|Posted by Ally Tucker on May 16, 2011 at 12:25 AM|
Earlier this week I experienced one of those "the joke's on you" moments. You see, a while back, Rick Pitino and his University of Louisville coaching staff decided to take a chance on a transfer player from Wake Forest named Tony Woods. At first glance, taking a commitment from a 5-star center with "NBA potential" (I think that is an over-used phrase anyway, "NBA potential," I mean don't we all have the potential, technically, to be in the NBA?...) seems like a great situation for any program. Unfortunately, if you look just beyond the surface and the stat-line, Tony Woods is not just any old NBA-potential toting guy. He broke his girlfriend's spine.
No, you didn't read that wrong. And no, this isn't me being sarcastic like I often am. He broke her spine. Now, according to articles that have been released since the accident, he may or may not have actually been the one to cause the fracture in the spine. His girlfriend now describes the altercation as being more of a domestic dispute with a little pushing than a violent attack in which he broke her spine. She even goes as far as to say that she fell out of her dorm bed a week earlier and had been having back troubles before the domestic dispute with Woods even happened. I won't even pretend to act like I know what happened on that night, or how guilty or innocent the whole situation was.....but I do know 2 things for sure....1) Even simply shoving a girl, or pushing a girl, isn't okay. Just because you didn't "violently hit her" or possibly cause a fracture in her spine, any amount of pushing or shoving (especially in the presence of their baby) isn't appropriate. And 2) "I fell out of the dorm bed" is the oldest trick in the book.....I don't know if I buy that.
Regardless, the point of this blog entry is not to decide whether or not Tony Woods is innocent or guilty of anything. The point is that I woke up one morning last week only to find out that Tony Woods (who recently changed his mind about playing at U of L and opened his options back up) took an unofficial visit to the University of Kentucky and met with Coach Calipari, Mitch Barnhart and President Lee Todd. Say what?!
Not only was I concerned and disturbed by the fact that we were giving attention and potentially considering giving a scholarship to Woods, but I had also made fun of Louisville for about 3 months about taking a commitment from someone who had put his girlfriend in the hospital.
I am all about giving people second chances in life. Don't get me wrong. I believe that even if the situation that night was actually the worst case scenario, if he truly has changed and his girlfriend and close family members and friends all vouch for that, he deserves to make a different path for himself in life--I just am not sure I want that path to be at the University of Kentucky. Now if these were the Billy Clyde years, and we were desperate for any talent at all, regardless of the situations, perhaps giving him a second chance at a school that was in need of a second chance at the time might have been understandable. We are on a high at Kentucky right now. We have a monster recruiting class coming in, with a few key veterans to surround them. We are already a consensus top-2 team and national championship contender next year. Others around the nation have been quoted as saying that this is the classiest group of individuals and highest character group that Coach Cal has had possibly ever. Why take any chance at messing with that? Just not worth it. Someone else will give Tony Woods a chance. I guarantee you that. There are plenty of schools out there who need 5-star talent in a bad way. We are not that school right now.
With that said, I started thinking about some of the other potential "Deal-breakers" I would have when considering whether or not to give a scholarship to a kid interested in Kentucky. What are a few of the things that I just simply could not look past, no matter what. I have compiled a list.....
10 Back-Breakers Deal-Breakers
1) Breaking Your Girlfriend's Back (allegedly or not....if it's even a possibility, count me out)
2) People with 2 First Names (You can't trust them....seriously...have you ever met a Kelly Lindsey that you could trust? Didn't think so...)
3) Claims "Two and a Half Men" as their favorite tv show (I'm sorry but no one in the world can convince me that this show is/was/will ever be funny. Now I hear that Ashton Kutcher is taking Charlie Sheen's spot. The show was already terrible....)
4) Drinks Whole Milk (Does anyone else feel like that is the equivalent to drinking straight from the udder? Eek)
5) Doesn't dance when "Party in the USA" comes on (Love it or hate it, if you don't even do a little bee-bop in your seat when you hear this song come on, I question everything about you. Everything).
6) Votes more than once a week for American Idol (I thought about saying votes for American Idol period....or watches American Idol period....but I decided to be flexible with this one. Seriously though...this show is terrible and I don't understand people's fascination with it...and willingness to call a # 400 times to try to get through).
7) Drinks their beer with a straw (I've literally seen people do this....why? why? why? Don't order a beer if you want to drink with a straw....order a flirtini....or a clue).
8 ) Wears jeans with no butt pockets... (I mean, when do you NOT need a pocket for something? At some point? Ever? And has anyone else seen more of these type of jeans at skating rinks than anywhere else? Just sayin'....)
9) Thinks it's okay for dogs to wear human clothes...or any clothes for that matter (Unnatural)
10 ) Doesn't read Tucker's Tales (duh)