THE FOX IN PASTNER’S HEN HOUSE
Well, it happened a little bit later than we thought it would, but Georgia Tech did in fact suspend its two best perimeter players, Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie. I said in last Fridays post that the Jackets were going to suspend two players in 24-48 hours, it turned out to be a few days later, but the information, as usual, was good.
The more that comes out about this story, the weirder it gets. Apparently, as a younger man, Coach Josh Pastner, who is a legit good dude, befriended a man who was having a rough go of things. This man has since had a news story published about his friendship with Coach Pastner where he sung his praises, and proclaimed that Josh saved his life from drug addiction, and helped him again while Pastner was struggling through one of the most difficult years he has had to date professionally.
A bond that strong, what could possibly burn that playhouse to the ground? Food and t-shirts.
As some who read this blog more frequently, or for those who I discuss basketball with on message boards know, I don’t sleep a ton, which means I watch a stupid amount of TV, because what is there to do at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep? It’s cheaper than going and walking around the 24 hour Wal-Mart. One of my favorite all-time shows is Justified. Some might call it “Top 1”, personally, I would call it top 3. There is a scene in Season 4, in the episode called “Decoy”, when Jacob Pitts character (Gutterson) calls Ron Eldard’s character (Rhodes) on the phone when he suspects Rhodes has lured into a car bomb trap, and is watching him from a distance. They discuss the situation as part of a fictional book Gutterson is writing, the following conversation takes place:
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson: Am I right in saying that you were in the sandbox before Afghanistan?
Colton ‘Colt’ Rhodes: I am a double winner. Is that why you called, to ask me that?
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson: Oh, why? You busy?
Colton ‘Colt’ Rhodes: I am in the middle of something.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson: All right, I’ll make it quick. I’m writing a book set in Iraq. There’s a chapter where a convoy of military police is transporting a criminal, and lieutenant Dan… he’s our main guy… he gets a bad feeling.
Colton ‘Colt’ Rhodes: “Forrest Gump”.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson: Huh?
Colton ‘Colt’ Rhodes: There’s a lieutenant Dan in “Forrest Gump.”
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson: Oh, shit. You’re right. I’ll change it. Lieutenant Colt.
Colton ‘Colt’ Rhodes: I would like a young Gérard Depardieu to play me in the movie. I’m honored.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson: Well, you should be. He’s a big guy, real badass… Or he was. He’s kind of losing his grip. He started using dope that he confiscated.
Colton ‘Colt’ Rhodes: Yeah, but then we find out that he’s kicked again. And anyone who thinks he’s in any way diminished is in for a big surprise.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson: Yeah, but he’s the kind of character might say he’s kicked, but we all know he’s just one broken shoelace away from saying “screw it” and picking up again.
Ok, so one of my favorite scenes of all time of any show. Point is, a junkie is a junkie. Any point of contention, a small hurdle for normal people, will be enough to convince a junkie it’s too much for them to handle. They are weak, they are never the problem. Someone else is always responsible for their shortcomings.
This particular junkie, allegedly lost his mind at a team function last year when Pastner’s assistant asked him to wait to eat until after the team had finished eating. Pastner talked to him and it was all good. Then the T-shirt mess involving Pastner’s assistant happened recently, and this time when Pastner spoke to him and asked him to simply be nice to his assistant, this person took it as a slight, and has decided to try to burn both the GT program and Pastner to the ground. He apparently informed someone that Okogie and Jackson received gifts in the form of customized sneakers in the off-season. It has been alleged that the person who gave the gifts is the same person who provided information.
Now, there is plenty of blame to go around here. Pastner unfortunately has to accept some responsibility, regardless of his no doubt good intentions. You can’t bring a pill popping lunatic around the team.
Jax and Okogie have to know that you can’t accept anything. Zip, zero, natta. That is in the student athlete handbook. First page, before the “This goes out to UNC, we love you, kisses” dedication page, it says “DON’T FUCKING TAKE ANYTHING.”
Unfortunately, neither will travel to China for the season opener against UCLA, as both are suspended indefinitely. Jackson could be looking at as many as 6 games, Okogie as many as 9. We will see what the NCAA does, but let this be a lesson to everyone, hangers-on, regardless of how pathetic, needy and sad their stories may be, should always be kept at arms length. Their weakness of character will eventually lead them to believe that you are the villain, instead of them realizing they are just an insignificant annoyance to the rest of us.
Pastner did self report the violations, and is no doubt hoping for a slap on the wrist here, but the NCAA themselves is about as predictable as a junkie, with an uzi, in a bank, while he needs a fix, so we will see where this goes.
DUVAL SUSPENDED FOR BOWIE STATE EXHIBITION
Freshman point guard Trevon Duval will not play for the Blue Devils in today’s exhibition against Bowie State. The reason given was “Violation of Team Standards.” If you expected a reason instead of some vague non-reason you were once again disappointed. There was some chatter of some social media transgressions and/or curfew violations.
Either way, small issue, it’s not like he didn’t attend class, or more egregiously, DID attend class. Duke no doubt wants to show the young man that regardless of his star ranking, he is expected to follow the same rules as everyone else.
This could actually work out alright for the Dukies, it will give them an opportunity to see what Alex O’Connell and Jordan Goldwire bring to the table at the 1 spot. Goldwire is a true point, but AOC has fucking stupid athleticism.
COULD BRIAN BOWEN ACTUALLY SEE THE COURT?
There is no way the NCAA and/or Louisville could reinstate him. The FBI has simply given them the go ahead to carry on with their investigations after asking them to hold off on doing so until the FBI concluded theirs. No whether or not the information the Feds obtained will be shared with either the NCAA or Louisville, I do not know. I can’t imagine either would get anything more than a friendly GFY given the corruption in each of their houses, but ya never know.
What is interesting here is, if Louisville finds some nugget of information that casts any doubt on Bowen receiving any money, will they take the risk? While Bowen is not a OAD type 5 star recruit, he is a piece that if combined with a roster that already probably has Elite Eight potential, could be a Final Four contender. It is better to be forced to take down banners than to have never have hung them, amiright? They are probably going to get their pecker slapped eventually anyways, god forbid the NCAA turn to its patented “vacating of wins” punishment on top of the potential loss of scholarships, recruiting restrictions and whatever else. Does David Padgett have those coaching chops? Does Louisville have the balls to show the NCAA there ass, again?
I am interested. Someone should cover that. If only there was a network that covered sports around the clock and provided intriguing original content. Until that comes along I guess I’ll continue not watching ESPN.