Ricky Clemons' girlfriend - ex girlfriend - is accusing the former Mizzou
guard of a
variety of things, including excessive academic support and taking money and
clothing from someone in the Missouri basketball office, according to an article
in the Kansas City Star.
At the end of this article, she states her motive: "(The extra
academic help was} really unfair and (is) the reason why I decided to
tell. I think it's really messed up, and all it does is enhance his belief that he can get away with anything."
Earlier in the article, she says this: "He swore he could get away with
anything, and they proved it to him."
Clemons, through his attorney, denies the charges.
Parts of this seem somewhat odd, though time presumably will sort it
out. For instance, what is the worse thing? Getting help on a paper or
loads of cash? Which would be more unfair? Which seems more corrupt? To
us, it would be cash at that level. She's not talking about burger money.
And just a thought: if he was getting hundreds any time he wanted, why did she
have the SUV and not he? One would think if he could get away with
"anything," he'd have an SUV, too.
We'd presume the Star would now turn their attention to supporting evidence,
to finding other players with similar accounts.
So far, they haven't found any. If there's no pattern of this sort of
thing, then, are we to believe that Ricky Clemons alone received these kind of
benefits? If it comes down to that, it's probably more logical to assume
that the ex is extracting revenge. We don't know that of course, and we
aren't taking a stand either way, but there's no way that a program would
feature that kind of corruption around a middling point guard. By
middling, we mean recruiting-wise. A Jason Kidd, a Sebastian Telfair,
players at that level would get huge offers from corrupt programs. Ricky
Clemons wasn't at that level.
Full disclosure: Boswell has a personal relationship with Quin which
we've discussed here on several occasions. However, he has not talked to
Quin much since he took the Missouri position, and certainly no one from DBR has
talked to anyone at Mizzou regarding Ricky Clemons.
We say that because we are about to engage in a bit of speculation, with absolutely
no basis in reality. So don't assume we know anything or have talked
to anyone or that there is anything to this beyond speculation. But here
is something which occurred to us.
Who is the wealthiest person in the Mizzou program? Hint: it's
not Quin Snyder, and it's not Lane Odom. It's former Josh Kroenke.
Josh Walton Kroenke. Yes, those Waltons. The Wal-mart and Sam's Club Waltons.
Kroenke is a kid we admire: he was not an elite player in high school,
but he worked hard, and he never asked for favors or acted like a rich kid on an
excellent adventure. He's earned a lot of respect from his teammates for
his guttiness. He's also had some health problems and has worked through
We remember, though, that when he was looking for a school, someone - The
Poop Sheet? - said that there was a chance his father would build a new gym
wherever he went. It was an in-passing comment, with an exclamation point,
something marveled over. and it amazed us.
We're not saying anything about his father, because as far as we know, no one
ever said it was absolute fact, and we're pretty sure he didn't build Mizzou a
gym, and we wouldn't presume to comment on anything about him other than the
obvious, least of all his character. And for all we know, Josh's money
could be tied up in trust funds and he might get $50 bucks a week.
But here's the speculation:
What happens when a team has a billionaire on board? Our guess is that,
given his apparent intense desire to be accepted as one of the guys, Kroenke
downplays his wealth. But what would happen if, say, a Walton or a Gates
or a Buffet were on a team and, to him, a hundred dollars was broom
change? What happens if a Ricky Clemons says he'd like a DVD player?
What happens if Ricky Clemons asks you to buy a SweetTart? It's about the
same difference, really.
What would the NCAA do if a player were in a position to do things
like that? It's kind of a weird thought, and it turns a lot of the
assumptions about the normal course of events upside down.
Chances are if Kroenke did stuff like that, his hard-earned respect would be
out the window, because you can't buy your way into a team's heart. But
we're not sure the possibility has ever existed before. It's kind of
amazing to even consider.