UCF’s “third-party recruiter” uses YouTube to tell his story

Ken Caldwell, a Chicago-area man with alleged ties to the University of Central Florida’s recruiting scandal, claims the NCAA used him as a scapegoat.


Chase Hoffberger

Internet Culture

Published Aug 2, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 1:29 pm CDT

The NCAA sanctioned the University of Central Florida Wednesday, banning the school’s football and basketball teams from postseason play for one year because of a recruiting scandal involving several student-athletes, more than $16,000, and an ex-convict named Ken Caldwell, who allegedly worked as a middleman to bring recruits to the school.

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The decision came after a year-long investigation that concluded Caldwell had a working relationship with University of Central football coach Keith Tribble.

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Caldwell, who is also reported to hold ties with ASM Sports, a prominent sports agency in New Jersey, has denied the relationship—and his involvement in the scandal, for that matter—was anything more than social.

He has repeatedly tried to remove himself from the larger conversation, speaking at length with the New York Times about the allegations last year, but it’s often come to no avail. For the most part, Caldwell has been the chief talking point in reference to the scandal.

Wednesday, Caldwell took to YouTube to deliver his side of the story, saying that he was acting as nothing more than a father figure each time he gave advice.

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Stretched over nine minutes, “The Truth Part 1” is a bizarre couch-seat confessional that finds Caldwell admitted to certain relationships and monetary givings while also deflecting blame.

“I find this whole situation to be totally blown out of proportion due to my background,” he leads.

“Had I not had a criminal background, this wouldn’t even be news. But since I have a criminal background, all of a sudden, anyone that has any knowledge of knowing me in the basketball world, or any other world, is being affected.

“The NCAA chose to use me as a scapegoat. I’m not going to back down. I have nothing to hide, and nothing to lose. I have everything to gain. Because there’s so many people out here that are like me that helps others out there.”

Posted to YouTube last night, the video has only been seen a handful more than 1,200 people, but that may be because Caldwell has chosen to keep the video unlisted, which means that you can only view it if you have the direct link.

It’s not searchable, or, for that matter, traceable, which is something Caldwell just may know a thing or two about.

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Photo via YouTube

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*First Published: Aug 2, 2012, 12:40 pm CDT