College Basketball: The 10 Worst Recruiting Disasters of All Time
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College Basketball is notorious for its recruitment scandals. Many programs pursuit of a player becomes more of a horror story then their talent is truly worth.
Sometimes coaches just fail to spell a name right but other times they fail to investigate into the true character of the young man they are trying to bring to the college they represent.
No matter how it is spun there are plenty of disasters out there that are funny, sad, or just plain damaging to the integrity of a college basketball program or the coaches character.
Here is a list of ten of those disasters.
Can his staff spell?
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P.J. Hairston made his final decision on where to play his college ball because he was tired of being called Harrison.
When Duke was in pursuit of Hairston they sent him letters to entice him to the school like many recruits but they did not care to spell check his name.
As a talented young basketball player being recruited by Duke how could he go to a school that could not take the time to look over the letters sent to him. This is just disappointing on Duke’s part.
University of North Carolina is the winner in this story. Because of Duke's mistake Hairston decided to stay at home and play his college basketball at Chapel Hill.
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Nate Miles is a player that most college fans will probably not know. This is of course because he was a highly-touted recruit that never played a game for Uconn.
Miles was arrested for breaking a restraining order and this led to him being expelled from school.
Miles hurt UConn though not because he never got on the court. Miles was the player that Uconn coach Jim Calhoun was recruiting when all of the NCAA violations came to surface.
Miles legacy at UConn and in college basketball will be how he hurt UConn not how he was a player that led them to a national championship.
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Enes Kanter made scouts everywhere go crazy after his performance at the Nike Hoop Summit.
Kanter’s performance led him to being recruited by John Calipari to play for the University of Kentucky. Instead of taking the court he sat on the bench and helped coach with Calipari.
People who are not familiar with this story and are hearing about him now as he is being talked about as possibly being the top draft pick in the upcoming draft probably are wondering what happened.
Kanter broke the NCAA’s biggest rule a player must be an amateur athlete. Kanter was paid and played professionally for Fenerbache in Turkey.
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OJ Mayo is now playing great for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA. Before he was playing at the top level in basketball he was receiving gifts and benefits at the University of Southern California.
Mayo’s acceptance of these gifts made the NCAA come down with a punishment on the USC program that would hurt them after Mayo stopped lacing up his high tops for them.
USC had to vacate all of their wins in the 2007 – 2008 season and they were banned from playing any post-season basketball in the 2008 – 2009 season.
Iowa Recruitment 2011 Offseason
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Iowa turned themselves into the NCAA after admitting to wrong doings in recruitment in the 2011 offseason.
The people behind the recruitment wrong doings, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.
Charlie Sheen’s replacement on “Two and a Half Men" was attending a football game in the fall semester with his wife when he was introduced to two basketball recruits.
Kutcher tried to get recruits Marcus Paige and Josh Oglesby to attend Iowa.
Poor Iowa they not only have to deal with Kutcher as a fan and being at their events and games they also have him and his wife stepping in to try to influence recruits decisions.
Bob Huggins Cincinnati Recruitment
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Bob Huggins is a phenomenal basketball coach. As far as a recruiter that will give a good image to the school not so much.
It has gotten better that since moving away from Cincinnati he has not brought in as many players that were bottom of the barrel in the classroom.
When Huggins was the coach of the bearcats he had a zero percent graduation rate.
A player is also a student and of course there are exceptions when it comes to athletes they may be extended an acceptance even though their grades are below that of the general public being accepted.
This is because they offer the school notoriety for their talent. But over Huggins whole tenure at Cincinnati he had zero recruits’ graduate that is something that is depressing for a very good college.
Clem Haskins Recruits at University of Minnesota
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Clem Haskins much like Bob Huggins had a player’s talent on his mind rather their performances in the classroom.
Haskins over his time at the University of Minnesota helped and gave his players the tools to cheat and get by in college.
Cheating happens but this is a whole team cheating having their tutors write their essays and do homework assignments for them and the coach knew and was fine with it.
Haskins team drew the attention of the NCAA and they had to step in and punish the schools basketball program.
The NCAA stripped titles and wins from the program and got half of Haskins buyout when he left. Minnesota also gave up $350,000 to the NCAA.
Haskins brought in recruits that were under the college’s caliber of student and he helped them get buy without obtaining a true education. When all was said and done he ultimately hurt the basketball program and the institution of the University of Minnesota.
Fab Five and Michigan
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The Fab Five is the highly documented starting five from University of Michigan in the early 90’s.
They were comprised of Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Jajuan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King. The group was supposed to bring multiple National Championships to the school.
Instead they changed the game forever both good and bad.
They brought the mainstream college basketball fans to their televisions to watch their nationally televised games. The fans saw the five players taunt and play athletic basketball that had spectators on the edge of their seat both loving and hating the team.
The Fab Five were highly recruited basketball players who did not all come from the best economic backgrounds.
So when they all saw how the University was making money on their larger then life personalities and game they wanted to get their cut too.
They then got their cut. They took it in the form of gifts from a booster named Ed Martin.
The Fab Five’s story is very interesting and cannot be summed up with such minimal words but these recruits ended up hurting the University of Michigan. The school had to delete the players from their athletic records and forfeit over a 100 wins from the time that the players were there.
Baylor University and Dave Bliss
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This is one of the most interesting recruitment disasters of all time.
It is one littered with drugs, violence, and money.
The smallest error Dave Bliss made while coaching at Baylor was allowing for recruits to scrimmage, which is breaking NCAA rules. That is minor in comparison to his other offenses.
Patrick Dennehy and Corey Herring had half of their tuition paid for by Bliss. In recorded statements Bliss said to teammates and staff to say that the money was coming from dealing drugs.
He knew he could cover his behavior up with this excuse because his players used drugs and alcohol. Bliss and his staff turned a blind eye to marijuana and alcohol use by his team. They also helped the players pass NCAA drug tests.
Two players on the team both recruited by Dave Bliss grabbed headlines when one shot and killed the other. Patrick Dennehy was murdered by teammate Carlton Dotson.
The murder ended Bliss’s explosive time at Baylor.
The NCAA saw Dave Bliss’s conduct as being as bad as SMU’s football program, which got handed the “death penalty." Bliss got a similar punishment being banned from coaching any NCAA affiliated team for ten years.