Sex in Sin Cities: How Widespread is Lovetron Attitude Across Country?
Whether it's behind closed doors in a Shrillary-endorsing brothel, carefully-crafted athletic dormitory, peep-show restaurant or perhaps a gold-covered dome, what happens here and there eventually comes out here and there. Like it or not, unsettling reality-show antics dominate headlines such as escort escapades at Pitino Place or Lamar Odom enhancing his Darryl Dawkins-created Lovetron stamina doing $75,000-plus worth of Bunny Hop business.
Admittedly judgmental, this reality isn't exactly virgin territory and no one with a functioning brain beyond ESPN's "shocked" Jay Bilas and chronic coaching apologist Dick Vitale believes these are isolated indiscretions. The only question for truth-detector media members such as Bilas and Vitale plus lax university administrators is: Which "elite" school is next to be examined in the "NCAA Hunting Ground"? Amid the shameless influence peddling going both ways including obscene telecast contracts, hefty speaking-engagement fees from boosters and tax-deductible charitable donations, heaven forbid if another sacred ACC newcomer is tainted by premiere featuring a special edition of "Sandra Bullock on-the-side blindside." If so, Touchdown Jesus could take on a whole new connotation with the key syllable being "con."
At any rate, why would Rick Pitino pupils and Louisville recruits have any conviction to control themselves or notify superiors of peer playtime when the Cardinals' do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do coach couldn't behave himself en route to 15 seconds of table-prance shame? Giving new meaning to "laying his Cards (staff member spouse-to-be) on the table," Pitino's "stop-on-a-dime" porn-star tryout was confirmed by eavesdropping assistant Vinnie, who apparently isn't a double for John Calipari moonlighting as Slick Rick defense attorney. Was sidekick Vinnie the Voyeur implored to "step up" on his "one-day contract" to furnish tell-all equipment explanation about his boss' squealer with stranger or just make certain Catholic chaplain was visible on game night at end of his boys' bench? Securing a contract extension to 2026 after extortion-inducing entertainment, Pitino's pact with LarryFlyntVille's lousy leadership probably will be extended to around 2040 after the deleterious dorm demonstrations displacing dependable diploma deportment. Apparently with way too much time on their hands, academic records need to be strip-searched unless anyone really believes Louisville's scholars took more rigorous courses than the fraud perpetrated in Chapel Hill.
Why was Odom even considered as a college student? After attending UNLV in the summer of 1997 amid reports Odom had assistance in order to "pass" the ACT, he received a citation for soliciting prostitution following an undercover operation by the Las Vegas police. No word if the scholar, forgoing visit to library, needed or had shark-provided summer job enabling him to access herbal Viagra before becoming a household name. Showing the value of a college education, Odom went from about $75 to $75,000 to take care of personal business. If all goes well, he'll be back taking a Kardashian selfie similar to Her Thighness since she had time for such nonsense after ignoring 600 requests for security from a subsequently-murdered ambassador, igniting creation of her useful-idiot narrative about an evil video. Meanwhile, hundreds of mess media members for years ignored warning signs of repulsive recruiting running in parallel with ruining academic integrity across the fruited plain. Is it so difficult to set standards and live up to them?
Beneath its vibrant veneer, college basketball has a description-defying rap sheet cast including a colossal collection of contemptible characters murdering any semblance of a moral compass. It's an unfortunate fact of life, but many reality show-addicted onlookers find it alluring to explore the private lives and personal misfortunes of standout players and responsible-but-not-accountable coaches.
Never underestimate the astonishing absence of integrity among the powers-that-be charlatans tarnishing many major universities. Ditto for the media allegedly there to illuminate on what is going on - warts and all. Amid the showmanship and scam artistry, PT Barnum continues to chortle, "I was right all along!" about "there's a sucker born every minute." We'll know for certain if Bilas conducts another exclusive ESPN interview featuring "know-nothing" former Louisville players serving as backdrop to lawyerly interrogation of their embattled coach before Vitale chimes in by droning on about charitable donations akin to other buying-influence Hall-of-Fame (or Shame depending upon your point of view) mentors linked to impropriety of late. Has Bilas attached a "fantasy" value to the signing-bonus bumping and grinding as part of his pay-for-play obsession?
Entering dangerous terrain when comparing unprincipled coaches and athletes to the public-at-large segment of our population, there is a seemingly congested intersection populating hot hoop prospects who become prime suspects. Rarely exposed to the rigid word "no," some of the hero worshiped think the world revolves around them and develop a sordid sense of "out-of-bounds" entitlement.
"When you are among the high-flying adored, your view of the world becomes blurred," wrote psychologist Stanley Teitelbaum of the flouting-of-the-law behavior in the book "Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols: How Star Athletes Pursue Self-Destructive Paths and Jeopardize Their Careers."
"Off the field, some act as if they are above the rules of society; hubris and an attitude of entitlement become central to the psyche of many athletes. They may deny that they are vulnerable to reprisals and feel omnipotent and grandiose as well as entitled."
Far too many depraved derelicts can't resist and make the toxic transition from gamebreakers to lawbreakers when seduced by the dark side. There have been a striking number of heart-breaking stories rocking the world of sports, derailing dreams and creating miscreants who are poster boys for bad behavior.
Idaho professor Sharon Stoll was not surprised when sports pages occasionally read like a police blotter focusing on 15 minutes of shame.
"In sport, we have moved away from honorable behavior," said Stoll, who operated the Center for Ethical Theory and Honor in Competitive Sports and conducted a 17-year study during which 72,000 athletes filled out questionnaires. "The environment of athletics has not been supportive of teaching and modeling moral knowing, moral valuing and moral action.
"Many of these young people have no sense of what is acceptable behavior."
Amid the periodic repulsive garbage, college basketball is too great a game to be ruined by moral malfeasance. Actually, if college basketball can survive so many unsavory incidents and classless ambassadors, it must be one helluva sport.
But what triggers the off-the-court shenanigans? The common thread seems to be how the delusional perpetrators think they're slick enough to talk or force their way into anything; then desperate enough to be shamed by virtually nothing. Equally shameful are the self-indulgent coaches willing to pursue dim-bulbed recruits boasting questionable pasts without conducting any sort of background check or simply ignoring known criminal activity by their soon-to-be mercenaries. The partnering by coaches in the deceit and dishonesty is an incalculable affront to their counterparts who attempt to abide by the rules.
The NBA Players' Association reportedly reminds its rookies every year that 60% of NBA players go broke five years after their final basketball-related paycheck. Ill-equipped to handle millions of dollars, drug-related problems seem to escalate for college kids with sufficient skill to play professionally. According to time.com, sources estimated that 2/3 of the NBA's out-of-control players smoked weed in the late 1990s, becoming a drag on society with each drag to get high. The straight dope is most of the college culprits corrupting an otherwise grand game seem to "go to pot" first. Too bad these "Dope Diamonds" didn't boast the character to invest "wasted" time taking "trips" to tattoo parlor to head to a free-throw line to work on improving their "foul" shooting from the charity stripe.
Meanwhile, promiscuous individuals who must have majored in some misguided "Big Bang Theory" expect female groupies to be nothing more than charitable harems. There was anecdotal orgasms-for-baskets evidence about the number of out-of-wedlock babies, stemming from NBA dead-beat dads dispensing DNA, being higher than the annual total of players in the league.
Never underestimate the extent of entitlement. For instance, needy Kobe Bryant's resort commingling before knee surgery in Vail, Colo., made him a perverted piker compared to Earvin Johnson admitting his Magical Mystery Tour sexual frivolity included sleeping with 300 to 500 people per year (entertainment venue featured the Lakers' locker room and sauna). How many team employee enablers, perhaps singing "Do You Believe in Magic?" while in the process of doing their dirty deeds, facilitated such Left Coast/Hollyweird indulgence? Of course, this great feat of Magic paled in comparison to Sperminator Supreme Wilt Chamberlain's community partnership claim to bedding 20,000 women before and after leaving Philly to drive around the plains of Kansas in a souped-up red and white Oldsmobile convertible.
A byproduct of "players" aspiring to set statistical records on and off the court, Michael Jordan's philandering contributed to the most costly divorce ever (estimated $168 million in settlement ending 17-year marriage to wife Juanita) prior to golf legend Tiger Woods' breakup. The absence of a pre-nup reportedly cost Bryant $75 million, including three houses in the Newport Beach area, as part of his divorce settlement. Elsewhere, James Worthy, Jordan's college teammate and Magic's Lakers teammate, was arrested and charged with solicitation for prostitution. Said Worthy's ex-wife Angela, a former North Carolina cheerleader: "That feeling of entitlement, that whatever I want, I can have, and that feeling of invincibility. It's a lethal cocktail."
Any accountability goes out the ethical door when a commentator such as ESPN's Screamin' A. Stiff includes Bryant among the players he is thankful for at Thanksgiving because of his professionalism and way he conducts himself. Actually, booby bars and escort services all across the country go into a major depression when there is an NBA lockout or a "Superman" such as Shaq retires; particularly regarding the way he describes with a straight face his self-proclaimed status as a "respectful cheater." On the other hand, perhaps Shaq was simply exhibiting sarcasm trying out his exquisite cheating humor similar to describing extra-benefit days at LSU.
Handouts from agents to prospective high draft choices such as NBA analyst Charles Barkley contribute to the nonsense. The truth about Barkley on tourney telecasts is the NCAA carpetbagger knows as much about contemporary college basketball as he does about playing golf. Barkley, who inspired Auburn to one NCAA Tournament game in three years (an upset loss against Richmond in 1984), should be restricted to making public service announcements about weight loss and refraining from gambling. All of this seemingly endless tawdry conduct also included chaotic card games for pro players on plane flights cannibalizing some clubs, adding fuel to the filthy flamboyance.
But business is business. "Let's face it," longtime NBA forward Eddie Johnson told SI about the league's sexually overactive appetite. "Athletes are whores. We're paid to use our bodies. So sex becomes the same thing after the games. We become like dogs sometimes, and we all talk about the same women in every city." Thus, a Wilt/Magic/Worthy/Shaq/Kobe Left Coast culture spawns a secretly-recorded video by LA Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell leaked on the Internet going viral about a veteran teammate discussing involvement with a teenage girl who isn't his rapper fiancee.
What ignites much of this malignant bile? Grossly under-reported is the prevalent use of sex as a racy college recruiting tool. Origin of payments for services notwithstanding, whatever happened on Louisville's campus isn't an isolated case. The arousal culture commences innocently enough with exceptional scantily-clad hostesses displaying their wares to exceptions - scholastically suspect "studs" who don't meet a school's usual admission standards but gain entry because of a special talent compromising academic values. In other words, a classless institution of lower learning is more attracted to someone adept at throwing a no-look pass than exhibiting a citadel of higher learning focusing more on looking at an authentic student infinitely more capable of passing a genuine college class. Whatever happened to "No Pass/No Play?" Breeding scholastic fraud such as "The Carolina Way" even more than illegitimate children, sham majors and onerous online courses have become epidemics in order to meet academic progress for tournament eligibility and coaching contract bonus provisions.
At some point, these "special" individuals are totally responsible for their actions (including sexual activity); especially when they begin attending a university. Whatever the circumstances, you must boast sufficient intellect and integrity to be self-reliant enough to deal with a pushy academic adviser. But control-freak coaches toying with testosterone transgressions, resembling sleaze-ball agents wooing potential clients, should be fired on the spot if it is discovered they allowed, even if tacitly, their veteran players to "escort" impressionable and susceptible teenage "rock stars" to anything connected with jiggle joints/sex parties/lusty liaisons during morally-reprehensible recruiting visits. Since coaches are so fond of portraying a fatherly-figure image, it seems anyone harmed by a thug they brought to campus should be able to sue the mentors as if they were a real parent. Unless, of course, Slick Rick P.I. of half-a-new-shot-clock fame is the lead investigator and assures everyone he can't find anything significant in a born-to-coach wide-ranging probe of Get-Your-Fill-in-the-Ville.
At the risk of sounding moralizing prudish, it should be declared institutional neglect if a tone-deaf school doesn't issue to parents of a prospective signee an itinerary detailing precisely what their son did under the school's supervision while on and off campus during a recruiting visit. Defying decency, there are adult allegations about underwriting "Guardians of the Free (Sex) Republic." Far too many wink-wink/nod-nod pompous pilots seem to take an unprincipled hear-no-evil/see-no-evil stance by simply looking the other way while devilish boys-gone-wild recruits sample the latest favors and flavors they could enjoy by signing on the dotted line. An example of this self-absorbed attitude was former Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine tweeting that "#collegetaughtme that groupies really exist! But we just call them #teamplayers! Ahaha." Former Michigan All-American Jalen Rose, Bilas' former GameDay colleague, reminisced about his official visits to UM, Michigan State, Syracuse and UNLV. "I want to paint a picture," Rose told the Detroit Free Press. "What you see at a bachelor party is what happens on a recruiting visit. . . . You just take me to the well. I can drink."
In many instances, the incessant preaching about abiding by regulations is complete propaganda BS from the outset via schools becoming little more than incubators for abhorrent activity, including creating a dangerous "War on Women" culture. How many self-centered unethical coaches - male and female - helped arrange abortions (a/k/a health insurance) over the years as callously as bloodthirsty Planned Murderhood Josephine Mengeles so they could maintain control over their players' bodies amid their inability to control themselves? How low has the bar been set when nearly every marquee coach associated with scumbag such as player pimp/drug dealer Curtis Malone in Washington, D.C.?
Lifting up the sewer manhole covering basketball's boulevard, the scandalous stench can render you senseless. It may take a mite more for the ACC to turn its shaky scholastic standing around than having periodically-in-trouble Chris Webber teach a master's class at Wake Forest in sports storytelling. The good news for diploma-less Professor Webber's Wake Forest students is they will learn how to utilize "you know" and the word "ain't." How would you like to be the parent of a WFU student taking cerebral classes under Webber and former Mess-LSD hyphenated hoot Melissa Harris-Perry?
Who are the hookers and who are the johns in this disgusting episode as the press seems more concerned about menu for their pregame meal and half-time munchies? Is pimping in the job description for director of basketball operations at striking number of universities? The corrosive "Cradles of Criminals" seems to focus on Chicago, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Memphis, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore/Washington. Could Louisville simply be trying to be added to the Sodom and Gomorrah neon list and who are Katina's counterparts in these other dens of depravity?
Recruiting, the lifeblood of nationally-ranked programs, intensifies when a prominent school such as Louisville goes winless in the NCAA playoffs in back-to-back years (2010 and 2011). Coaches know when prize prospects have an irregular bowel movement and are cognizant of recruiting techniques embraced by opponents in order to keep up with the Basketball Joneses. Cincinnati and Memphis combined with Louisville to capture 35 regular-season league championships in a 40-year span from 1966 to 2005 when at least two of them all but two seasons in the mid-1970s were members of the same conference (Missouri Valley, Metro, Great Midwest and C-USA). They know each other like the back of their hands. Could it be a coincidence or should we be suspicious when a current and former coach from UC and Memphis are among the first of Pitino's peers to publicly support him? Or should we just "step up" and look at the sordid situation like Bilas solely through Cardinal-colored glasses as a singular hoop hellhole directed by a coach donning blinders?
Who knows if climate change, blamed for all ailing us, set Katina off like Katrina? But the dirty-laundry trigger likely was something inane along the lines of a "where-are-the-white-girls" change-order remark comparable to Odom sizing up a lineup and selecting two petite blondes. After all is said and done among other four-letter words, perhaps everything is as simplistic as Pitino remarked during his extortion trial five years ago: "Unfortunate things happen." Since the majority of local and national presstitutes appear inept as a checks-and-balances mechanism, maybe Just-the-Facts Madam Katina can tour the country with her daughters exploring this sensual issue, stopping off at the Bunny Ranch along the way to console Lamar Odom-Kardashian along with remainder of his enablers in and out of the press, plus convey the extent of any national plague. They're already doing a superior job than the lame-stream media and equally misguided NCAA officials more concerned about Indian mascots and transgender bathroom options instead of academic or personal integrity.