Shortly before the start of the Midwest Regional semifinal between No. 1 seed Louisville and No. 12 seed Oregon on Friday, reports hit Twitter of security at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis being instructed to not allow William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley into the building.
It was later clarified he was simply not allowed into credentialed areas.
Worldwide Wes, as he is more commonly known, is a consultant for Creative Arts Agency and is also very close to many of the top names in both the NBA and college basketball. That list includes those in and around the Oregon Ducks program, Nike basketball officials and Kentucky's John Calipari. Wes is considered one of the more powerful behind-the-scenes individuals in the game of basketball.
This is the photo given to security at Lucas Oil Stadium:
Although he has a ticket to the game and can go in on his own accord without incident, Wes isn't happy security was put on alert.
The NCAA has given no reason for the ban, only stating that like any other fan Wes can get in with a ticket and credentialed areas are restricted just like any other game. Wes can often be seen in credentialed areas because of his close ties to coaches, like in 2008 when he was everywhere during Memphis' Final Four run. Of course, Memphis was coached by Calipari at the time.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino is one of the few coaches who has gone on record saying he doesn't particularly enjoy Wes's influence on the game
. More specifically, Pitino doesn't like losing recruits to Calipari and rival Kentucky due to Wes's power. But at this point there is no indication Pitino had anything to do with the ban.