NCAA BK

Worldwide Wes a marked man in Indy

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Greg Couch

Greg Couch has been a national columnist at AOL Fanhouse and The Sporting News and an award-winning columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. He was featured twice in "Best American Sports Writing" and was recognized by the US Tennis Writers Association for best column writing and match coverage. He covers tennis on his personal blog. Follow him on Twitter.

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INDIANAPOLIS

About 20 years late, the NCAA apparently has figured out who Worldwide Wes is. The NCAA printed up fliers with his picture and gave them to security guards at Lucas Oil Stadium before Friday night’s NCAA tournament games.

Why? To ensure that William Wesley not get near the players in restricted areas.

USA Today first reported it on Twitter, saying that Wesley was banned from the building. NCAA officials, though, said the report was wrong, that Wesley was allowed in the building with a ticket like anyone else. He was not allowed in areas that require a credential.

Good luck. You cannot stop Worldwide Wes from getting near players. It’s hard to say exactly who Wesley is, but he’s a well-known longtime NBA power broker, and now works with the CAA agency.

That’s the nice way of putting it. Actually, he’s a notorious guy with an uncanny knack for showing up anywhere top players are and getting close to them. He has a longtime tie to Nike and to Kentucky coach John Calipari.

Also to LeBron James, back when he was in high school. Way back to Michael Jordan’s Bulls. And when Kentucky won the national championship last year, he was in the locker room afterward.

While he doesn’t seem to have an official role with Nike, he does show up at the Nike Hoop Summit and talks with top high school prospects. And in the past decade he has been sitting in Nike seats at the Rose Garden in Portland.

The idea is that Wesley gets his hooks into young players early, and then, theoretically, delivers them to top college programs. When they’re done with college, they are back in Wesley’s control.

That’s the theory anyway. Wesley, who was seen in Indianapolis on Thursday night, is the most powerful power brokers in hoops. The NCAA apparently is catching on.

One more thing: Minutes before the Louisville-Oregon game Friday, YahooSports reached Wesley by phone. He said he was in the building.
 

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