03.26.09

SOMM’s Wilson : ESPN, So Tough On Sampson, So Delicate Towards Calhoun

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 12:16 pm by

In the wake of yesterday’s Yahoo Sports accusations of impropriety on the part of the UConn hoops program, Sports On My Mind’s D.K. Wilson — not quite shy about saying “I told ya so” — compares and contrasts the Worldwide Leader’s treatment of Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun with their handling of former IU coach Kelvin Sampson.

Notice that ESPN never breaks stories of this sort? Instead, they attempt, with their mighty machine, to co-opt the story after it is published. Their ruse is to, after some time,  give the public the impression that it is they and not the story™s original source, that is acting as both programmer for whatever league it is they are televising and news medium with intrepid-enough journalists who have the go-ahead to investigate the very leagues they televise and to which they are beholden.

Already, this morning on the Mike and Mike in the Morning show, ESPN college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb is asking, œIs there any plausible deniability [for UConn's hoops program and Calhoun]? Never heard that question asked on behalf of Sampson. Meantime Eric Kuselias asked Wetzel about the timing of the story, implying that Yahoo waited until now to publish the story. Wetzel replied that UConn  refused to hane over their phone records until the authors threatened to sue the university. Wetzel said further that the article would have been published in January had Connecticut™s athletic department complied with the request for the phone records.

Gottlieb later blamed the œOne and Done rule for Connecticut™s misdeeds despite also averring that Calhoun has been followed by these sorts of accusations for most of his career. Kuselias gave the, œif in fact this is true caveat to the story.

ESPN™ talking heads lambasted Sampson, citing his prior excessive phone call record at Oklahoma. No one, to this day, has ever questioned the validity of the charges Sampson incurred at Indiana, despite the fact that there was a cadre of powerful boosters and other influential people in the shadows of the Hoosier™s basketball program who never wanted Sampson to be hired at Indiana and were not at all beyond using assistants to set up Sampson to be dismissed as head coach.

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