Attorney: Davis Will Sue The Chicago Sun-Times

Posted by jstevrtc on August 7th, 2010

The battle…is now truly joined.

Late on Friday, an attorney representing Anthony Davis, Sr. told the Chicago Tribune that a lawsuit will be filed next week against Michael O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to the story at the online version of the Tribune, Mr. Davis’ attorney, Georgette Greenlee, told the paper that “It boggles our mind where O’Brien got his information from.”

The Sun-Times knew they could face legal action if they persisted with the story that the elder Davis had made a $200,000 deal with the Kentucky program in exchange for a commitment by the younger Anthony Davis, and after receiving that strongly-worded letter from lawyers representing UK, did they back down?  Only temporarily, but then came back with a story in which O’Brien claimed he had three sources claiming that Mr. Davis was shopping his son. Kentucky’s press release on Friday afternoon stated that they would support “any action” that the Davis family took against O’Brien and the paper, and it looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen next week, unless the Davises are attempting to call what they consider a bluff by the Sun-Times.

But both sides appear extremely confident in this matter, which means that each thinks it has a piece of trump-card information that will annihilate the other.  If a lawsuit actually gets filed, it’ll be incredibly interesting to see what tidbits of information are revealed as a result of the discovery process.  Will Michael O’Brien and the Sun-Times produce solid evidence that will support their article and implicate the Davises (and maybe Kentucky)?  Or will we soon see Anthony Davis reviewing movies with Roger Ebert?  It’ll be one heck of a showdown.

Share this story

Sun-Times Fires Back On UK/Davis Situation

Posted by jstevrtc on August 6th, 2010

Not only did the Chicago Sun-Times not back down, they’ve responded with vigor.

Not even two days after the University of Kentucky sent a letter to the S-T jumping on the paper’s accusation of them having given stud recruit Anthony Davis $200,000 to sign with the school, Michael O’Brien, the author of the original controversial article, stepped back up with another piece that claims:

“Sources from three separate universities told the Sun-Times that Davis, Sr. asked for money in return for his son’s commitment, with the amounts ranging from $125,000 to $150,000.”

There’s been no response from Lexington…yet.  The question is — should there be one?

Davis finds himself in the middle of a media maelstrom.

Just about every media outlet slammed O’Brien and the Sun-Times for publishing the original accusation based on what appeared to be a single-sourced “rumor,” burying it deep within the story, then revising the original article and not mentioning that they did a re-write.  O’Brien, asked by numerous outlets for a comment (including us), didn’t give one, but it’s safe to say that this story serves as his his response.

Let’s take a closer look at that new statement by O’Brien and the Sun-Times, though.  As you can see above, today’s article states that Anthony Davis’ father asked for money in the aforementioned amounts.  It does not say that Kentucky gave him anything, which is a bit of a comedown from the first article which was removed.  The dollar amount is different, too.  Are these three sources that the Sun-Times is holding up today different from the source that led to the first story?  If the original source is included, then why has the amount gone down from $200,000 to a maximum of $150,000?  And if these are indeed three different sources, then why weren’t they included in the original write-up on Wednesday?   Did he go out and find three new ones in the last 36 hours, and would they happen to have anything to do with the three schools said to be competing with Kentucky for Davis’ services?  Finally, why is the mention of three new sources backing O’Brien’s original version buried ten paragraphs down the page and not leading off the article?

The University of Kentucky is now in a strange position.  If they don’t come back with something stronger than a letter to the paper, they’ll look bad, and — right or wrong — people will wonder if they’re too busy covering their tracks to respond.  If they make good on the threat implied in that letter they sent on Wednesday night and actually get into this legally, then everything will come to light.  And we don’t just mean everything involved in the recruitment of Davis.  Once lawsuits get filed, subpoenas start flying and all the details emerge as part of the discovery process (just ask Rick Pitino).  Assuming everything John Calipari’s ever done in terms of recruiting is spotless, would he and UK want everything about his recruiting techniques and methods out there in the public for everyone to see?  That’s the best-case scenario for UK if this gets into the legal system.  Most people don’t want their trade secrets revealed, forcibly or otherwise.  Is there a chance the Sun-Times knows Kentucky would prefer to stay out of this legally, and is calling their bluff?  That’d be quite a gambit, but the paper has a lot less to lose here than UK.  No offense to Mr. O’Brien, but if he’s wrong about this, then he probably loses his job and the Sun-Times apologizes.  If he’s ends up being right, then Kentucky’s looking at NCAA penalties and John Calipari is looking at an even more tarnished reputation, not to mention the wrath of Kentucky fans.  You’d have to wonder if any program at any level would ever touch him again.

With this article today, the Sun-Times has directly challenged the University of Kentucky, and the fact that the paper actually quoted the letter sent to them by the school’s attorneys shows that they’re confident they’ve got the horses to back up their story, or they’re willing to go to the mat with UK on this because they have a lot less to lose.  And because of that, they’re winning this chess match right now.  It’s Kentucky’s move.

UPDATE:  Minutes after this story was published, the University of Kentucky issued this a press release, again denying the Sun-Times‘ assertions and — this is the most important part of the statement — saying it supports “any action” that Anthony Davis and his family (the school is not allowed to mention him by name, per NCAA rules) would take against O’Brien and the paper, but in terms of its own legal actions, the release states it is “evaluating all available rights and remedies it may have” against O’Brien and the newspaper.  Read the statement here.

Share this story

Morning Five: 08.06.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 6th, 2010

  1. Good grief, could yesterday have been any busier in the college basketball world on a random August Thursday?  Between the Karen Sypher verdict, the release of several holiday season tournament brackets, coaching APRs and eligibility issues flying around, it felt like January around here.  Let’s talk Pitino
  2. The Chicago Sun-Times in response to its writer Michael O’Brien’s allegation (later removed) that Kentucky had paid Anthony Davis‘ family $200,000 in return for his commitment?  _________________________________________(crickets chirping)___________________________________________.  A slightly revised article on the S-T website, “Davis No Longer a Hidden Talent,” makes no mention of any payment nor offers a retraction or correction of any sort.
  3. On a normal summer day, we might have a blast with this story from Kansas that they’re enlisting the help of students to redo their fight song now that Colorado and Nebraska are no longer members of the Big 12.  The winner will be announced on Oct. 23 this fall at Homecoming, but we can already say that the winner in our hearts and minds will be the clever student who comes up with a ditty trashing Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma for holding the rest of their conference brethren over the proverbial barrel and bringing it Deliverance-style in June.  C’mon, KU fans.  Send us something smart.
  4. We dove into the Maui Invitational tournament brackets yesterday, in part because it has the best field and also because of the potential juicy Kentucky-Washington semifinal matchup, but several more tournament brackets were released as well.  Ready for some .pdf brackets?  The CBE Classic (Duke-Marquette and Gonzaga-Kansas State in the semis); the 2kSports CvC (Pitt-Maryland and Illinois-Texas); the Old Spice Classic (Ladies, look at your man…); and the 76 Classic were all bracketed yesterday.  Andy Katz has a tremendous breakdown of all the best pieces of the various tournaments here. 
  5. The gray line between advisor and agent is holding up the NCAA’s confirming the amateur status of Kansas’ Josh Selby, according to’s Gary Parrish.  The question of Selby’s amateurism stems from an association with fellow Baltimore native Robert Frazier, who acts as Carmelo Anthony’s “business manager” and has admitted he acted as an “advisor” to Selby and his mother during his recruitment.  Parrish’s article also contains quotes from Bill Self and Selby’s mom, neither of whom sound terribly worried.
Share this story

Morning Five: 08.05.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 5th, 2010

  1. The University of Kentucky responded with some legal saber-rattling as a result of yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times article that alleged a $200,000 payment to super-recruit Anthony Davis.  In parsing the letter from UK’s attorneys to author Michael O’Brien, we find it notable that the second paragraph asserts that no member of UK or its athletic department “offered or paid any money or other illegal benefits to the [redacted] family.”  That’s all fine and well, but even the most naive of us knows that direct payments from universities to players is soooo ’80s.  All the money and illegal benefits run through runners and wannabe agents these days.  We’re not saying any payment of any kind was made to anyone in this case, and in fact it’s most likely that O’Brien simply soiled the bed here, but we do find it interesting how the UK legal team strategically phrased that paragraph.
  2. In the ongoing saga known as the trial of Karen Sypher, the defense rested yesterday without so much as calling a witness.  This is an interesting legal strategy, but it clearly represents that Sypher’s attorney believes that the prosecution didn’t meet its threshold of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  The jury will now deliberate on what they’ve heard over the last two weeks and we should know the result presumably in the next day or two.
  3. The Legends Classic bracket was released yesterday, with Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Michigan and UTEP slotted into the semifinal round in Atlantic City, New Jersey during Thanksgiving weekend.  The Yellow Jackets will face UTEP in one semi, while ‘Cuse will play Michigan in the other.  Keep an eye out for the release of the bracket (featuring UConn, Michigan State, Kentucky and Washington) for arguably the best 2010 holiday tournament, the Maui Invitational, later this afternoon.
  4. Ready for a trip down memory lane?  This re-published Hartford Courant article from June 1986 discusses UConn’s fresh new hire, a fiery New Englander who goes by the name of Jim Calhoun.  The other two finalists for that (at the time) woeful job?  Fairfield head coach (and current Siena top dog) Mitch Buonaguro and Canisius head coach Nick Macarchuk.  Amazing.  Calhoun said that leaving Northeastern to take the UConn job was the hardest thing he’d ever done, a statement that seems borderline absurd colored by a quarter-century of history but made complete sense at the time (NE was in much better shape).
  5. This LA Times article about college basketball announcing icon Dick Enberg is mostly about his current gig doing local television games for the San Diego Padres, but there are several jewels in the piece relating to our game.  You can tell he has a deep fondness for the sport, referring reverentially to Final Four Saturday, John Wooden (“Other than my own father… the greatest man I have ever known.”), and Al McGuire throughout the article.  Great read; make sure to check it out.
Share this story