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By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky apparently has added another member to John Calipari’s staff, but there has also been a defection.

Brandon Weems is now a graduate assistant at Kentucky according to FoxSports.com. That may not sound impressive, but consider that Weems was a teammate of NBA superstar LeBron James in high school and remains a close friend. That’s probably why it was no coincidence that James showed up at UK during the summer and likely will come more times in the future — which has to be a good thing for recruiting.

While rumors continue to spread that there is going to be a national writer breaking a story dealing with UK basketball any time, the only confirmed news from UK is that Bilal Batley is gone.

“Bilal Batley is no longer a member of the basketball staff at Kentucky,” DeWayne Peevy, UK’s associate athletics director for media relations, confirmed in an e-mail Tuesday night.

Batley was assistant director of basketball operations/manager last season at Memphis under Calipari and came to Kentucky to fill the same spot after Calipari was hired. Before that he was a graduate manager for a year at Indiana under coach Kelvin Sampson where he organized the program’s recruiting information and mentored student-athletes. He took graduate courses in Indiana’s sport management program. Prior to that he was a student-manager at Oklahoma for two seasons where he assisted with practice preparations and pre-game setup and organized recruiting mailings.

He’s also worked as an assistant coach/personal assistant at the John Lucas Pre-Draft Camp in Houston.

Batley served as an undergraduate assistant coach at Navarro College in Corsican, Texas, from 2001-04. In addition to his coaching duties, he managed study hall for the players and helped arrange promotional events for the team.

So why is he leaving Kentucky? No one is officially saying. Or at least not at this time.

Could his departure have something to do with the continual rumors about a breaking national story on UK basketball? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?

All that we do know is that Weems is at UK and Batley is not. After that, it’s all speculation.

63 Responses to Weems in, Batley out at Kentucky

  • Nicodemus Mortimor says:

    That Batley character sure seems like a shady individual. At OU & IU with Sampson when he got into trouble at bothplaces and was with Calipari at Memphis and now just left UK… Hmmmmm….

    Brace for impact.

  • larryvaught says:

    It certainly is easy to make that assumption. I have no information indicating why he left, but a lot of people are drawing the same conclusion as you for obvious reasons

  • Brandon Harris says:

    It just may be that Coach Cal thinks it’s time for them to go there seperate ways. I find it hard to beleive that we would have done something to bring the hammer down on us this early into Cal’s days at UK.

  • sandra742 says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  • Paul Jordan says:

    Good job on this, Larry.

    I think the worst rumour out there is that someone has connected the dots and somehow is implicating Batley as the person responsible for Derrick Rose but if he was just at Memphis last season, that seems pretty unlikely since Batley was hired at Memphis on 8/28/08.

    Matt Jones seems to think it is a Memphis story and I would think if it were NCAA related, it would have been uncovered for a while

  • larryvaught says:

    It’s really just hard to know what is going on. Just hope we find out something soon. I also have trouble believing Cal would have let anybody do anything to cause problems at UK when things are going so well. Rumors could be just that — rumors

  • JON says:

    Rumblings of free cars to players or cliftons I mean “handlers”

  • larryvaught says:

    Have not heard anything about that

  • Jim Boyers says:

    Larry,
    I hope you are right that rumors are sometimes just rumors, but I will be on edge until something comes down, one way or another. I really enjoy reading your articles and constantly e-mail links to them to other UK fans I know. I always tell everyone that you seem to have the inside track on everything going on, perhaps even better than some of the coaches themselves.

  • BingBong says:

    Batley was hired at Memphis, and then Kentucky University because he was connected to DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is now enrolled, so clearly Weems is more valuable at this point. That’s how Cal operates, he is your best friend, as long as he has something to gain from the relationship, once you have served your purpose… goodbye!

  • larryvaught says:

    Would not confuse me with a coach, but I try. Batley did have ties to Cousins from all I have been told. We’ll just have to see what comes out on this. Word is Batley went back to Texas for family reasons. Not my words, but what sources are saying

  • BingBong says:

    I don’t buy that Bilal would out Cal for anything. He is Mr. Serious and I think that he would lose more than he could gain from any type of tell-all.

    As for the Cliftons, they had something along the lines of a $100,000 loan from Worldwide Wes in exchange for the services of Mr. Wall. They let their agencies license lapse in order to cozy up to Wall, and they had to get some compensation to cover the risk of likely losing the chance to represent him, since he will most likely sign with Leon Rose after attending Kentucky University.

    FYI there is likely to be further questioning into Bledsoe’s eligibility, due to the fact that he was passing online courses after the school year when he left the books for those courses at his Mom’s house which he was not living at, the NCAA finds it fishy that a struggling student can pass multiple courses outside of the classroom without so much the help of a textbook.

  • Jim Boyers says:

    I don’t know where you get your info BingBong, but I hope that it is wrong. If any of these things are true, they would be some major violations.

  • Beenie says:

    Sources are saying he went back to Texas and they appear to be right. Family reasons may be the public story, but also heard he will go back with a source of funds to draw from as long as he stays out of the media and keeps quiet. I doubt anything will come out of this except rumor or speculation given his benefit to let this all die down.

  • larryvaught says:

    Rumors are just running rampant. Hard to know what to even think might be true

  • Johnny says:

    Bing Bong I take it you live with Bledsoe and are also a financial advisor to John Wall?

  • John says:

    Not attempting to add fuel to the huge fire already, but people in the Birmingham area that work in the school system find it to be a miracle that Bledsoe qualified. Apparently the public school he had attended for most of high school closed down due to funding and not meeting requirements. Some are thinking that when the transfer happened something very strange happened with his grades and classes that he was known to fail turned into passing grades. Obviously this would have happened before we were involved or Cal, but it could mean something in the future. I’m really not trying to bash the kid, but I almost fell over when he qualified considering his committment press conference. I’m sure that sounds judgemental and I actually know it does, but seriously I’m sure most were thinking it. And after hearing what I’ve been told it makes sense.

    I am beyond ecstatic about Cal being here, but I’m afraid this type of rumor and paranoia will be upfront the whole time he is here. Dude definately operates in the gray which is fine as long as he doesn’t cross that line, but he definately treads the line for sure.

  • sean says:

    bing bong it is THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

  • goukcatsgo says:

    BingBong has quite an imaginiation.

  • Matt says:

    Get used to it. The wins are nice. Very nice. The NCAA tournament runs are unbelievable. But you can never quite put your finger on why you feel a little dirty all the time. And you find yourself constantly defending your coach against accusation after accusation and rumor after rumor…And it gets harder and harder….

    Sincerely,
    Memphis Fan

  • Tony says:

    I remember that Bledsoe press conference all too well. I thought then he seems to be a nice kid but just not what we are used to at UK. I was just hoping he was the exception and not the rule. PS. If anyone cares I am a card carrying black male that was highly embarrased at the time.

  • BingBong says:

    I am involved in college basketball, that is how I got my info… The Clifton loan is the rumor going around college basketball circles, these types of rumors are just rumors (but they tend to be true in most cases), the tension between the Cliftons and Worldwide Wes/Leon Rose is fact.

    The Bledsoe situation is fact. Not that his situation is unique or in any way rare, but it is fact. Lots of kids do online courses to bolster their transcripts, I believe the school that most use is based in TX… And John is correct about his academic environment, Bledsoe’s academic troubles were the reason so many schools backed off him.

    As for Bilal, he didn’t want to leave, but according to KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY basketball staff he is leaving very well taken care of, AND with an offer from an NBA club.

  • JFury says:

    Batley is in Houston, working for a training camp for NBA athletes run by former Houston Rocket John Lucas.

  • Jim says:

    Media whispers about the “damaging article” are now suggesting that UK has or will self-report minor recruiting violations (speculation is that it is inappropriate contact by Batley) that will force them to end their recruitment of 1 or 2 2010 prospects. Haven’t heard who the prospects might be.

  • Larry says:

    What interesting dialogue and information here. Myself,I enjoy all the perspectives. Perhaps the post from Memphis Fan said it best. As for Bledsoe, I just don’t know. He was really a lot better interview in Louisville for the all-star game and during my preseason session than he was at his press conference. Maybe he comes across better one on one. But I had heard no rumblings about his grades being in question. Will try to check

  • dan the man says:

    hey bing bong,

    you ask to be taken seriously and you get the name of the school wrong, and then when corrected – refuse to use the correct name of the school – it is apparent you are a dbag

  • BingBong says:

    Jim is correct about the supposed article. It is said to be something along the lines of the Abdul Gaddy situation at Memphis. If that is correct, the only real repercusions would be being forced to stop pursueing the players involved… As long as a university employee did not have knowledge of the dastardly deeds.

  • BingBong says:

    Dan the Boy: I am clearly being obnoxious by not calling your school by its correct moniker, but that doesn’t make the tidbits that I am sharing untrue. Calm down… learn to take a joke… not everyone loves Kentucky University like you do.

  • larryvaught says:

    We all can have opinions. It’s just that UK fans can’t help being a bit passionate because for the first time in years the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow again seems within reach. But it’s still good we can share diverse opinions, and feelings, here. That’s what makes a forum fun for all

  • dave says:

    nothing will come of this. Batley will be paid big bucks to keep his mouth shut much in the way the Derrick Rose’s coach was after he made the slip “once the money got involved…”

  • BingBong says:

    Ding ding ding… Dave you hit the nail on the head. Plus the NCAA gives more slack to it’s moneymaking teams (ie BCS). The only the Cal has to fear is his fellow SEC coaches, who like to turn on one another… But, if they do they better come guns blazing because Cal is slick as snot and twice as fast.

  • DCFORUK says:

    DingDong: Thanks for the scoop. We’ll just have to take a wait and see approach. In the meantime, we will be enjoying our Football CATS!

  • Jim says:

    Larry, in terms of “looking into” some of these various scenarios, don’t expect to get the truth out of Cal or his staff. You’ll have to use the freedom of information act to get the facts because Cal’s MO is to prevent negative information from leaking out. He knew about the NCAA investigation at Memphis in November of 2007 and was able to keep it out of the media for 6 months.

  • larryvaught says:

    Not sure what will be found or not. But I do trust and respect Sandy Bell, UK’s compliance director. If there are problems, she will find them.

  • Jim says:

    I think Memphis is wishing they had a Sandy Bell in 2006-7.

  • Soup says:

    Rumors Rumors Rumors
    Cal Purnell here is #1 and Bryan the Intern is #8

  • James says:

    Forgive me for not trusting someone who purposefully calls UK “Kentucky University”. That’s a lovely habit of a couple fan bases with which I’m familiar and leads me to believe that Bing Bong (and probably Jim) is just here trolling and messing with fans.

  • Charlie says:

    Bing Bong sounds pretty credible. The only contradiction is that someone has already talked to a reporter, hopefully with the tape running, so the interviewee can’t back out and be credible when the big buck are offered.

  • larryvaught says:

    Just checked with various sources. still nothing new yet

  • Tim says:

    Gosh it’s great to be back among the Elite of College Basketball. As long as UK was no real threat to make Final Fours, recruit Top 10 Players opposing Fan Bases could have cared less what we did or didn’t do for that matter. Now that we’re presumed to be back all Hell is breaking loose from our fearful peers. As long as Coach breaks no rules and only operates in the gray area (like all the rest of the top coaches) there’s not a thing wrong with it.

    It’s actually no shock to me to see all the rumors, I expected to see them because it means WE”RE BAAAAACK!!!!

  • PJ says:

    Charlie, what exactly seems credible about BingBong? Is it the way he calls UK Kentucky University? Is it the baseless accusations he throws out? You can believe him if you want to, but I tend to think that something this serious would be broken immediately, and not held onto by a media outlet.

  • LeeW says:

    Bing Bong’s rumor is based out of N.C. How do I know this? A lawyer with ties to UNC told it to me months ago. However, the $100,000 loan rumor doesn’t really hold weight considering that Clifton pushed him to Duke, and Wall went to UK. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • coachL says:

    I’m just wondering when the NCAA investigates how Eric Bledsoe can afford a new Impala when 5 months ago his family had their phones cut off because they couldn’t pay their bills. I thought Cal would stop his act when he got to UK but I guess he’ll keep treading that line. He’ll get caught and UK will be left with the mess while Cal bolts to the NBA(He talked to the Bulls and Zona b4 UK). Also the $100 grand loan from WWW to the Clifton’s went down and the push to Duke was for show. Another wierd thing is the new job Maurice Ford got after Bledsoe went to UK, wonder who hooked Ford up with that one(I do). what does Cameron Clark have to do with all of this…I’m sure Bilal could tell you…the plot thickens

  • larryvaught says:

    Great lines Tim and coach L you only add to the intrigue and mystery here with your thoughts. Guess all the speculation really is going to be a way of life here now.

  • justin says:

    I’d wait and see how this season goes before I start proclaiming to the world that UK is back. A bunch of freshmen and Patrick Patterson does not guarantee that UK is back. If you look at the top teams over the last several years, they’ve been teams with a solid core of experienced upperclassmen with the mix of 1, sometimes 2, top notch freshmen to fill the void they’d been missing.

    It’s gonna take all UK’s young players a lot of time to pick up the new offense, especially since most of them have never played together. It took Memphis a while to pick up the new system and they had 4 freshmen/sophmore starters who all played prep ball together and were familiar with each others games. Plus, Cal is not used to coaching against good teams week in and week out. Everyone knows he’s not the best bench coach either. He’s the type that just throws the ball out there and makes sure everyone is hustling.

    Time will tell, but UK will still lose 7-10 games this year.

  • REALinfo says:

    coachL, where do you find this information regarding Bledsoe and his new Impala? Does this mean J Wall and Demarcus recieved private G4 jets since they were ranked so much high? Quit shooting off rumors you have no idea about. I know Bledsoe, Wall, and Cousins and I’ll tell you one thing…Bledsoe sure as hell doesn’t have a new Impala or he’d probably be driving down Euclid Ave instead of walking with Wall and Cousins. Get you facts straight next time bud.

  • larryvaught says:

    I can confirm that Mark Krebs told me one way he can help the Cats this year is by offering freshmen teammates who don’t have cars a ride when they need it.
    Also, UK losing seven games could happen. Don’t see 10 losses, though

  • rick the real deel says:

    Cal is firing everyone who carries a hint of illegal activities. Coach will not let anything tarnish his stay at KENTUCKY!!!

  • I love your site. :) Love design!!! I just came across your blog and wanted to say that I

  • larry vaught says:

    Our Web Master, Gary Moyers, gets all the credit for the design. He really works hard on it. I have the easy job.I just have to write.
    And I will be astonished, too, if Cal tolerates any foolishness this quickly at UK

  • Jim Boyers says:

    Larry,
    The more I hear, the more I am coming to think that this is all MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Speculation is fine, but the only real fact that I think is in evidence is this…NO JOURNALIST, WHO WANTS TO KEEP HIS STORY OR HIS JOB, WILL SIT ON A “HUGE” STORY!!! If this unknown journalist had any evidence we would have been reading the story days ago instead of sitting around guessing.

  • Jim says:

    Justin- Kentucky may take awhile to get their sea legs, but by tournament time John Wall will be the best player in college basketball and he’ll have a blue chip supporting cast. I’m not a UK fan, but they are definitely “back.”

  • larryvaught says:

    Think I have to agree with you Jim

  • blue64 says:

    Rumor here in Lexington is that Sandy Bell found out that Bilal made improper phone calls to recruits, hence he was fired. Trying very hard to hush it up. Since he worked under Coach Sampson at Oklahoma, he appears to have learned from the master.

  • larryvaught says:

    Sandy is the best at what she does. If that is true, he should have been fired and Cal should be disciplined, too

  • UKFAN197TONE says:

    All these rumors are disgusting. I hate when the media says, “something is brewing” and all this type of stuff comes to the surface.

    As far as all the rumors meaning UK is back…well, that’s not something to be proud of. UK is always on the minds and in the hearts of the true Blue Kentucky fan, but this is not one way to look proud.

    When UConn and duke are held accountable, then I will have respect for the NCAA IF they find something on Coach Cal and not a minute before.

  • CoachL says:

    I’m just telling what I know, not rumor’s but facts. I could write a book and make a movie on Cal at Memphis that makes Blue Chips look like preschool cheating. UK better hope Sandy Bell can try to keep Cal in check because he’s already running wild, at Memphis he was reckless and didn’t take big measures to keep things as hush hush as needed, now at UK Cal will have to use his runners more to do his dirt, Bilal was one and he got caught so of course he’s gone but don’t worry Larry Brown and John Lucas will take care of him $$. Your never to far out of the circle with Cal, his friends are connected and money flows like a river to recruits, families, AAU/HS coaches and in return WWW gets 1% of your pro contract. Of course Leon Rose’s agency is owned by WWW(go see who wrote Cal’s contract for UK), shhh nobody supposed to know that though and go look at his clients, a majority of former players of Cal’s. Tyreke and Rose didn’t go with Leon but Leon was compensated by Tellem you best believe he was. I could go on and on and on

  • Matt says:

    Cal basically ran the athletic department at Memphis. I can’t believe the AD there (R.C. Johnson) hasn’t been fired yet. Incompetent buffoon.

    UK may be a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them. I’m sure there are all sorts of checks and balances in place to try and make sure Cal doesn’t get too out of control.

    Despite that, know there will always be rumors and speculation. It was bad when he was at Memphis (the usual line was “The only way he could be getting these players to Memphis is to pay them.”). It will be worse at Kentucky….Much bigger fan base and spotlight.

    Yes, I’m a Memphis fan and alumnus. I loved it when Cal was at Memphis, but I was never sure everything was on the up and up. In fact, I was at the Missouri game (ironically, Cal’s last game) out here in Arizona. I told my buddy who was at the game with me that “I’m pretty sure Cal is up to something…I’m just not sure what it is…He’ll eventually get caught, I’m sure.”

    UK better hope that the first thing that is directly linked to Cal doesn’t happen while he is there.

  • larryvaught says:

    I think UK hopes nothing is linked to Cal — or any coach they have. Don’t think that is the way Lee and Mitch want to operate. They want to follow NCAA rules

  • DALLAS TIGER 78 says:

    Well, you guys hired Billy G., that makes you stupid. Now you have Cal. hung around your necks and that makes you screwed! Your fate will be worse than our because he was a “first offender” when he was with us, but you guys should have known better.

  • catscratch says:

    Dallas,

    Cal was already an offender when Memphis picked him up. Its no coincidence that both teams that Cal took to the Final Four have had their appearance stricken. Cal is slick but more importantly he’s surrounded by shrewed and connected people with deep pockets. Eventually, he’ll get his. Until then the UK program will be dirty but tough to beat.

  • Frank C says:

    UK has sold their soul to the devil. Win now-pay later.

  • larryvaught says:

    I think UK fans certainly don’t want that, but I will see how they respond.

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