The latest Ratliff rumor

Scott posted a comment on the post below about this, so I’m going to address it. The last time we tried to address a rumor about A.J. Ratliff we were criticized by another media outlet for doing so. But I think we did the right thing that time — we acknowledged the rumor and then dispelled it by reporting about it — and so I’ll do the same thing this time. In this new media age, chatter of this sort spreads far more quickly than it once did. I think any newspaper or media source that believes it dictates public discourse the way it did even five years ago is incredibly naive. We do more of a public service by sorting out fact from fiction.

The newest rumor circulating about Ratliff — and I’ve heard it multiple places — is that he has been kicked off the basketball team. As Scott pointed out in his comment, Ratliff was apparently not on the bench Saturday night (I say apparently because I didn’t think to specifically look for him, but I don’t remember seeing him and I’ve looked at pictures of the bench and he’s not there). He was with the team during the first exhibition game, though not in uniform.

We haven’t been able to get a confirmation or denial on this from our sources.

I would guess that we will find out the truth on Monday.


  1. I agree that you guys did the right thing in both instances. And if you’re referring to the media source I think you are, I love him but he doesnt even get blogs. Posting on a blog once a week is barely worth it, and the opposite of the up to the minute intentions and abilities of blogs. At least thats how I see it. And other bloggers at that media source also slack, one non-sports blogger posted so infrequently that he no longer has a blog….but he does have to write 2 or 3 300 word opinion pieces per week, so I guess he’s got his hands full. Your blog is excellent, however, and between that blog being old news and Peegs being full of crazies and censors, this is usually my top source for IU sports news. Anyway, I digress.

    I hope this isnt true. I’ll really feel badly for A.J. if he’s ended his career with bad grades, drugs and not being able to be a part of this special team. I hope for him this isnt true.

  2. This thing is runnin wild on the web anyway. I don’t think it is wrong to post if you state it as a rumor. It is out now. I also don’t see why some sites seem to think rumors like this are protected info? Once a rumor is out, you can’t put it back in the bag. Just confirm or prove it false.

  3. In his time as a basketball coach, Kelvin Sampson has booted several individuals for drugs.

    At Oklahoma, a couple of his well known players were kicked off the team for doing drugs: J.R. Raymond and Jahabhri Brown.

    Both times, those players were kicked off the team very late in the year when the Sooners desperately needed them on the floor.

    Ratliff put himself in a bad situation with his academic ineligibility. The margin for error was very, very small.

    I will say this: Kelvin Sampson rarely boots players for a single failed drug test. It is my guess that if this rumor is true, it would not be the first drug test Ratliff has failed. I could be wrong on that, though — he could have been on a tight leash because of academics.

    Sampson will discipline players and will kick them off the team. But he usually gives his players plenty of chances. If you get kicked off Sampson’s team, it’s usually because of a history of mistakes.

  4. Sampson has kept kids for less if they were going to play…see Terrell Everett and Jabhari Brown

    Norman police officers arrived at the apartment shortly before midnight and contacted Everett, who said he had been smoking marijuana but did not have any left. He provided officers with a burnt marijuana cigarette, the citation states.
    Savage entered the apartment with Everett’s permission and “observed a portion of a compressed block of marijuana” on top of the television, according to Savage’s description of the incident.
    Police issued the citation for possession of marijuana, took the remaining marijuana into custody and released Everett, the citation states.
    Earlier in the day, Nebraska eliminated OU from the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Dallas. Everett led OU with 14 points in the loss.
    Everett played six days later in OU’s first-round loss to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the NCAA Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., where he led OU with 21 points.

  5. You’re doing the right thing by addressing the rumors. One of the sad things about the Internet is that people will believe just about anything they read on it — without realizing that it doesn’t take much of anything to start a rumor-wildfire.

    I think that makes it incumbent on actual news institutions to acknowledge what’s out there (if it’s pervasive enough) and do their best and fastest to either confirm or dispel what everybody’s talking about. They obviously wouldn’t do such a thing in print. But on a blogging venue, I think it makes sense.

    I can understand the urge to condemn this — particularly within a journalistic community. But, ultimately, I think it’s a valuable service to your readers and a valuable service of the truth.

  6. Amazing how these rumors tend to jump out just as a recruit is about to make a decision on IU. If it’s true, AJ should be dismissed. You can’t have a Senior on your team not getting the work done in the classroom AND being a distraction with his offcourt behavior. Also, if true it adds another example of KS not having control of his team. Things seem to be eroding at a pretty fast pass. If it is NOT true, this site and others need to make a very big very clear statement that it’s not true because a lot of people’s character will be hurt by rumors like this.

  7. If its true show him the door, nothing more nothing less, Kelvin cant hold these kids hands especially a senior, to blame him for this is just ridiculous. So is your statement about the program being out of control, the only ones our of control are the Haters who are in dire need of this program to fail. My bet would be the only time you comment is when something negative is coming out, do you feel me on that one…………….

  8. Didnt Zeller say he chose NC because he felt better about the players or words to that effect? Sampsons thugs better win soon is all I can say.

  9. knassmiley, if you’re responding to me you need to just go back and read it again. I used the work ‘if’. That’s a small word with big meaning and maybe you just missed that. Otherwise, you have no idea what kind of IU alum/fan I am and you should just feel yourself, which I’m sure you do a lot. There is no other way to look at this IF true. It would be another example of issues under KS as the coach. The repreat phone issue is bad enough. Then you have a kid that for the first time at IU in four years can’t make the grades and now is rumored to be off the team for pot is not acceptable and it happened under KS. Againm IF true he needs to go and KS has to make a clear example that this is not acceptable.

  10. Billy Sparks …..Why would you lable an entire team with the actions of one ? Which by the way , we do not know if it is true or not . Does D.J. or Gordon seem to be a thug ? Your statement is idotic and gives a clear indication of your limited thinking . Please do not hide behind your keyboard and make blanket statements that indict an entire program .

  11. i’m sorry, but with the talent and athletic ability we have this year, i dont think we even need ratliff. kick his ass off the team. we dont need any more blows to out reputation.

    ratliff probably wouldnt even get pt… and if he did, i’m sure it would be more of the same. stand on the perimeter and chuck it up. he never has and never will live up to the hype. his game against kentucky 2 years ago was his peak. peace aj.

  12. IF A.J. did indeed fail a drug test, along with his grades, he should be removed from the team, and shown the door to a rehab center to get his life back on track. These are young men, many still kids as they have not had to deal with real life off a basketball court (I know this is not true of all), it is the resposibility of the program to not only build players, but to build educated and responsible young men. Get him the help he needs, see him graduate, and smile that he got something of real value from being part of IU and the program.

  13. I’m glad you reported the rumor and put it into context.

    The Star’s blog is usually worthless and he’s almost ALWAYS last with a story.

    If Rat did it, I hope he gets kicked off the team. And he’s a moron if he did.

    Just like anybody is a moron for blaming Sampson for this and calling the whole team thugs.

    MANY of Knight’s players got stoned.

  14. Laffy , Thank you ! Relay that message to Billy , I do believe that he needs a “Spark(s)” to ignite his brain .

  15. I don’t know what wil lhappen with AJ or if this is
    even true. But to say this team doesn’t need him
    or he wouldn’t get PT is ridiculous. We only have
    4 guards (not counting walk-ons) of which 2 are
    freshman, 1 JuCo Xfer and Basset. We need more depth
    at guard and AJ wwould get plenty of minutes on this team.
    Losing him would hurt.

  16. Hey Billy, AJ is a senior and he was recruited by Mike Davis, so the “Sampson’s thugs” remark is BS. Also, I believe several players under Knight got caught smoking pot….I guess he had no control of the team, right?

  17. Billy Sparks, let’s hear what information you have that
    you feel permits you to call even one player on this team a thug.
    C’mon. Back up your words with facts.
    Your friends at Purdue will welcome this, too.
    Now, give us your definition of a thug!

  18. And, Mr. Sparks, we are not counting AJ, as this is only
    a rumor.
    We want to hear about a player or players on this team
    who you can prove have done something that would
    label them a thug.
    And, your definition of a thug would be interesting.

  19. someone is suggesting rehab!?!? can we please have a reality check and dispel government fueled propaganda concerning the evils of marijuana?

    our government continues to use fear to shape public opinion. in a country where alcohol and cigarettes are legal poison, to villify marijuana reeks of hypocracy.
    thousands of teens die of alcohol poisoning in our country every year. have you ever heard of a marijuana overdose? can’t happen.

    alcohol will ravage your organs and is physically addictive, and has lead to the destruction of countless lives. it has never been proven that marijuana harms your body in any significant way. it is impossible to become physically addicted to pot.

    if we are to protect people from themselves, our govt should make alcohol illegal and legalize marijuana so that we can have one legal vice to relax our minds and bodies. not gonna happen. can you imagine politicians giving up their martinis? or you hypocites criticizing a.j. giving up your beer? let us not forget the last two presidents of our great country were recreational drug users.

    finally, if you had mandatory marijuana screening for all college and pro sports, you could say good-bye to many of your beloved heroes.

    it is a strange society in which we live where we feel it is our rightgeous obligation to drug test athletes and not to test our police, politicians, doctors, lawyers, health and safety inspectors, etc.

  20. Rumors have abounded about many an IU player for years (mostly b-ball as they were front and center). I was acquainted with several of Knight’s players and many very closely. There were some who were involved with alcohol and drugs and many more who did not choose that lifestyle. Just like the other students on campus who are not in sports. Some do and some don’t. I agree with Mike P who references that these are still kids and concern should be taken for the personal lives and futures, aside from basketball. The athletes should recognize they are under a microscope and act accordingly. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol are a part of college life and to assume that the athletes are not subjected to opportunities is naive. The athletes are held to higher standards and as young adults, they should respond in a responsible way. Rumors will always be there and with today’s cyber crap, some get out of hand. It would be best to let those who know the truth to deal with the issues.

  21. coachv,
    Are you at the right blog?
    This is a SPORTS blog…right?
    Could there be something affecting your judgment?

    Good Luck to AJ. I hope all is well there. They obviously aren’t telling us all the details. Maybe its none of our business, or maybe there is something to hide?

  22. coachv – My thoughts have nothing to do with the government propaganda, but the effects of smoking marijuana I have seen first hand through good friends. Some I was able to help, others went from marijuana to harder drugs to increase the high they received, a couple have over dosed, others have ended up in jail over their drug habit, and yes that includes ones who only smoked marijuana. If sending a young man through a program to teach him the dangers that are associated with this drug could have the effect that he may never pick it up again, and move past it, then yes, I will be an advocate for a rehab program.

  23. At first I was critical of AJ, but I realized after watching last night, that we could definately use a senior guard on our team.

    And Mike P… are you being serious?
    Rehab for smoking weed? Do they even have that?
    The side effects of weed are being hungry, happy, and sleepy, and you can function. You may not be crisp, but you can function (if you dont believe me watch dave chappelle). I think the people you know must have been doing alot worse stuff on the side that maybe you didn’t know about… People who smoke weed don’t go committ crimes, they might eat all your food, laugh at a tree, and pass out on your couch, but ending up in jail seems like a stretch. Also, I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as overdosing on marijuana.

    Ratliff is a COLLEGE STUDENT and college students will party, drink, experiment, etc. It’s part of growing up. And I know, I know, it’s IU basketball and they need to be role models blah blah blah… But he’s a freakin kid!!!!! He’s gonna make mistakes. Rehab isn’t the answer.

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