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Old 06-05-2010, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I Piss on St. John Wooden

My prayers go out to St. John Wooden. Let the cannonization begin.

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UCLA, 1964-75: Wooden's Little Helper

"If the UCLA teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s were subjected to the kind of scrutiny Jerry Tarkanian and his players have been, UCLA would probably have to forfeit about eight national titles and be on probation for the next 100 years." Who would so slander UCLA, particularly during the era of saintly coach John Wooden? Their own legendary center, Bill Walton. Booster Sam Gilbert funneled so much money to players that NCAA probationary poster boy Jerry Tarkanian quipped, "The only team with a higher payroll was the Lakers." The NCAA didn't take action until 1981, by which point Wooden and his ten titles had been retired for six years.
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"I hate to say anything that may hurt UCLA, but I can't be quiet when I see what the NCAA is doing (to other coaches) only because (they have) a reputation for giving a second chance to many black athletes other coaches have branded as troublemakers. The NCAA is working night and day trying to get (them), but no one from the NCAA ever questioned me during my four years at UCLA."

That quote comes from none other than Bill Walton, maybe the greatest Bruin of them all, in a 1978 book "Bill Walton: On the Road with the Portland Trail Blazers," which went on to detail how Sam Gilbert, a Los Angeles contractor the feds allege made millions laundering drug money, bought a decade worth of recruits for UCLA.

"It's hard for me to have a proper perspective on financial matters, since I've always had whatever I wanted since I enrolled at UCLA," Walton said.
Turning a blind eye a SoCal tradition from Wooden to Carroll

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But facts are facts. And the fact is, Wooden was at UCLA for 15 years, from 1948-63, without winning an NCAA championship. And then from 1964-76 he won 10 titles in 12 years. What changed? Sam Gilbert's involvement changed.

Gilbert, a UCLA alum and wealthy contractor, opened his home and apparently his wallet to the Bruins, from Lew Alcindor to Lucius Allen to Bill Walton. When the best Bruins left school, Gilbert represented them as an agent, which is one of the most brazen unpunished NCAA violations in college sports history: Rich booster spoils the best players on campus, then becomes their agent. And the coach doesn't stop it. Doesn't even know about it. Maybe Wooden didn't know. But his attention to detail was legendary. Wooden literally monitored how his players tied their shoes and how they wore their socks ... but he didn't know Gilbert -- the players called him "Papa Sam" -- was giving them cash and clothes and cars before becoming their agent? Maybe. More likely, Wooden didn't want to know. That's how he slept at night, and that's how he won 10 national titles.
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Known as "Papa Sam" and "Papa G" to UCLA players, he began his relationship with UCLA basketball sometime around 1966-1967, when UCLA player Willie Naulls brought Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Lucius Allen, to him for some counseling. He opened up his Pacific Palisades home to the players and became an advisor to many.[4] He bought clothes, cars, and even arranged abortions for players' girlfriends.[5]

Sam became the sports agent for the professional contracts of Alcindor, Allen, Sidney Wicks, Henry Bibby, Bill Walton and Swen Nater.[6][7][8]

Coach Gene Bartow, who followed John Wooden as coach of the Bruin men's basketball team, felt his life was threatened by Sam Gilbert. He thanked the NCAA in 1993 for not investigating the UCLA program in 1976.[9]

Following the death of UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan in 1980, Gilbert began to exert more influence on the UCLA basketball team. Coach Larry Brown "ran afoul" of Gilbert according to a 1988 Sports Illustrated article.[10]

Following an investigation in 1981, in which, according to the Los Angeles Times, 15 years worth of evidence of transgressions had been collected[11][12], The UCLA basketball team was given two years' NCAA probation.[13] UCLA also was forced to vacate its Final Four appearance in the 1980 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament due to recruiting violations involving Kiki Vandeweghe and Rod Foster.
Sam Gilbert was quite a man. Indicted after his death for laundering millions of dollars of drug money. He broke the rules at UCLA. Cars, plane tickets, money, clothes, abortions. The best program money can buy with drug money! He paid the players and then later represented them as agents!

Don't tell me that Wooden didn't know, or that the NCAA didn't know.

Paul Harvey, now you know the rest of the story.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

Ouch. Timing was just special.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

and everyone was doing the same exact thing back then.

the words "recruiting violation" didnt exist
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

Can we change the thread title to "I try to draw attention to myself by making a thread about John Wooden with a controversial title right after he dies"?
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

when I heard John Wooden was very ill, the first thing that popped into my mind was whatever happened to his "patron saint, Sam Gilbert". His great years were built on the back of a very corrupt man.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

I never did warm up to Wooden. Stories were out there. Never traveled east to play anybody back then. A trip or 2 to Chicago/NY, not much else.

On a personal level I do offer my condolences to his family & friends. He was someone's husband, father, and grandfather.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

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Originally Posted by clark1a View Post
I never did warm up to Wooden. Stories were out there. Never traveled east to play anybody back then. A trip or 2 to Chicago/NY, not much else.

On a personal level I do offer my condolences to his family & friends. He was someone's husband, father, and grandfather.
the whole refusing to travel thing may have been true, but we aren't talking about NCAA Football of the time where all you needed to win the National Championship was to have the best record.

He still had to go on and beat the best teams in the NCAA Tourney...
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

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Originally Posted by RunninRams07 View Post
the whole refusing to travel thing may have been true, but we aren't talking about NCAA Football of the time where all you needed to win the National Championship was to have the best record.

He still had to go on and beat the best teams in the NCAA Tourney...
A much smaller tournament, 23 at one team, byes, etc...Yes, it was a different time & place, I'll grant you. There was a LaSalle team that missed out on a possible chance because of all things, being on probation. Imagine winning only 2 games to get to the Final Four, stuff happens. Not saying the West was weak, but you stayed in your region.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

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A much smaller tournament, 23 at one team, byes, etc...Yes, it was a different time & place, I'll grant you. There was a LaSalle team that missed out on a possible chance because of all things, being on probation. Imagine winning only 2 games to get to the Final Four, stuff happens. Not saying the West was weak, but you stayed in your region.
and you still have the big boys dodging teams today.

you dont see any of the big boys putting Rhody, VCU, Butler, Richmond, St Louis, etc on their schedule, do you?
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

As great a coach he was, he was still coaching the best players. He said it himself that he'd take talent over experience any day. Its easy to talk about not scouting other opponents and righteously devoting all your time to what your team wants to do when you are that good. For everyone else, scouting was required to even compete. Who needs scouting when you have Alcinder, Goodrich, Shackleford, Walton, Hazzard, and Allen?
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

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As great a coach he was, he was still coaching the best players. He said it himself that he'd take talent over experience any day. Its easy to talk about not scouting other opponents and righteously devoting all your time to what your team wants to do when you are that good. For everyone else, scouting was required to even compete. Who needs scouting when you have Alcinder, Goodrich, Shackleford, Walton, Hazzard, and Allen?
He said he would take speed and quickness over skill.
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

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Originally Posted by RunninRams07 View Post
and everyone was doing the same exact thing back then.

the words "recruiting violation" didnt exist
If everyone was doing the same thing, apparently some were better at it than others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_B...ll,_born_1942)
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

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If everyone was doing the same thing, apparently some were better at it than others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_B...ll,_born_1942)
Could you imagine if they did things like that today. There would be nobody standing. Then again they don't want to investigate & enforce anything today either, for the most part.
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

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He said he would take speed and quickness over skill.
He may have, but he also said he'd take talent over experience.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: I Piss on St. John Wooden

Sweet love of speaking ill of the recent dead, even by Snipe-off-meds standards this is pretty mean-spirited.

I never heard (successful) basketball coaches were saints. But all reports, John Wooden was a winner AND did well by his players, famous and not so.

So, do tell, who were the cleanest most successful college coaches ever? Your list, please...if you are capable of saying anything nice about anyone.
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