Gregg Doyle usually has some interesting insights in his Dribbles notebook at CBS Sportsline, but he's obviously suffering from writer's block here in the dog days of summer. His recent column about Tubby Smith and Randolph Morris reveals that Doyel is apt to resort to intellectual laziness and bandwagon hopping when he cannot come up with a creative idea for an offseason column.
Doyle writes that Tubby has an obligation to prevent Randy from returning to UK this fall in order to show that "Kentucky basketball stands for something." He lists Gerald Fitch and E-Diddy's fake-ID incident and Joe Crawford's temporary hiatus this spring as examples of Tubby's alleged law enforcement axiom (according to Doyel), "the better the player, the higher the tolerance."
What percentage of high school and college students get caught with a fake ID sometime prior to turning to 21? And I'm not condoning this act, but the proper authorities enforce the law, and Daniels and Fitch faced the legal music for their mistakes. Additionally, Tubby, who though he could likely win election in a landslide, does not currently serve as sheriff of Fayette County, and did suspend them for a game, punishment which probably pales in comparison to the "behind the scenes" consequences that the two delinquents suffered in practice. A writer as talented as Doyel who alleges to believe that Tubby's handling of this situation is unfair or shows a lack of respect or double standard is just reaching for a column in the duldrums of summer.
Joe Crawford and his family have been fairly open about the fact that his father was the motivation between his sudden migration north this past spring. Does Doyel think that Tubby should have forbidden the kid from returning to the school where apparently never wanted to leave just because he did what his dad told him to do? Give me a break.
Honestly, I'd prefer not to see Randy Morris back at Rupp Arena this fall. However, if Tubby were to follow Doyle's advice and refuse to admit Randy back to school, such behavior would result in just the "double standard" that Doyle suggests Tubby should avoid. Morris didn't break a single rule, and he didn't break a single law. He took advantage of the options afforded to him by the NCAA and NBA. Granted, he did so ignorantly, but neither Doyle nor I know who told Morris what heading into the Draft. Morris, despite his size and ability, is still just a teenage boy in a man's body. I don't think that it's crazy to speculate that Randy has no interest in returning to UK, judging by his reported actions and the silence that he's put forth on the issue. However, the best way that Tubby could conduct himself in terms of his own character, the reputation of the winningest program of all-time and for the sake of a kid like Morris is to welcome him back with open arms. Sure he screwed up, but he's a kid who made an innocent mistake that hurt no one but himself and his own pride. If Tubby decides to allow Randy back, it's not because he's a two-faced, win-at-all-costs sellout, but it's just the latest example of a man who has exuded nothing but class since taking over the UK program eight years ago.