Championship-Winning Coaches on Cheating, One-and-Dones and More

By Jason Priestas on March 20, 2013 at 11:17a

USA Today spoke to the 12 active national title-winning coaches to get their takes on cheating in the game, recruiting one-and-dones, social media and more.

On cheating:

Have you ever lost a recruit because you would not cheat?

Former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith: "I've got to say yes. Yes. Plain and simple, because somebody asked me for something and I didn't do it and they went somewhere else. It's beyond third-parties now. It's a freakin' entourage."

Former Kentucky coach Rick Pitino: "I was blown away. In all my years, no one had ever asked me for anything. And it happened for the first time three years ago. Shook their hand and said to them, 'This is over.' We left my basement, where the families were gathering on a visit. I said, 'Best of luck to you.' A coach who gives anything to a player is now being bought and he can never discipline the player. He is going to live in fear every night he puts his head down on the pillow that something is going to come out on what he did. To me, that's something I never want to go through."

And not to credit John Calipari with too much, but he's right about some coaches' stance on one-and-dones:

Would you want to coach a team that had at least three guaranteed one-and-done players?

Kentucky's John Calipari: "First of all, a lot of guys will say (they are reluctant to coach one-and-done players) because they can't recruit those types of kids. To justify it, they'll say, 'I couldn't do it. I need kids for four years.' Those other kids don't want to come and play for you. That's just how it is. Secondly, it all depends on how you recruit the kids. Are you making outlandish promises and commitments?"


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