even that is not a sure fix. Who knows if that kind of failsafe would have prevented the actual financial concerns that took place with Blackstock? And would more stringent measures that could have prevented those concerns been more than most reasonable recruits are willing to deal with?

(to be concluded...)

Sam Constance 9 years, 4 months ago


I think we, at some point, have to recognize that part of the problem here lies with the fact that the NCAA is not an enforcement agency--they aren't staffed to be one. And so in an attempt to save the amount of resources they have to commit to catching/investigating schools, they write rules that emphasize the responsibility of the Accused to self-report, which in turn creates some--at best, tricky, at worst, nonsensical--standards for policing by schools and institutions. While some fairly small changes might have led to a red flag or two in this case, the bottom line is that the level of responsibility KU (and other NCAA institutions) has to catch/prevent this type of infraction is unreasonable by any definition of the word.

Now, maybe it behooves KU to institute some measures to comply with the admittedly unreasonable expectations, simply because the fact that the expectations are unreasonable doesn't change the level of hurt that can be laid down upon a program that is found in violation of said unreasonable expectations. But let's not pretend as if KU did something wrong and has a corruption problem to fix because some third parties broke NCAA rules in a way that would be very difficult to catch.

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