Several college basketball coaches said they were not surprised with the New York Times’ report about a NCAA investigation into Eric Bledsoe’s background during his high school career in Birmingham.
However, at least once coach didn’t see the probe as anything aimed at Bledsoe, who played at Kentucky last year, or UK coach John Calipari. Instead, they think someone may have leaked information about Bledsoe’s academic records and living conditions because of resentment of Maurice Ford, Bledsoe’s coach his senior year.
“There are a lot of dynamics that go into this,” said one coach, who used to work in the SEC but now works in the Big East. “The whole Birmingham recruiting situation can be unique. Maurice Ford is probably not best friends with many coaches in Birmingham, but that’s the way it is when you are winning and he wins.
“The word on Bledsoe was that he was not going to be eligible (as a freshman). But his high school closed, Maurice got involved and his grades got better. Anybody that would have signed Bledsoe would have known about that background.
“Bledsoe flew under the radar for a long time. He only played on a small AAU team. He never really stood out on the AAU circuit, either. Way too many schools missed out on him. There was a lot of resentment among junior college coaches because they thought they had a good chance at getting him and he would have been a prime-time junior college recruit. That’s why I say there’s a lone of people who would want to see Maurice in trouble. That’s why I believe all this is aimed more at him than it is Cal or Kentucky. But then Bledsoe is the one caught in the middle.”