The investigative sports journalist whose recent work has gotten a national championship winning football coach fired and coaxed a former NFL agent to tell the world he paid a number of college football players is back at it again.
Twitter and message boards are abuzz over reports that Sports Illustrated’s George Dohrmann will publish a flammable expose on the UCLA basketball program, something that could make Bruins fans quickly focus their attention on things much less severe than, say, the team’s 155th ranked offense.
Set to hit newsstands tomorrow, the interest this yet-to-be-made-public story is garnering speaks to the veracity of which Dohrmann’s name commands in this business.
During a weekly press conference, reporters peppered head coach Ben Howland on the matter, to which he affirmatively replied that he was contacted by Sports Illustrated last week but wasn’t going to speculate on the matter. While he seems calm and collected, Howland did try to prevent further questions by bringing up Kevin Love’s performance in the Thee Point Contest.
Drug use seems to be the card in play here, which, if that’s the major takeaway, would likely do little to damage the school’s reputation long-term, but would provide an interesting read. Conversely, if the story focuses on illegal recruiting tactics, the college athletics world would likely not even blink, but the reprocussions of such revelations could be damaging.
In addition to his exceptional magazine work, Dohrmann’s Play Their Hearts out may have been what led to grabbing credible soruces and fact gathering for this UCLA piece. The author spent eight years following a group of young basketball players from the Southern California area, most notably former teen-prodigy Demetrius Walker who is currently playing for New Mexico after playing his freshman season at Arizona State. Well before that he began his career working the desk at the Los Angeles Times.
While Bruins fans will read the piece at first chance, fans of BYU (Matt Carlino), Baylor (J’Mision Morgan), New Mexico (Drew Gordon) and UNLV (Chase Stanback and Mike Moser) will also want to pay close attention now that with former Bruins commitments and roster players donning their school’s uniform.
Best case for Bruins fans would be this, worst case would be anything remotely more recent and realistic.