Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Enes Hurts and it's all Pete Thamels fault

During my stay in North Carolina this week I had prepared myself for North Carolina and Duke hatred towards my beloved Wildcats. However, my Jefferson County license plate and Kentucky shirts and hats have been greeted with nothing but love from the Charlotte selection.

However, last night my evening of Jeopardy on the couch was unfortunately interrupted by a text from Boogiewoogie to inform me that it was ney a Tar Heel nor Blue Devil that shall ruin my days, but Pete Thamel.

Yes, Pete Thamel of the Eric Bledsoe's mom is poor and people paid her rent, I write for the New York Times, Thamel clan had delivered a story to be published concerning Enes Kanter and his eligibility. In the article Thamel had visited Turkey and done some hard hitting investigation into the Istan-Bull. Thamel spoke with Kanter's coaches on his trip to Turkey and reported the coach to say that the club had given Kanter money. This was nothing new, nor illegal. The money is to be expected and is perfectly legit as long as it goes towards covering expenses, meals, housing, etc. while you play for the team. Anything outside of that or the intent of the player to be a professional can revoke amateur status and thus college eligibility.

However, the coach said the team paid Kanter over $100,000 during his 3 years. The has now been picked up by and with their own provocative headlines "Prized recruit gets $100k from his pro team?" and "Report: UK Recruit took cash from Turkish team" respectively. However, nothing has been proven except the ineptitude of the journalist involved.

Here are my main issues with Thamel's report: 

1) The press has run with this like they are bloggers not journalist. In an increasingly hostile market of who gets the story first, Thamel prints something and everyone else runs wild with it, jeopardizing their reputations and more importantly this kids career. It's one thing if its a half nonsense blog writing this stuff, but these are "professionals."  I guess strippers call themselves professional dancers... so maybe I just gave the real papers and big websites more credit than they deserve. 

2) Thamel says in his article that the coach has very good reasons to lie. Yet, he still chose to publish his statements as facts. The Turkish team has nothing to gain from being truthful and everything to lose. If Kanter does not play college basketball, the Turkish team will get a "transfer" fee AND lots of attention. If Kanter goes to the NBA from college, the team loses their best player and they lose potential income. But like Thamel has shown before, you don't have to be credible to be news worthy.

3) Pete Thamel has been proven to stretch the truth in favor of his story, especially when it comes to key figures. Thamel was called out for his "quoting" of several members involved in the Eric Bledsoe apartment payment scandal. In this story, the assistant coach that worked with Kanter at his prep school has come out to say that the quotes Thamel used were completely out of context and one was in fact not even in reference to Thamel.

4) How much of a story would this be AFTER the NCAA clears or denies Kanter eligibility? 50% or less is my guess. If he is cleared, the NCAA saw the coach as not being credible. If Kanter is not cleared, they already had a reason. Thamel had the Times pay for his trip to Turkey and if you are going to have someone fly you across the world to do a story, you better damn well find one. The newspaper is a dying industry and they don't make money off of things they don't print or publish online. No story = wasted money.

The rallying calls have now hit the free world. Last night The University of Kentucky released a statement yesterday that said:
The University of Kentucky is working diligently with the NCAA on this matter and we fully support Enes Kanter and his family through this ongoing NCAA review. We will have no further comment.
Then per Twitter, in a rallying of his followers, Demarcus Cousins repeated something SportsThat had to say weeks earlier, which within 10 minutes became a top Twitter tweet:
@boogiecousins #FreeEnes #FreeEnes #FreeEnes #FreeEnes
Calipari has said that he expects to hear from the NCAA in the next 10-14 days and at that time, I expect everyone else to hear the same thing... I just HOPE it's "Kanter is eligible."

1 comment:

  1. I am personally responsible for about 3 or 4 catchphrases since the inception of this website. I want what is owed to me.