Admittedly, I was amongst those who figured the most recent reports by the New York Times’ Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans regarding the academic and financial status of Kentucky one-and-done PG Eric Bledsoe were consistent with head coach John Calipari’s status as a serial forfeiteer. Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones, however, is less than impressed, alleging Thamel’s work comes on the heels of a similar investigation by his pal, ESPN’s Pat Forde, one that ended with the WWL pulling Forde from the story. “If it is anti-Calipari, Pat Forde is either behind it or will promote it,” insists Jones.
We often hear Calipari critics like Forde bring up John™s past and thus suggest (as they did in the Times story) that his past implicates current guilt. But in so doing, why doesnt anyone critique the pasts of these writers? For instance, why cant Pat Forde be honest about these truths?:
(1): Why not be honest about the fact that you have a business relationship with Rick Pitino and that his success helps your financial status with book sales. Nevertheless you continued to cover the Sypher trial, often taking up for Rick as if you were his own personal Baghdad Bob.
(2) Why not be honest about the fact that your dislike of Calipari and your relationship with Pitino caused ESPN to pull you off of Kentucky stories since the fall? Why not be honest about the fact that whereas you used to come to 8-10 UK games a year, last year in the most important season UK has had in a decade, you only came to 1?
(3) Why not be honest about the fact that as you question the ethical decisions of Calipari, you have had ethical issues in your own career, causing what sources have told me are two suspensions from your old employer, the Courier Journal, one for a personal reason and one for turning over information to the NCAA about the Louisville Cardinals?
I dont have a great deal of problem with the fact that Pete Thamel wrote the Bledsoe article in the NY Times. I think it is was published prematurely in order to attempt to beat out a competitor, had virtually no substance and was only written to try and create a tenuous connection to Calipari for sizzle value. But, thats what reporters do and ultimately, they are judged on their reporting work (in Thamel™s case on this story, harshly). However when it comes to those who pontificate, why arent they held to the same standard of those they judge? Why have ESPN and Forde never commented on the decision to pull him off of two major beats, both of which are in his home state and that he has spent over 15 year covering?