Since the New York Times published its story on Friday about the NCAA checking into Eric Bledsoe, it’s been the top college basketball subject through this long holiday weekend. True, that’s not saying much for this time of year, but, as usually happens with stories of this kind, the day-to-day evolution has been as interesting as expected.
The latest wrinkle is that, according to the boys (and girl) over at KentuckySportsRadio.com, Bledsoe might sue whoever let his high school transcript end up in the hands of the national media. The NCAA has certainly had copies of the transcript for some time, since that’s something any prospective student-athlete at the NCAA level has to submit as part of the process. But it seems like pretty much everyone’s now privy to what was supposed to be confidential as of three days ago, and — given what people would find on the college transcripts of a couple of the guys around here if they were ever made public — we can see how Bledsoe would be pretty ticked. We doubt Bledsoe has family members who have copies of his high school transcript, and certainly none who would just hand it over to anyone, so if ESPN.com and the like all have copies of his transcript from both his junior and senior year high schools, it seems that documentation of that nature could have only come from either the senior-year school, the colleges to which Bledsoe applied (watch for this possibility to gain speed in the near future), or the NCAA itself — all entities he should be able to trust. We can certainly understand Bledsoe’s anger.
Whether or not Bledsoe moves forward with a lawsuit could tell us a lot about this situation, though, because whoever he names as a party in the suit could then subpoena his high school transcripts and any supporting documentation. In other words, if — and yes, it’s still an “if” — there’s any impropriety there, it will come out in discovery. If he and/or his handlers on this think that there’s something there that they don’t want to come to light, it would be better for Kentucky if Bledsoe didn’t go ahead with his lawsuit. And let’s be honest, Eric Bledsoe is about to be a multi-millionaire. He’s days away from being drafted into the NBA, and he has no reason to concern himself with any of this. Assuming this isn’t a PR move of the Roger Clemens/Barry Bonds variety, if Bledose files his lawsuit against people who leaked his transcript or obtained them by suspect means, then he and his advisors must like the cards they’re holding.
The other aspect of this that we find interesting is that, no matter what websites, newspapers, or blogs you read, no matter whose Twitter feeds you follow, the lines on this are being drawn not so much by the details of the whole scenario, but rather by how each writer/blogger/tweeter feels about John Calipari, who hasn’t yet been implicated in any of this. We’re not apologizing for the man, but the fact remains that he hasn’t been brought up in any of this so far. There are many facets of this story that we find intriguing — how does a kid go from a 1.9 to a 2.5 in a year? How can the NCAA be investigating but not formally alert the school? Who leaked the transcript? If this non-investigation has been going on since February, why has it dragged on until well after the season was over? How will UK fans feel about their program if the NCAA wields the pimp hand? — but those are being largely ignored by all but a select few, with people seemingly letting their opinion of Calipari determine how they feel about a matter in which his name hasn’t surfaced. If Bledsoe is ruled ineligible and the NCAA says that Kentucky has to forfeit its 35 wins from last season, that would be the time to examine how it might affect Calipari’s coaching career, because it would be one heck of a debate. But, to be honest, there are other areas in this matter that are more compelling right now.