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Knight, Gilchrist standing by their Kentucky commitment despite Bledsoe flap


Another 24 hours, and another uneventful day in the Eric Bledsoe saga. UK has once again confirmed that they have not been informed of any type of investigation the NCAA may be taking.  In a way, it seems like the February visits were just a fact finding tour, and then it was ove as far as the NCAA was concerned.  Yet the Times article brought on a backlash of Calipari hate and in general Kentucky haterade, so you had to wonder if all the publicity had any effect on Kentucky’s recruiting class.

Rest assured, BBN.  Tonya Knight, Brandon’s mother had this to say to the Herald Leader’s Jerry Tipton:

“My son is going to Kentucky”

Cynthia Richardson, Michael Gilchrist’s mother, had a similar reassuring comment:

“Our decision is sound”

The news is definitely good for the BBN, and the fact that some saner heads seem to be prevailing in the media castigation of Calipari seems to indicate that this weekends events were just one big, Calipari freak out by some scribes and bloggers who truly dislike Calipari.  Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News adds a little sanity to the proceedings albeit in a backhanded way.  After the last 72 hours, the BBN will take any measure of support for their beleaguered coach: 

When it comes to Calipari, fairness and restraint generally are trumped in the media by a perceived license to drill him at any opportunity. Two Final Four teams he coached had their appearances vacated, and so it seems there’s no need to know more about any particular circumstance.

This is not about standing up for Calipari or defending him. He can handle whatever bad press comes his way. He has money he’ll never spend and as much success as any man his age can wish — short of a championship, of course.

If all coaches who’ve recruited prospects with borderline academic credentials were excoriated in the same manner as Calipari, though, there might be no big-time coach left unscathed.

More grudging support of Cal (and specifically support for Bledsoe) come from Andrew Sharp, who tackles the question of why everyone hates Calipari:

But centering the investigation on the family of Bledsoe—a kid that, by all accounts, worked his ass off and is about to earn a much better life for himself and his family—just misses the point. Even if the vague allegations are 100% true… Who really cares? Where’s the victim?

So a D-student became a B-student his senior year, allowing him to go to college? Doesn’t that happen to non-athletes all the time? And can we really blame teachers for affording him the benefit of the doubt? Bledsoe used his time in college to catapult him to the pinnacle of his chosen profession, so it’s not as if the teachers’ faith has been betrayed. And for God’s sake, let’s not pretend that Bledsoe is the first athlete to get serious about academics during his senior year in order to qualify for college sports.

As for now, Kentucky fans will take their support and good news wherever they can…. and even if the NCAA does nothing more with the information they received, John Calipari will be on trial by the media for the rest of the summer.

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