New Clippers CEO Allegedly Fabricated His College Basketball Career

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 22 2014 5:03 PM

New Clippers CEO Allegedly Fabricated His College Basketball Career


Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Richard Parsons is the former Time Warner CEO and Citigroup chairman who was appointed by the NBA to run the Los Angeles Clippers on an interim basis in the absence of Donald Sterling. Parsons has long been described as a former varsity basketball player at the University of Hawaii in coverage of his career by publications including the New York Times and The New Yorker, which called him a "basketball star." The NBA's press release announcing his appointment to the Clippers mentioned that he "played basketball" in college. But this afternoon Deadspin published a piece by Dave McKenna that suggests Parsons may never have played basketball at Hawaii at all.

"Unfortunately we do not have statistics on Dick Parsons," says Neal Iwamoto, sports information director for Hawaii's men's basketball program.
It's not just that Parsons doesn't show up in box scores, photos, rosters, or news stories from 1964 to 1968, the years he says he was at the school. The guys who do show up don't remember ever playing alongside any Dick or Richard Parsons.
"There was nobody on the team with that name," says Harvey Harmon. A three-year letterman at Hawaii in the mid-'60s, he was captain of the varsity squad during his senior year of '67-'68, the same year Parsons says was his senior year at the school.

Contacted by Deadspin, the NBA and Clippers said that Parsons only played on the freshman team—not the varsity team. Parsons doesn't appear to ever have made any previous attempt to correct the record on the varsity/freshman issue despite being ID'd as a varsity player in some of the most prominent publications in the country. And he told a PBS interviewer (who seems to be under the impression he played through all four years of school) that Hawaii basketball coach Red Rocha was a "father figure" to him. But according to the University of Hawaii, Rocha never coached the freshman team, while the aforementioned Harvey Harmon, who would have been on that freshman squad with Parsons, says flatly that "he didn't play on the team."

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 2:57 PM ISIS Helps Snuff Out Conservative Opposition to Government Funding Bill
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?