Anthony Davis is one of the fastest-rising high school basketball prospects in the nation. Rivals ranks him as the eighth-best player in the class of 2011, and he has his choice of scholarship offers from around the country. His most-remembered contribution to the college basketball scene, though, may be an unwitting one.
That’s because today, the Chicago Sun-Times published a story about Davis’ recruitment. This wouldn’t normally be a huge deal, but then again, most stories on recruitment don’t spread crazy rumors about a player’s commitment to a school being “for sale” for $200,000.
For the record, the story “reports” that Davis will commit to Kentucky. This may well be true – Kentucky is a formidable basketball school that’s tough to beat in recruiting battles. The sourcing of this “report,” however, is where everything starts going off the rails:
According to a reliable source, Davis will choose Kentucky. The Kentucky-based blog “Nation of Blue” has reported that two unnamed sources are also claiming Davis has chosen Kentucky.
So, “the king of UK fan websites,” as Nation of Blue bills itself, is reporting that “sources” are reporting that Davis is Kentucky-bound. (This seems to be the specific Nation of Blue post the Sun-Times and author Michael O’Brien are citing.) Is anyone else left wanting a little more, verification-wise?
And that’s not even the part everyone’s talking about. No, that would be this nugget, buried a bit farther down:
Rumors that Davis’ commitment is for sale have surfaced since he cut his list of schools down about a month ago.
The rumors/sources that have Davis choosing Kentucky are also alleging that the commitment cost $200,000. Davis Sr. has flat out denied everything.
…whoa. This is the part that has everyone up in arms, and it’s easy to see why. The rumor that a top player’s commitment was bought by a top program for $200,000 could be damaging, to say the least – and you need a little more to go on than “rumors/sources” to start spreading it.
We contacted O’Brien about the controversy surrounding the article and to see if he had any response to the criticism/stood by his story, but have not heard back from him currently. We’ll update this post if he responds. In the meantime, the “commitment for sale” rumor is somewhat amazingly still online, but the “paid $200,000″ part has been removed.
Luckily, though, we have a screen capture to prove it existed. Check it out below, and get ready to hear about this story for a while, especially if the most contentious part of it indeed winds up being inaccurate.
(Note: Also read this post from Yahoo! college basketball blog The Dagger. Our post has several points in common with theirs, right down to us both sending an email to O’Brien seeking comment. However, they posted theirs first. So, um, they win.)