When it comes to the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (key word: Entertainment) and its various offshoots, very little surprises us anymore. The network’s original programming jumped the Fonzie many moons ago, and the self-promotional brand of reporting that it favors does little to hide its mouse-eared shamelessness. Still, a recent article published on ESPNHS, the online arm’s boy’s high school basketball blog, shows that the company will not stop until it reaches the salacious bottom of the content barrel, no doubt populated with the remains of Nancy Grace’s bob haircut and Geraldo Rivera’s bathtub gin. In a piece written by someone they call “Recruit X,” ostensibly an elite recruit coveted by numerous top programs around the country, the player seeks “to keep it 100 percent real” in sharing with us the “truth about what goes on in the life of a heavily-recruited high school basketball player.” If you ever imagined that on-campus visits were like what Jesus Shuttlesworth (played by Ray Allen) experienced in a notorious scene of Spike Lee’s film, He Got Game, well, you aren’t the only one.
When we got back to the dorms, the players had girls set up for us. If you’ve ever seen the movie “He Got Game” then you’ll understand better, but there were three of us and there were three girls there for us. We’d never met these girls before, but they were there for us. I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say we had a great time with them and they were saying the whole time that we should come to the school and it could be like this all the time. I was loving it, personally. I’m not gonna front. What guy my age and in my position wouldn’t love that?
Real or fake? Who knows, and who cares? The sole reason for this particular endeavor is to get fans of rival schools in the comments to troll back and forth about which school offered Recruit X his companions, and as a result, drive up page views. As of this writing, Baylor, Kentucky, Ohio State, UCLA… even Duke was mentioned. Not that it matters a whit, because ESPN isn’t going to out the player (assuming he even exists at all), and there’s no actual there there anyway. ESPN.com has arguably more resources available to its writers than any other online entity in sports, and instead of taking the Yahoo! Sports tack of actual investigations into the corruption of high school and collegiate sports at all levels, they’d rather come up with gimmicky tell-all diaries from “recruits” who don’t actually tell us anything substantial at all.
Players are introduced to young women? Taken to clubs? Given a beer or two? WHO KNEW?!?! How about asking Recruit X, since he’s completely anonymous, to drop dime on the school that offered these things to him? How about getting another Recruit X, the football version, to give up the name and details of the coach that offered him a car “as a little joke?” Why does he care — he’s anonymous, AND he says he’s wasn’t going to matriculate there anyway? It’s all such garbage, and ESPNHS should be ashamed of itself for rolling this unintelligent tripe out there. In the media environment we live in, it’s much easier to be a hater than to laud someone for their efforts, but hey WWL, we’re just keeping it real.
(h/t @KansasSports for alerting us to this article)