Brian Clifton Update

Brian Clifton swears he’ll never be John Wall’s agent or profit from his expected stardom.You can believe him if you want.

But if I told you the No. 1 high school prospect in America (Wall) was being coached on the summer circuit and advised in the recruiting process by a man (Clifton) who was a licensed sports agent as recently as four months ago, what would you think? Would you believe it’s all pure? Or would you be cynical, given how we live in a world where agents and the runners who work for them just tarnished the college career of O.J. Mayo and always seem to be only a whistle-blower away from doing the same to the majority of elite basketball prospects produced in any given year?

Furthermore, sources told that Brian Clifton has helped Bill Duffy Associates sign players in the past. Yes, that’s the same Bill Duffy Associates in the middle of the Mayo scandal. Small world, huh? But Clifton categorically denied the assertion and insisted he has never worked for or been a “runner” for BDA, though he did acknowledge assisting former N.C. State player Cameron Bennerman throughout the agent-selecting process.

Bennerman signed with BDA.

Clifton said he did not receive a penny.

And, like I said earlier, you can believe him if you want.

But me?

Well, I’ve always been cynical.

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Basketball Recruiting

40 Responses to Brian Clifton Update

  1. Trip 08/09/2008 at 9:14 PM #

    lets keep our hands clean of Wall.

    SFN: I’d be REAL CAREFUL throwing the baby out with the bath water. If John has distanced himself from the Clifton’s then shouldn’t he actually deserve a lot of credit for getting to the right decision?

  2. BJD95 08/09/2008 at 9:20 PM #

    I would take him in a heartbeat.

  3. redfred2 08/09/2008 at 9:53 PM #

    Sidney Lowe may or may not have the inside track with John Wall now, but what if he does, and Wall does end up in Raleigh? I know I personally will be estatic. But what about you guys, the ones who want to shun John Wall RIGHT NOW apparently because of his relationship with a coach, that or either that he is a PG, the #1 player in the nation, and on the surface Wall’s situation RESEMBLES that of OJ Mayo’s west coast debacle? What are you guys say going to say if Lowe should have the good fortune and ends up landing the #1 player in the nation? I don’t know about Wall’s character, or that of Brian Clifton either, but unless you folks know something that I don’t, then I honestly don’t think I’d be makking an issue out of pure speculation, and setting this up kid for a fall well in advance of his decision.

    This is a kid who has possibly had some troubles growing up, but right now, let’s at least try give John Wall a fair chance to do the right thing from here on out. Remember also that this is a different kid so please don’t judge him on the actions of others before he’s ever even arrived anywhere, and try to separate him from the kid who played out on the west coast.

  4. turfpack 08/09/2008 at 10:08 PM #

    Redfred- You are correct on Wall.
    But- Cilfton is a different story -where there’s smoke- with him it’s a forest fire-that’s all I will say.

  5. JeremyH 08/09/2008 at 10:16 PM #

    it seemed like he was going to be committing to Baylor? any new information to think otherwise?

  6. Noah 08/09/2008 at 10:25 PM #

    My gut tells me that the hassles of getting Wall would outweigh the one year of contributions he’d bring to the table.

    But that’s my gut.

    SFN: I think that he is two years

  7. redfred2 08/09/2008 at 10:32 PM #

    I’m not too worried about Clifton, and if John Wall is, then he won’t be coming to NC State anyway.

    But wait, isn’t there a recent vacancy up there? 🙂

  8. Afterglow 08/10/2008 at 1:57 AM #

    I’ll admit to having Kool-Aid on my breath in regards to all of this. I however have changed my thoughts and am willing to give these kids some slack until they enter the college ranks.

    I can’t imagine the immense pressure these kids must be under as it is. Some of the lifestyles they live along with hardships some of them have experienced must be crazy. Add to that, the pressure of being a national star, competing in the AAU leagues, dealing with all of the college courting that takes place, the traveling, etc. it must be tough. I suppose on some level, it’s to be expected when you’re that good and if you can’t handle it then you shouldn’t be in the lime light to begin with. But when it comes down to it, these are kids and I don’t feel that they yet deserve to be under such intense public scrutiny.

    I personally would welcome Wall aboard even though I’m totally going back on what I said before. My reason for changing heart is because when it comes down to, I can’t intelligently comment on whether I feel John Wall is involved in something murky here. In all honesty, I was responding to what others were saying while not really looking at anything factual.

    With all that said, in my gut of guts, I still don’t think John Wall will end up at State

  9. redfred2 08/10/2008 at 10:55 AM #

    Clifton may, and in all likelihood does, have all kinds of ulterior motives attached to this kid, but that’s not really the problem here. What is really upsetting in all of this, is how does a guy like Clifton even become such a factor, or have such leeway to manipulate a HS kid’s future to begin with? And in the grand scheme/evolution of “AMATEUR” athletics, how has it has been ALLOWED to get to this point?

    I know, I know, somebody is going to call me a hayseed, and tell me that, “Leave it to Beaver” doesn’t come on anymore, it’s not like it used to be, and it’s all in the name of PROGRESS.” That still does not make it right, or acceptable.

    If the NCAA had been doing a better job and REALLY did not allow HS kids who weren’t REALLY prepared for college academics, then the NBA, which has been the worst offender, wouldn’t have ever been to gain a foothold and take advantage at every turn. All of professional sports should be promoting education, and college athletics, it’s in their best interest all the way around.

    Again, I know I’m a dinosaur, but what if a clear message sent out that stated education and overall behavior were an important factor in getting a JOB in the NBA, say, just like those factors are important in getting ANY other JOB on the planet? Then, shouldn’t we reasonably expect to see more emphasis placed on those factors starting much earlier on? Say, like in junior high years maybe?

    The NBA is smart enough to know that if a majority of these kids weren’t going through the hoop-la of the college BB recruiting process, and if the same talented kids weren’t receiving at least some exposure on the collegiate level, that the NBA itself would suffer and lose interest from huge chunks of it’s audiences.

    The priorities are all turned upside down these days. The NCAA is so weak and powerless to set policy, that now even the AAU has been able muscle it’s way in and is dictating these kid’s futures now, instead of the NCAA. Sadly, without knowing what collegiate athletics once meant paired the lack of emphasis on academics as a prerequisite to playing professional sports, the AAU is taking over what was once the NCAA’s role in shaping these kid’s lives.

    Either way, I have three daughters who didn’t especially care for playing ball, but they are all cheerleaders, and so far they are all pretty good at it too. My problem is that I haven’t decided whether to just let them run wild, forget about their studies, and whether I should place their futures on the fact that they might get a cheerleading scholarship somewhere? That maybe they’ll be the first trio of sisters to all become Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders some day? It’s a toughy, I know.

    …Apologies in advance, hopefully that makes some sense, but I don’t have time to re-read or correct it right now.

  10. Afterglow 08/10/2008 at 1:22 PM #

    Yes, it is amazing how things have changed; when go easy on the beaver could mean something totally different in this day and age.

    Today, we live in fast paced society where information is at ones fingertips and where technology is growing exponentially. Everybody’s insatiable desire to want everything yesterday is still overshadowed by the bigger, badder, faster, and better things of tomorrow. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring us, but what’s scary is that people seem less worried about the future when it involves a resource that is more valuable than oil, gold or technology.

    I agree in some respects that it would make sense to have college be a pre-requisite to get into the NBA, just like one needs a higher education to get a law degree or to become a doctor. The problem is that professionally, this ideal reasoning doesn’t always pan out.

    One could become the best mechanic with out ever having entered a high school, or a tennis phenom before hitting puberty. When it comes down to it, I don’t know that college needs to be a pre-requisite for the NBA necessarily but I think the kids best interest always have to be taken into consideration first. It’s easy to overlook all of this amidst the glitz and glamour of being the town hero and/or while standing upon a national pedestal. No one sees the shady undertows (or no one cares to look). The problem feels inextricable because of varying facets (not saying that all of these are the problem): parents living what they never had, high school coaches, AAU coaches, the blood sucking agents, colleges, the NBA etc.

    These kids need a case manager/counselor that can act as a liaison between all of these different facets; someone who has the kid’s best interest in mind, not the big money.

  11. transylvania 08/10/2008 at 1:35 PM #

    Sorry to be off-topic here, but props to Cullen Jones!

  12. Afterglow 08/10/2008 at 1:48 PM #

    Congradulations to Cullen Jones and your handlers… I mean, coaches.

    In all seriousness, it is nice to see that swimming still seems to have its innocence although the Steroiolympics is a different topic all together.

    And no, I don’t think Cullen Jones has handlers or is involved with shady (no pun intended) undertowes. It’s nice to see!

  13. graywolf 08/10/2008 at 5:16 PM #

    Congradulations to Cullen Jones as well!!!! Great to see a student from State that is a great athelete.

    As far as Wall is concerned, it would put NC State on the map again as far as basketball is concerned but we don’t need another Washburn. I trust coach Lowe understands what is needed and works getting the right type of talent.

  14. Afterglow 08/10/2008 at 6:14 PM #

    I guess when it comes down to it I fail to understand our reservations towards John Wall. I haven’t heard anything about his grades being in question (which was a big concern with Washburn). It seems there is a lot of hype around Dwon Clifton muddying the waters but how much of this fire is fueled by speculation? Are we giving this kid a chance? If someone out there can point out to me some strong arguments on this subject, I’d like to see it.

    It’s like I said before, we’re so media driven and internet blog savvy that I sometimes wonder if we (or perhaps I should say I) look before I bite. Give me something legit.

  15. Primewolf 08/10/2008 at 6:49 PM #

    I have no info on Wall, but he already seems to have notoriety. Even if he is perfectly clean, he will enter any school with a stigma. I just don’t want that stigma. Move on and sign the rest of the class.

  16. Ismael 08/10/2008 at 8:31 PM #

    hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but the latest on Wall is that he isn’t even thinking about any ACC schools. Baylor is one school. He also said that Jordan Hamilton (someone we offered wayyyy back when, one of his first offers), is trying to get him to go to Texas.

    On another note, i hate all this garbage as much as anyone but has USC (the school in california) actually paid a price for what went on with regards to Mayo and Reggie Bu$h? I haven’t heard anything.

  17. Afterglow 08/10/2008 at 8:43 PM #

    I never thought he would go here I’m just trying to understand why (if he were to go here) do people have such a problem? Are the feelings based in fact or is it something someone heard from someones friend who knows someone who shines shoe’s for John Wall’s mother?

    Furthermore, I think the discussion of where the recruiting of college basketball players is going is an interesting topic.

    As for John Wall, it appears that there are a lot of people who “really haven’t heard anything” except for what other bloggers are saying. It feels unfair unless ofcourse there is something of substance out there.

  18. redfred2 08/10/2008 at 8:55 PM #

    Boy Primewolf, I think I could dissect that statement and write an encyclopedia’s worth on how it relates to the self imposed and deeply rooted inferiority complex that is now NC State University. But what the hay.

    So, what I’m taking from all of this is that without really even knowing, that from now on around here, a kid like John Wall will always be regarded as = OJ Mayo, who is also = or somewhat a Chris Washburn of MANY years ago. Makes all kinds of sense to me.

    But just as kind of a game though, let’s say we eliminate the word “WALL” from your statement, and insert other words and phrases like…”Senator Obama”, “War in Iraq”, and so on, and so forth…

    Come on now, it’s fun.

  19. redfred2 08/10/2008 at 9:06 PM #

    ^That was supposed to say… equal to, or somewhat “less than” or “greater than” a Chris Washburn… but the symbols didn’t show up.

  20. redfred2 08/10/2008 at 9:30 PM #

    “…I’m just trying to understand why (if he were to go here) do people have such a problem?”

    Afterglow, do you think that if he were going to unc or Duke, that most of their fans would have any reservations about it?

    The answer is…HELL NO, they would not!!!

    The fans elsewhere, at the more successful programs, have built in confidence in their administrators, coaches, and so on. They have confidence in knowing that their university can do what’s right for the kids and that they’ll take care of any issues that may arise later in their college years.

    There is not anything close to that at NC State, so everyone is afraid of the extra attention or to be placed under the spotlight that a talent like John Wall would bring.

  21. Afterglow 08/11/2008 at 7:10 AM #

    It may be built in confidence. I suppose we’ve suffered from so much mediocrity that when success comes knocking at our door we don’t know what to do with it. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    Or perhaps as the eternal optimist, I can start to believe that Lowe can be a driving force in young basketball player’s minds and produce upstanding productive men-wait a second, that’s just crazy! We need recruits like the good ole days in the form of a two star Adam Fletcher mold. Bring it on baby!

  22. Noah 08/11/2008 at 7:59 AM #

    The problem with Wall is that you immediately have a magnet for all of the worst elements of college basketball. You’re going to have agents making contact with amateurs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’re going to have the entourage and you’re going to have to worry about whether or not a kid who has already written his NBA draft speech is going to class.

    USC and UNC and Dook can not only get away with more because of their elevated status, but because they have competent people who know how to respond during a crisis. We have a bunch of media-paranoid yahoos who respond like an Idaho Freeman strung out on crystal meth.

  23. Rick 08/11/2008 at 8:04 AM #

    “how does a guy like Clifton even become such a factor, or have such leeway to manipulate a HS kid’s future to begin with? ”

    I wonder this too. Nothing like a slime ball that uses a high school kid for his own agenda.

    I think alot of the concern is that our atheltic department (i.e. AD) would somehow screw it up and we would end up on probation.

  24. JimValvano 08/11/2008 at 8:31 AM #

    First of all…I thought homeboy’s name was DWON Clifton.

    With that having been said…Clifton has been hired at BAYLOR. If Wall were to commit to Baylor I would agree with a lot of these statements about how Wall and Clifton’s relationship could effect a college after Wall is gone. However, if Wall were to commit to another program, a lot of those doubts about his and Clifton’s affiliation would be alleviated. Especially if he committed to the WOLFPACK!!! I’d be happy to have him. To be honest though, I’d really rather have Ryan Kelly. Kelly would be my top choice of the guys who are left. A very close personal friend of mine (who happens to be a coach at an ACC program) cannot stop raving about Kelly. He says Kelly is a sure thing McDonald’s All-American, and that he (not Favors) is the best big man in this recruiting class.

    Back on subject…don’t y’all think that if Wall commits to someone other than Baylor…that it cleans him up a little?

  25. JimValvano 08/11/2008 at 8:32 AM #

    I should say my friend is an ASSISTANT COACH…just for clarity.

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