TMZ on UK and NCAA, Uh oh

Well, the first words that come to mind when you hear the letters “TMZ” are, I’d have to say, “sex tape.”

But increasingly, the online tabloid giant has branched into sports, and it’s not always sports gossip.

Today, it is claiming a source who has been interviewed by the NCAA says that the NCAA is taking an “aggressive look” at four UK players, two current and two former.

You can read the full entry here. Though there’s not much more detail to it than that.

Still, TMZ brings with it a certain fear factor. You don’t want to be under their microscope, because they’re pretty dogged when they get onto a subject — and they don’t subject themselves to the same rules as “mainstream” outlets.

(Yes, I know. I hear people bemoan the mainstream media for getting beat on stories. The problem is that when you limit yourself to reporting the facts as you have them, and backing them up with other facts, it’s a much slower process. For instance, a single source saying the NCAA is looking into x and y wouldn’t be enough for most mainstream outlets.)

Anyway, TMZ gained some sports cred with its work in the Reggie Bush-USC affair. And gained even more when it broke this story of Tiny Gallon receiving impermissible money from a financial adviser looking to land his business. In that case, TMZ had a document showing a wire transfer. In this one, it just has some word of mouth.

Then there was its report last month that Oklahoma State going to the Pac-10 was a “done deal.” Not so right on that one.

Regardless, it does not appear that this kind of thing is going away.

For a refresher on what UK can expect, my column of June 2: Kentucky basketball wanted the spotlight — now it has it


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