The uncle of a former Memphis basketball player made some pretty damning allegations against former Memphis head coach John Calipari that, if true, could be disastrous.
Stephen Saine is the uncle and former guardian of ex-Memphis forward Pierre Henderson-Niles. A Memphis native, Henderson-Niles ultimately had a forgettable career at Memphis, never averaging more than 5.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in a season. He graduated in 2010, and hasn't been heard from since.
However, Henderson-Niles has been thrust back into the spotlight, as Saine claimed that Calipari established a pay-for-play system that brought Henderson-Niles to Memphis. In an email Saine sent to LocalMemphis.com, he claims that he helped facilitate the arrangement that led to Henderson-Niles getting paid.
When Jartavious Pierre Henderson-Niles played basketball at the UofM he did so with a play-for-play arrangement I had with the UofM men's basketball coaching staff.
I received regular payments from one of John Calipari's assistant coaches (Derek Kellogg) starting Pierre's senior year of high school through his junior year at the University of Memphis.
In an interview with LocalMemphis.com, Saine -- who is in the process of shopping his autobiography to publishers about his life and how he went from a criminal to a pastor -- said he is coming forward with this allegations now because "I want to get the truth out there. I want to free myself of some things."
Henderson-Niles claims that he has no connection to these allegations. Current Memphis head coach Josh Pastner, who coached Henderson-Niles during his senior year and was an assistant under Calipari from 2008-2009, said he had never heard these allegations before but does not believe that they are true. Calipari and the administration at Memphis have both been silent on this issue.
This is an incredibly strange situation, and a lot needs to happen before anyone can jump to any conclusions about whether or not Calipari is guilty of any major infractions, or if Saine is making this story up. Either way, if Saine's allegations are true, someone is going to be in serious trouble.