Isn't Tubby Smith's problem his refusal to pay............

…the Memphis AAU parents and/or coaches who control the elite Memphis athletes? As soon as he quit paying a full time assistant’s salary to the Lawson father, his access to Memphis recruits went away and Lawson’s sons transferred to Kansas. A local High School basketball coach blasted Tubby as not being “aggressive enough” and not “coming hard after Memphis recruits.” Isn’t this just bad code words for “the cash ain’t flowing so our boys ain’t going to your school anymore!”

I had a local Financial Planner for athletes tell me many years ago that every great athlete in Memphis by Junior High already had a “sugar Daddy now intending to be their agent later” in place, controlling who talked to their player, and demanding money for access.

Shameless bump. Will be curious if our Insiders have any thoughts on this.

I don’t know Memphis well enough to say you are right or wrong.


IIRC, we quit recruiting Memphis in football about the time of the Alabama-Albert Means scandal. There seems to be a culture there of hangers-on/handlers of demanding payment for their influence over the recruits. Then you add in what Notorious described–strong pressure for Memphis kids to stay in Memphis. Nolan had a lot of success there, but that’s been well over 20 years ago.

In all fairness, this one is not on Cal. That system was in place well before he arrived at Memphis.

Arkansas has had assistants through the years who understood how to tread lightly through the mine field that it is Memphis recruiting. Scott Edgar was probably the best at it. Don’t know that anyone else was ever really good at it. That goes for football, basketball and baseball.

Scott Edgar had an advantage over all those who came after him. Scott’s success coincided with Memphis State being down as a result of scandals and almost being a non-entity. I see people bring up Nolan and Scott’s success in Memphis quite often, but that is unfair to those who came after. After mid-nineties, Nolan also had to deal with Cal and WWW at Memphis.

Clay: you mention baseball as being part of the Memphis problem. I cannot recall any Memphis scandals involving baseball. Can you elaborate? Who would be our competition for prep baseball talent from Memphis…Ole Miss and Miss State? It seems like the competition for the best talent would be MLB.