Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Bill Self Talks To Who He Wants To, When He Wants To

Every college basketball program cheats the NCAA regulations—that's been well established, right?—but some are a little more brazen about, if this alleged tale about Kansas coach Bill Self has any truth to it.


A reporter at a high school basketball tournament in Missouri explains how he was waiting by himself outside a locker room where a prized recruit from North Carolina named John Wall was celebrating his team's win.* (The locker room was outside the main arena, so there was no other media around.) Wall had justwould later lead his school to the championship and was the top unsigned prospect at the eight-team tourney. (And maybe in the whole nation.) Naturally, there were coaches at the tourney, but this is an "evaluation" period when college scouts are allowed to look, but not touch.

That's what was so curious when Kansas coach Bill Self came rolling through. ... Of course, Wall is the top uncommitted recruit. Self had to know I was a reporter and even said hello to me. I just thought he'd stand there, maybe even wave to Wall to let him know he was there. Instead, when the Holy Rams poured out of the locker room, Self was excited:

Self: "Johnny, great win man. You really played well."

Wall: "Thanks."

Self: "I'm not supposed to be talking to you, and you know that, but I just wanted to tell you that was a great win."

Then Self vanished.

That my friends, however minor, is a recruiting violation. Is it true? Would Self be that blatant? Wall had 41 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists in the final game, scored or assisted on his team's final 25 points, had two thunderous dunks (he's a generous 6'4") and plays for a school named Word Of God Academy.

So, yes, he would be that blatant.

T of C gone as quickly as it got here [News-Leader]

* The reporter, Allen Vaughn, writes into clarify: The incident happened on Thursday, the first night of the tourney, and not after the championship game, on Saturday. He also adds that even though Kansas had a game in Boulder on Saturday afternoon, Self returned to Springfield, Missouri, to watch Wall play that night. Memphis coach John Calipari was also in attendance, but did not appear to have any contact with players.

** Clarification No. 2: Per the NCAA: "A contact occurs any time a coach has any face-to-face
contact with you or your parents off the college's campus and says more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with you or your parents at your high school or any location where you are competing or practicing." That means, if Self accidentally runs into Wall at the grocery store, they may exchange pleasantries, but I would think tracking him down outside the locker room violates that edict, which is why Self apparently admitted as much.

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