<
>

Anthony Davis sticks with Kentucky

play
Anthony Davis' AAU highlights (1:35)

Anthony Davis, ESPN's No. 12 Class of 2011 prospect, shows off his game at the Division I Elite Invitational in Highland, Ind. (1:35)

If the Chicago Sun-Times gave Anthony Davis reason to back down from his decision to play college hoops at Kentucky, Davis didn't take it. Davis is going to Kentucky anyway.

Some thought Davis could go a different direction. Last week brought a whole new level of scrutiny to Davis' recruitment when the Chicago Sun-Times reported Davis' father, Anthony Davis Sr., as having asked for up to $200,000 in exchange for his son's commitment to Kentucky. The report was based on "rumors/sources," causing many to doubt its initial veracity. (It certainly didn't expand the Sun-Times' subscription base to the Bluegrass State.) After causing a minor ruckus, it was pulled down from the site.

Both Kentucky and the Davis family threatened to sue the newspaper, but instead of backing off that story, the Sun-Times doubled down, re-reporting according to "sources" that Davis' family had indeed negotiated "a deal that promised $200,000 from someone who wanted Davis to commit to Kentucky."

Whatever your thoughts on the reporting of the story or the story itself -- and your friendly neighborhood blogger is not going to get into that, because either would fall under specious media criticism and speculation -- the Sun-Times' report certainly caused a stir. Declining to comment further, Davis Sr. wrote "thanks for ruining my son" to the newspaper. So, would Davis play it safe and stay away from Kentucky? Would Kentucky decide the potential controversy, however unlikely, wasn't worth Davis' talent?

Apparently not; Davis has decided to stick it out at Kentucky all the same. That's a bold decision, especially from Kentucky's point of view. The NCAA has spent most of the summer loudly cracking down on agents in college sports. If the organization didn't already plan to spend extra time verifying Davis' eligibility, they surely will now. And if there's one thing we've learned this past summer, it's that you don't want to give the NCAA an easy opportunity to prove to the world it's sudden seriousness. It doesn't seem worth it.

Whatever the case, the Sun-Times' report(s) will follow Davis and Kentucky for as long as the doubts linger. By re-routing and heading somewhere else, Davis could have defused such rumors. Now, he'll take them head on, and Kentucky basketball will be along for the ride.