Kentucky Milks ‘World Wide Wes’ Connection

Mention the name “World Wide Wes” to a Kentucky basketball fan, and the reaction is a wide grin or a snicker, followed by “whatever it takes” or words to that effect. They don’t know how it works, don’t care, but they know his relationship has something to do with the potential of an undefeated season or a possible championship.

The NCAA is also comprised of competing universities who recognize a threat to their abilities to compete for recognition and championships ...

At the same time, these fans appear to be greatly relieved that the program is even a contender again. After seeing the University of Louisville basketball team ranked No. 1 after last year’s regular season, they were adamant that UK take drastic steps to level the playing field.

Athletic director Mitch Barnhart did just that, firing Billy Gillispie and hiring John Calipari away from Memphis, bringing with him the association with World Wide Wes.

World Wide Wes, of course, is William Wesley who seems to wield considerable influence on the college choices of some gifted basketball players. For some reason Wesley attached himself to Calipari at Memphis, with Memphis suddenly becoming a magnet for top recruits.

Memphis would eventually be investigated by the NCAA. The school had to vacate 38 wins from the 2007-08 season after a player’s college test scores were invalidated. There’s no evidence that anyone else was involved, despite Wesley being a close friend and adviser.

The NCAA, if it has seriously investigated Wesley, has not turned up anything incriminating about his activities and how they benefit the schools with which he becomes connected. The body that governs college athletics is a bureaucratic and bloated organization, slow to respond to questionable activities, sometimes failing to act even when confronted with concrete evidence.

But the NCAA is also comprised of competing universities who recognize a threat to their abilities to compete for recognition and championships, and the prestige and money that goes with these honors. They will not stand idly by while another university is taking advantage of unique relationships to gain a competitive edge — even if no rules are being broken or nothing illegal is occurring, changing the rules if necessary to eliminate any perceived threats or disparities.

Too much at stake. Kentucky’s opponents may eventually have the last laugh.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

37 thoughts on “Kentucky Milks ‘World Wide Wes’ Connection

  • January 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm
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    We are the reason the sport of basketball is so big in college athletics, and one more note; If Kentucky wins the national championship there is no way the NCAA would revoke it. It would be too bad for college basketball

    • January 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm
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      The sport didn’t seem to fare too badly while Kentucky was in obscurity.

  • January 10, 2010 at 10:42 pm
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    Yeah, those years of Wooden and UCLA did nothing for the game. The bottom line is that the ego of some Kentucky basketball fans is off the charts.

    If basketball is a religion with some Kentucky fans..they’re being led by a snake oil salesman right now in the pulpit that may have never been “caught” but has left programs faced with sanctions and NCAA violations.

    Of course, John knew nothing about these. Whistling by the graveyard in the shadow of the moonlight…

    Believe me, if the violation is big enough…not even the prestige of a title isn’t going to save the Cats. And, there’s still several months of basketball to go yet. Way too early to claim the title, D.J.

    Think it will never happen to the mighty Cats? Never say never…

  • January 10, 2010 at 11:35 pm
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    It’s nice to see our rival’s wishing and praying that Calipari messes up… It’s the only way you will get a laugh cause you can’t beat us in Basketball. Pathetic!!

    Couldn’t you have written an article about Pitino banging Sypher? and why he chose not to wear a condom? Maybe the only color that was left was blue? IDK, but you should do an article on it. Interview Vinny Tatum.

    • January 11, 2010 at 12:34 am
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      Ah yes the consensual ‘albeit drunk” sex thing….so the dna test is known by “JOHN” ,,,could it be that the “abortion” was for another of her “flings” …without dna,,,you may speculate all you want…Cal would not have the gonads to admit anything,or was not aware of it…as always he does seem to say eh!

    • January 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm
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      Can’t beat you in basketball? Perfect example of the short memory of UK “fans”. UofL BEAT you the prior 2 years, remember…THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE SO-SA?!?!?!?!

  • January 10, 2010 at 11:59 pm
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    What do these UK a$$wipes do, google “who’s being mean to my kitties?” I have never once felt the need to find someones UK fan blog and post there. It flabbergasts me. Get a life bluenecks!

    Better be careful though Charlie, they will probably be tracking you down for this one.

    Go Cats!

    • January 11, 2010 at 12:41 am
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      That should say Go Away Cats!

  • January 11, 2010 at 12:05 am
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    Oh my! John… an article of Pitino and Sypher could be your’s.? – I mean, if it means that much to you.. Pablo Torre’ has wrote some good articles for SI…

  • January 11, 2010 at 12:35 am
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    Enjoy the game Charlie…Should have picked that one!!

  • January 11, 2010 at 1:13 am
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    I’m just saying… You UofL fans have nothing else better to do than close your eyes and hold your balls and pray for the day when Calipari does something wrong?

    And you guys are so awesome. Here Rick Pitino Admits to banging a chick in a Public Restaurant and then giving her money to kill the baby. and you’re comparing it to a kid who cheated on his SAT in High School and another that took money from an agent.

    If you were UT fans you would be on Tyler Smith’s side too. LMAO

    • January 11, 2010 at 1:20 am
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      We aren’t waiting and we certainly wouldn’t waste prayer on basketball.

    • January 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm
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      John you are a sad, sad case of someone with nothing else to do but stalk the Card forums and wishing your program could be like Big Bro’s in Louisville…won’t happen, not with the sleaze at the helm right now in Lessington.

  • January 11, 2010 at 1:22 am
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    Edited for lack of common sense.

    • January 11, 2010 at 9:00 am
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      John, keep it civil. You do a disservice to the image of your fan base.

  • January 11, 2010 at 7:11 am
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    Nice way to hijack the original author’s post, John and D.J.

    This was about World Wide Wes. Can you come up with any defense for this guy? His relationship with Calipari? I guess not, as long as the Big Blue is having a good year, it’s OK..wink, wink.

    Pitino’s dalliance with this women’s is regrettable and a black eye, we get it. It hasn’t affected a single game this season, though. If we’re talking about basketball here, which seemed to be the orginal theme of the article, the actions of World Wide Wes have affected entire programs and their success and ultimate downfall and penalties in basketball. But, that’s OK, right? As long as UK wins?

    Scoot along, little kitties.

  • January 11, 2010 at 7:45 am
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    Typical trash from the blewneck fan base. They seem to forget what Pitino did for them and they wish nothing but failure for him all because he coaches U of L. Very shallow. I can’t wait till the blewnecks hearts are shattered when their team has to vacate a season full of wins. Not a question of if, but when.

  • January 11, 2010 at 8:51 am
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    John (and all UK fans), if you can’t differentiate between violations within the rules of basketball (which is the topic of this article) and moral, albeit legal, transgressions, then we can’t help you here. The fact remains that UK athletics didn’t sniff the success that UofL had in the last decade. Thus, you are starting this one off dancing with the devil.

    I also hate to break it to you, but no one cares about UK other than you fans. You all chalk it up to conspiracy theories naming ESPN, SI, the Associated Press, and any other media outlet as being “anti-UK”. But, the reality is that 1.) no one cares if you win, 2.) if you cheat you will be punished (which is proven by the fact UK athletics has been on probation more than any other athletic program, and 3.) Cal’s reputation (before he ever thought about coaching UK) was sketchy, and remains that today.

  • January 11, 2010 at 10:08 am
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    The type of talent that John Calipari gets is “High Risk” They know they are going to the NBA and they don’t care who they hurt to get there. Now keep in mind that this is some of the athletes not all. Someone has to take this talent, If not us then other schools would get it.

    Be in denial, but I think this article is because UK Beat UofL, UK has John Wall, John Wall on the cover of SI, UK has 3 NBA players on the roster and UK is 16-0.

    And I completely understand because if UofL had this I would be jealous too.

    • January 11, 2010 at 11:11 am
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      Are you not aware of what happens to teams and players who appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated? It’s the worst kind of jinx. Lap it up.

    • January 11, 2010 at 11:19 am
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      “Jealous? Jealous?? Of a lamp???”

      For some reason, probably because of recent viewings of “A Christmas Story,” that is the phrase, uttered by a bemused wife, that jumped immediately to mind. The inept dad in that movie is soooo proud of his “great” prize, a lamp that looks like a leg. “Electric sex,” breathes an enchanted son Ralphie.

      So, John, your suggestion that Cards fans are envious of your “great” prize (electric sex) is ludicrous. And we anticipate the night when it will be shattered and buried in the backyard, Taps playing poignantly in the background.

    • January 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm
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      Trust me, UofL is not “jealous” of UK’s program or the way the national media portrays your program or sketchy coach. We are VERY happy with our consistent and top tier program. We’ll even the score next season in our new state-of-the-art downtown arena (hope you’re not jealous, but can understand if you are). Now, go get a life.

  • January 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm
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    Odd how Wesley attaches himself to U of L’s biggest rivals, Memphis and Kentucky. My guess is Cincinnati and West Virginia will next in line.

  • January 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm
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    May have something to do with Denny not wanting to deal with him anymore. It was already sticky enough for Crum during the later years.

  • January 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm
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    I understand a couple of universities have already demanded investigation into the situation and they are pretty prestigious institutions.

  • January 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm
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    Do you or any of your commenters have any evidence of wrong doing in recruiting Wall or any of the other current UK roster….course not.

    Do you or any of your commenters have any evidence of a connection between Wes and Calipari or UK at the current time….course not.

    My bet is your only evidence is that UK is 16-0 and #2 in the nation so we must have cheated. Why do people think that way. That means UofL did it in recent years, right?

    • January 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm
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      Big coincidence that Wes gets front row seats in Rupp Arena don’t ya think?

  • January 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm
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    Yup. I think you should take that right to the NCAA today.

    • January 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm
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      Wes sitting on the front row is another example of the UK mentality, dumbly thinking it can rub it in the NCAA’s nose. Kentucky will do it to themselves, as they always do. Just a matter of time.

  • January 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm
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    Wes is supposed to be the power broker of the NBA, the man who watches everybody, like next years #1 draft pick.

    I don’t know if he’s good or bad, I don’t know if he has ever done anything to help Calipari, Memphis, or Kentucky. That’s my whole point, neither do you.

    16-0 guilty
    #2 guilty
    Wes came to a game to see the #1 player guilty

    evidence ooops
    facts uh-uh

    Just make up stuff, say it enough times, and wish it into being truth.

    • January 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm
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      He’s Mr. Magic, that WWW. We’ve got bigger fish to fry right now. Let’s continue this discussion later.

  • January 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm
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    Get ’em Charlie

  • January 12, 2010 at 9:55 am
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    10 Stages of denial
    1. Our Freshman point guard is better than John Wall
    2. Oh no, Our freshman point guard has the flu
    3. Samuels will dominate the inside
    4. Sosa for 3 swish
    5. Cousins is a bad boy
    6. The referees are giving this game to the cats
    7. This game was stolen from the Cards
    8. Wait until all the one and dones are gone
    9. This game will be vacated by the ncaa
    10. Your football team is not as good as ours(will be)

  • January 12, 2010 at 10:22 am
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    Yuk it up, laughing boy. What goes around comes around. One year removed from the Billy G. disaster and all of a sudden UK is the undisputed dynasty? Your arrogance would be amusing, if it wasn’t so pitiful and contrived. Know this, UofL and the rest of the nation knows what UK is. A fat, croaking frog on a lily pad that is about to sink. Look out for the gig. It’s coming…

  • January 12, 2010 at 11:20 am
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    Not surprising that you do not mention William Wesley’s previous connection to UofL and Milt Wagner. But I guess in your ‘jealous of all things UK’ reasoning that is beside the point — because, of course, that was before WWW was shady. Now that he’s connected to UK, well… the circumstances are totally different.

    What I find more interesting is that you imply all sorts of accusations (with no proof) at UK’s recruiting tactics, yet I’m certain you believe UofL’s tactics are pure as the wind driven snow. I’ll let you in on a little secret — the two programs are no different in tactics. UK is just better at recruiting than UofL right now.

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