Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
The Chicago Sun-Times is standing by its story that the father of 6-foot-10 forward Anthony Davis of Chicago Perspectives Charter asked Kentucky for money in return for his son’s commitment.
In a story posted on its Website early Friday, reporter Michael O’Brien cites “sources from three separate universities …that [Anthony] Davis Sr. asked for money in return for his son’s commitment, with the amounts ranging from $125,000 to $150,000.”
When O’Brien reached Davis Sr. Thursday, the father reportedly said: ”Thanks for ruining my son. Thank you very much.”
Georgette L. Greenlee, an attorney representing Davis Sr. and his wife, Erainer Eberhardt-Davis, also denied the original Sun-Times story, which cited “rumors/sources” in support of the contention that Kentucky had paid $200,000 for Davis.
”Mr. Davis has not asked any university or college for any commitment fee for his son, nor has anything been offered to him or Mrs. Davis,” Greenlee told the Sun-Times.
In the latest story, The Sun-Times cited another “source” saying that the NCAA is ”checking” into Davis’ recruitment.
”The University of Kentucky has spoken with Mr. David Price, NCAA vice president of enforcement,” according to the letter to the Sun-Times, which was written by Kevin G. Henry of the Lexington, Ky., law firm Sturgill, Turner, Barker and Moloney. ”He advised that whatever inquiry you received from an NCAA person was merely asking you for information about your sources for your article, and that this is not confirmation of an ‘investigation’ of the University of Kentucky or an examination of the recruitment of the named student-athlete by the NCAA.”
Stephen Baker, another attorney from the same law firm, sent a letter to the Sun-Times demanding retraction of the initial story and threatening legal recourse if it did not.
“You have to question, what is (O’Brien) thinking?” Barker told the Chicago Tribune. “You have to know, working on an article like that, with no sources, and you have a strong denial from the father — I think that is a blatant breach of journalism ethics.”
Davis grew to 6-10 from 6-2 in the past year and became the hottest recruit on the summer circuit. He initially cut his list to Kentucky, Syracuse and Ohio State before visiting Kentucky Sunday and DePaul Monday.
Davis Sr. told ChicagoHoops.com the Kentucky visit went well.
”We spoke with the president of the school, looked at the living quarters where Anthony would be staying and saw some film on some improvements they are making within the basketball program,” Davis Sr. told the Website.
”We also met the entire coaching staff, from coach Cal [John Calipari] to the weight trainer.”
Calipari, who has had two Final Fours vacated at two different schools, declined comment Thursday on the matter to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“No, no. I won’t bother with ridiculous things,” Calipari told the paper.
(Photo courtesy Sun-Times)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.