Usually I try to research a story and get the facts, compare that with what ..."/>
Usually I try to research a story and get the facts, compare that with what ..."/>

Ken Caldwell: Does He Have The Goods On Louisville?


Usually I try to research a story and get the facts, compare that with what the rumor mill is grinding out, and then try to find a place where I am comfortable with taking all of that information and finding a reasonable conclusion. UK bias notwithstanding, I know that some stories are just good stories, and some stories are just guys trying to stir the pot, and twisting the facts to their own ends to do that. I try to avoid doing the latter, simply because positions become impossible to defend without speculating wildly, starting the insult-o-gram process, and basically watching what could turn out to be an important story turn into a bar brawl.

Having said that, I am about to probably start another bar brawl. The subject matter? Ken Caldwell.

Yes, Ken Caldwell, tweeter extraordinaire, blowhard of blowhards, and prognosticator of all things disastrous, THAT Ken Caldwell.

Seems Mr. Caldwell claims to have some insider information concerning Louisville Coach Charlie Strong, his Asst. Coach Clint Hurtt, and their behavior while at the University of Miami. Caldwell is claiming that their actions are going to cause Louisville some major NCAA problems.

"“Charlie Strong you are in trouble also…Truth is going to come out about you also. Your Asst is the famous bag man. Boy is the heat coming.”"

As if this wasn’t enough, he had more:

"“Isn’t strange that Charlie Asst was voted the #1 recruiter in the nation? Money talk…They mad at Ucf because it didn’t have money”.“The NCAA is investigating several kids right now at U of L and you haven’t heard one peep about it…and it isn’t Kevin Ware…I know all!!!”"

Now, I love to hassle the Cards and their fans more than just about anyone, when the time is appropriate. You can also add Tennessee, Duke, ANY Carolina Team, and a host of others. But I do have certain journalistic ethics. I don’t accuse people of things without proof. Not because it is wrong to do so, because that is a given, but because if you cry wolf one time too many, you become a laughingstock of every fan, player, coach, media outlet, and any other personal affiliated with sports in general in the world. Once you lose your credibility, you have nothing, because for all of your ranting and raving, you have nothing to back it up. So believe me when I say, this is one of the most perplexing situations I have seen.

Given, Caldwell, likes to run his mouth, AND he is an ex-con. He has tried for years to become a relevant player in the world of college athletics, with very little success. So now that we have stated his shortcomings, let’s also state some facts. Caldwell, knows people. A LOT of people. He has contacts all over the country in athletics, and in Florida and Chicago in particular. He tried to help turn the University of Central Florida into a basketball powerhouse overnight, and here are just some of the particulars concerning UCF personnel and Caldwell’s connections:

"Six players on the current UCF roster hail from greater Chicago — Caldwell’s home area. That includes three — A.J. Rompza, Marcus Jordan (Michael Jordan’s son) and Dwight McCombs — who played for Whitney Young High School. Whitney Young coach Tyrone Slaughter is the director of Ferrari Youth Basketball, for which Caldwell once served as an assistant coach. Caldwell said he considers Rompza almost a member of the family, and said he helped get previous UCF coach Kirk Speraw interested in recruiting the guard — and that, in turn, opened the Chicago-to-Orlando pipeline.- ESPN’s Pat Forde"

OK, so we have Caldwell connected to one school that is connected to UCF, that’s thin right? Well, he is also directly connected to the above mentioned Kevin Ware, who as of right now still has not qualified to join his teammates at Louisville. Add in Brandon Bender, former Louisville recruit, and the hits just keep on coming.

Here are Caldwell’s own words on what he did for UCF, also taken from the Pat Forde article:

"“I don’t work for any agent,” Caldwell told earlier this week. “I don’t make any money off basketball.“Nobody’s done anything wrong. UCF is just a school that I like. … I’m the big UCF guy. I tell people about UCF everywhere I go, just like I tell people about other schools.“I was first. Ain’t nobody ever heard of UCF, ever. Now they have a little success, and they’re not supposed to? … Kentucky gets seven or eight McDonald’s All-Americans and nobody says s—. UCF gets some players and people act like there was extra help? That’s bulls—.”"

So where does the truth lie? (what an oxymoron) And how does all of this tie into UL’s Football program, Charlie Strong, and Clint Hurtt? Well, the ties also go into UL Football players and recruits.

Caldwell had a profile on LinkedIn claiming to be working for an agent Andy Miller. That profile has disappeared since the investigations surrounding UCF have started by the NCAA. Now everyone keep in mind, that at the same time the NCAA is investigating UCF, they are investigating Miami. No one knows yet if there were ties there, or if it was just a coincidence, and here comes the part of the story that makes it all very interesting. The investigation in Miami began shortly after Hurtt left for Louisville, the Cardinals hired Clint Hurtt in January 2010, and then UCF and Miami are targets of the NCAA’s compliance squad a short time later. Is that one of those coincidences? Maybe so. And Charlie Strong”s hiring in Louisville predates this by a year before that.

The question becomes this: Clint Hurtt is the recruiter of the year for 2011, he is bringing in players like nobody’s business in Louisville, a majority of which are coming from the Miami/ South Florida area. An area our blog’s own operator has stated more than once is a place that kids are not going to come to Kentucky from, based upon the fact that they have excellent football schools in their own backyard to attend, so why is Hurtt in Louisville, and why are all of these players coming to Louisville? How many? Let’s see.

Hurtt was key in the Cardinals landing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater(Miami/Northwestern), safety Gerod Holliman (Miami/Southridge), wide receiver Eli Rogers(Miami/Northwestern) and defensive end Bryant Dubose (Oakland Park, Fla./Northeast). Of the Cardinals’ 20-player class, 16 are from out of state, including 12 from Florida, 10 of them from South Florida.

Hurtt was also responsible for Louisville signing wide receiver Charles Gaines(Miami/Central), offensive guard John Miller (Miami/Central), safety Jermaine Reve(Miami/Northwestern), offensive guard Mike Romano (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast), defensive back Terrell Floyd (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast) and defensive endDeiontrez Mount (Fort Walton Beach, Fla./Fort Walton Beach).- From ESPN’s Jaime Newberg

That all seems great for Louisville, and shows that Hurtt really is a big time recruiter. Or does it show that Hurtt saw the handwriting on the wall in Miami, knew of the trouble coming there, also knew that Caldwell already had inroads in Louisville and could keep the players flowing to Louisville that were going to find UCF and Miami too hot for them to get anywhere close to? We know that Hurtt knew the booster that has Miami in hot water because he took a “loan” from him. There’s nothing illegal about that, however, my question in that would be, why borrow money from someone who is already in a position to hurt you and leave a paper trail of the whole transaction?

The link that no one has made as of yet, and truthfully may not even exist is between Caldwell and Nevin Shapiro, the booster that has Miami now drowning in it’s investigation like a life-jacket wrapped around an iron anvil.But that does leave the question, are Shapiro and Caldwell connected in some way, or are they simply two guys left to run amok in Florida at the same time? And if there is no link, why is Caldwell tweeting like a Cardinal in heat?

I cannot make any sense of the whole thing, other than there is smoke everywhere, and it just keeps getting thicker. Is there a fire? that remains to be seen. But know this, Caldwell may very well turn out to be a liar and a braggart, but also know this, if he does know what everyone seems to want to know, it is a matter of time before someone turns it into a payday for him, and as we also know, that was all it took to turn Jose Canseco from a washed up steroid freak into a prophet.

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