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UK Spokesman Overreacts To Story By CBS Sports

If you follow SEC basketball — or this site — then you probably remember the claim made last August by Michael O’Brien of The Chicago Sun-Times.  You know the one.  That the father of prospect Anthony Davis had negotiated a $200,000 deal for his son to attend Kentucky.

Needless to say, it got major play nationally.  Those types of huge claims — especially when they appear in a legacy newspaper — always will.  Davis was asked again about the situation last week at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Ohio.

With Davis now enrolled at UK as a freshman and questions being asked of him, CBSSports.com Gary Parrish tackled the story yesterday.  Surprisingly, the fact that he dealt with the topic at all led Kentucky’s senior associate athletic director for communications to respond more like a fan and less like a professional.

John Clay of The Lexington Herald-Leader caught DeWayne Peevy’s Twitter posts about Parrish:


“I guess we now know one media seat that will be available at Rupp this year.  BBN don’t give them what they want, your clicks!  #WeAreUK”


A couple hours later he posted the following:


“Maybe tomorrow I will think better of my comments, but I’m always going to protect my kids.  #WeAreUK #LaFamilia”


Okay, that’s all well and good.  But in this case, Peevey’s kids really didn’t need much protection.  Parrish’s post was hardly a hatchet job.

First, the title of the piece was “Fair or not, Kentucky freshman Davis must face ‘scandal.’”

Scandal was in quotation marks.  “Fair or not” suggests the claims by The Sun-Times might not have been true.  In fact, Parrish took an even bigger dig at those claims when he wrote:


“With whom did Davis’ father negotiate this alleged deal?

O’Brien never went that far.

His report, even if true, was thin.

But that didn’t stop the story from making national headlines.”


Seems like O’Brien would have more reason to be upset with Parrish than a senior AD at UK.  Parrish, in fact, continues by quoting the player on the topic:


“I knew the truth,” he said.  “I knew I didn’t take anything and I knew my family didn’t take anything.  So I really wasn’t worried about it.”


Again, it doesn’t sound like Parrish is trying to take any shots at Kentucky.  If Peevey or other folks in the Bluegrass State don’t think this story will be brought up again and again — just as Parrish suggests — then they didn’t pay much attention to the Cam Newton situation at Auburn or the Terrelle Pryor situation at Ohio State.  When claims are made of cash or car keys changing hands, people will follow up.

Parrish was simply pointing out that that will be the case with Davis, too, and he used “the questions Davis faced in Ohio last week” as an example.

Heck, he even went so far as to post the following about John Calipari (something fans of the other 11 SEC schools don’t like hearing):


“… Davis is the only Calipari recruit to ever be publicly tied by a mainstream media outlet to a recruiting scandal before enrolling.  That might surprise some given Calipari’s reputation among most college basketball fans.  But the truth is that the NCAA never has charged Calipari or any of his programs with a major recruiting violation, and no major website or newspaper had ever alleged serious cheating until the Chicago Sun-Times staff writer Michael O’Brien reported last August that Davis’ father had negotiated a deal worth $200,000 to send his son to Kentucky.”


After seeing Peevey’s tweets and reading Parrish’s piece, it’s worth asking if Peevey read the story or just scanned it.  He certainly seems to have overreacted on this one.

It’s one thing for a team’s supporters to misread stories assuming — and in some cases hoping — they’ll find a diss of their squad.  It’s another thing altogether for a senior AD at a major university to threaten a writer’s press pass over a story that’s fairly written.

Maybe players aren’t the only ones who should have their Twitter privileges taken away.

 


9 comments
Brandon Priddy
Brandon Priddy

As a UK fan, this seemed a fair assessment to me. UK fans & DEFINATELY UK staffers need to learn that part of being the hottest girl at the dance is people taking shots at the shoes you have on. Don't get so worked up over every single thing. It is what it is & if that's the price to have the #1 recruiting class every year I'll pay it & smile. As long as they continue to do things right on the recruiting trail (as Parrish, to his credit, points out the have) they have nothing to worry about.

Rick Cross
Rick Cross

Calimari (sarcasm) will leave Kentucky one day as he did U of Mem. and UMASS in a scandal ridden state. BP was fried over a BBQ and he deserved what he received: forced resignation. Cal would never admit to any wrong doing, it is always someone else, KY will have great recruiting classes but their teams are full of one and gone, if KY likes a lack of contnuity that is up to their fan base. Though I am a UT fan I do not hate KY, Duke or Ohio State, I just believe there is too much backdoor influence and less than honest recruiting by many schools (includes the UT BP era) cannot throw stones without getting hit by one every now and then. Thanks

Ncrdbl1
Ncrdbl1

Hope UK had learned something from history. The coverup is always more destructive than the original crime. Watergate was nothing more than a burger y before the coverup.

NashVegasKat
NashVegasKat

I don't think he overreacted. I am glad he stood up for Davis. It is horrible that Parrish would just keep this story going about a kid. I agree that the story is not that bad but there is no credit to this story and writing about it keeps people talking about it. I live in nashville and get to hear Clay Travis(which is a moron) give credit to this. I heard it all last year and now we get to do it again.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Andy Palmer...

If that's the case, then you've made a very fair point. Still, this current post seems to discredit The Chicago Sun-Times article more than it discredits Davis, Calipari or UK.

Thanks for reading the site,
John

Andy Palmer
Andy Palmer

When you say, "Parrish was simply pointing out that that will be the case with Davis, too, and he used “the questions Davis faced in Ohio last week” as an example." you fail to point out that the questions Davis faced last week in Ohio came from Gary Parrish and Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald Leader.

If you want clarification of that fact, give Steve Jones of CatsIllustrated.com, the UK based Scout website. He reported that Parrish and Tipton, and only those two, asked those questions.

The Parrish article is a journalistic attempt to pick one's self up by one's own bootstraps.

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