I caught this over the weekend but wanted to wait so I could enjoy the holiday, but with everyone else commenting I'll jump in.
I'm shocked...just shocked, I didn't know. Bob Huggins, defender of truth and honor and guard at the gate of the NCAA. WOW...who knew?
As I mentioned earlier the relationship between the agent and the respective players associations (NFL/NBA) makes it difficult for discipline or investigations to be carried out. The other part of the problem is the coaching community, they all feed from the same trough. They would sell their own mother to get a top recruit, heck they’d even send her C.O.D. They are also just as complicit when dealing with “runners” they know it’s a deal with the devil if they choose to deal with them.
Enter the White Knight Bob Huggins.
Mayo, originally from Huntington, W.Va., was among the top recruits in the nation at the time. Huggins, also originally from West Virginia, had been recruiting him for years and appeared to have a good shot at bringing him to K-State. Publicly, Mayo said he chose USC over K-State.
But Underwood today indicated that Mayo was saying up to the last minute that he wanted to come to K-State to be with Huggins because of their long ties. Huggins, though, said, "We're not going to take you. You'll never pass," in reference to NCAA amateur clearinghouse rules.
"So it's no surprise that this is coming out now," Underwood said of the scandal. "We knew it."
The irony is that "nothing's going to happen to O.J. Mayo," Underwood said. "It's becoming Southern Cal's problem."
Underwood didn't blame USC; the phenomenon of money being funneled through agents to players in their youth is "impossible to control," he said.
But he did credit Huggins, who left K-State after one year to coach at West Virginia, with keeping the Wildcats out of the mess now enveloping USC. "It's a credit to Huggs that he did his due diligence."
So, Huggins “knew” this was an issue but chose to say nothing? Let me ask this then, what did Huggins know that the NCAA didn’t or failed to turn up in their background checks. Huggins has always been a bit of a malcontent in the league and that’s putting it nicely.
Huggins telling Mayo that "We're not going to take you. You'll never pass." is intriguing in the sense that if he felt that Mayo would have passed he would have taken him “runners” and all. Huggins was drooling at the possibiltiy of getting Mayo. In fact KSU offered him a scholarship and asked him several times to visit their campus. Mayo declined. Huggins is pathetic, sounds like sour grapes to me.
Maybe Mayo wanted to go to KSU then again maybe not. No disrespect to those in Manhattan but I have a hard time believing it because Mayo would not get the exposure he was looking for plus he would have had to share the floor with Beasely so I'm not buying it.
Of course KSU officials now deny they knew anything.
Kansas State spokesman Tom Gilbert issued the following statement,
Neither Kansas State, nor anyone who has been employed by the university, has firsthand knowledge of any improprieties in the recruitment of O.J. Mayo. In his speech to the Rotary group, assistant coach Brad Underwood was speaking in generalities about his recruitment by K-State. We are unaware of any specific instances of NCAA violations involving Mr. Mayo.
Neither Underwood or Wildcats head coach Frank Martin were available for comment.
Let the damage control begin. Huggins is the gift that keep on giving.
Coaches like Huggins are part of the problem. If KSU had little to no negative exposure he would have taken Mayo, thus perpetuating the problem. If Mayo was so radioactive why not try an be part of the solution and point it out to the NCAA so that it could have been addressed. Mayo passed the NCAA's background checks so his statement above is sanctimonious at best and a downright lie at worst.
If I'm the NCAA I would ask Huggins why he didn't come forward so the NCAA wouldn't be any further embarrassed.
Thanks Bob you're a real team player, we'll keep that in mind when you have your own issues...
What a clown.