Randolph Needs A Tough Lesson In Life

By Gregory Moore
Updated: July 12, 2005


Randolph Morris decided to not participate in the Atlanta Hawks summer league program. He forgot to at least let the Hawks know of his decision in a timely manner. Will the NCAA allow him to come back and play this season?

Randolph Morris decided to not participate in the Atlanta Hawks summer league program. He forgot to at least let the Hawks know of his decision in a timely manner. Will the NCAA allow him to come back and play this season?

SAN ANTONIO — I wish Tubby Smith never called Randolph Morris and his parents over this past weekend. In all seriousness what Morris needs is tough love and Smith has bailed him out because the Kentucky program seems to be desperate at the center spot. Well maybe that’s for the best but Tubby hasn’t helped this young man learn anything about commitment or how to be business minded when it comes to becoming a professional athlete. If anything, Morris is now shackled into thinking that one more year in Lexington may be the ticket needed to get his name called next year.

Morris and his family have jilted two programs in the course of six months by playing this little shell game. I would love to know who told this family that Morris was going to be a first round pick because somebody almost ruined this kid’s college career. Don’t get this twisted. Morris has done a good job of this by himself over the past couple of months. He has worked out in several camps including one put on by the SFX Agency. The NCAA is helping UK look into the eligibility status of Morris and to what extent of restitution will he have to pay back to the Houston Rockets and anyone else who paid his expenses during that time. What Morris has done is essentially a squeeze play that Mike Williams tried to do a couple of years back when he was at USC. This ploy by Morris may not be quite on the same page but it has similar mannerisms.

So what kind of less should Morris get for being wishy-washy just days before the Hawks were to report to Salt Lake City for the Rocky Mountain Revue? Well I think it all depends on whether or not Morris actually continued being a student at Kentucky. There needs to be an investigation and it needs to dig as deep as possible into what REALLY was going on during Morris’ stint as a draft prospect. Investigators need to contact the Rockets’ personnel, SFX personnel and anyone who was a part of any workouts that Morris took part in. This investigation needs to be so thorough that if Morris comes out smelling like a rose, he at least grasps how serious it is to be in the NBA and his family understands that dreams come at some type of price because nothing is ever truly free in this world.

Smith needs to realize that Morris has left his program in a lurch as well and that he shouldn’t be quick to welcome back a prodigal son. Morris isn’t the wayward son who wanted his riches now. Morris was the runaway bride who thought he could get away with a little lie. If Smith wants to set an example, he would help begin their own internal investigation so that the UK program remains on the up and up when it comes to potential players leaving for the NBA. Smith needs to help Morris understand his actions have consequences.

While all of this sounds good the reality of the situation is that in the end UK gets their center back, the Atlanta Hawks forget about him and Morris goes back to school. That’s what will happen but I’m wishing that someone teach this kid and his family a valuable lesson on life. I really am wishing a lesson is taught here.