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CNN Presents: The Real March Madness; The Scary Guy; Basketball's Next Big Thing

Aired April 7, 2012 - 20:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Tonight on CNN PRESENTS, "The Real March Madness."

Big name basketball schools with a big-time problem.

SUSAN HERBST, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT: There's plenty of blame to go around. At least in our men's basketball program.

ANNOUNCER: How some championship teams are failing their star players.

"The Scary Guy."

EARL KAUFMANN, THE SCARY GUY: I'm in charge of the brain.

ANNOUNCER: His mission, stop bullies.

KAUFMANN: Hate and anger.

ANNOUNCER: His methods, anything but usual. But does it work?

KERRY JUNTENNEN, MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: Does that really change kids' lives? And my answer is no.

ANNOUNCER: "Basketball's Next Big Thing." He's nicknamed the "Crime Stopper."

AQUILLE CARR, PATTERSON HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: When I'm on the court, everybody's dead. And nobody's, like, outside committing any crime.

ANNOUNCER: And at only 5'7", he's selling out gyms from Philly to D.C. The high school player you'll soon be hearing about.

Revealing investigations. Fascinating characters. Stories with impact. This is CNN PRESENTS. With tonight's hosts, Randi Kaye and Drew Griffin.

RANDI KAYE, CNN PRESENTS HOST: While March Madness has grown into one of the most popular sporting events in the country, we begin tonight with some unpopular statistics off the court and in the classroom.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN PRESENTS HOST: The Orange Men of Syracuse began postseason play this year without its top rebounder and scorer. Fab Melo was suspended for undisclosed reasons. But he missed games in the past because of his academic struggles. And Syracuse is not alone. KAYE: According to a new study a total of 14 teams that made the tournament this year failed to graduate at least half their players. Including last year's national champion.

GRIFFIN: It's been a problem for years. But now it appears the NCAA is putting pressure on teams to take the student part of the term student athlete seriously.

We decided to investigate "The Real March Madness."


GRIFFIN (voice-over): When it came down to the big dance last year, the University of Connecticut men's basketball team was the big winner. National champs.


GRIFFIN: Nationally praised.

O'BRIEN: And congratulations to the Huskies.

GRIFFIN: Standing behind President Obama alongside the team and the coach was the University of Connecticut's new president, Susan Herbst.

O'BRIEN: There you go.

GRIFFIN: Amid the championship smiles were hiding a huge failure. UConn may have been the best basketball team in the land, but in the classroom, they were darn near the worst. Just 25 percent of UConn's men's basketball players graduate within six years. And if you break it down racially, a black player's chances of graduating from UConn is just 14 percent.

And UConn isn't the only big name. Big dollar programs that can't graduate its student athletes. The University of Florida graduates just 38 percent of its players. Michigan's basketball team, 45 percent. Indiana, 47 percent.

And, yes, that figure excludes star players who leave school early for the NBA.

For UConn, it's a pathetic record. And Jonathan Mandeldove is one of the statistics.

(On camera): You didn't make it all the way.

JONATHAN MANDELDOVE, FORMER PLAYER, UNIV. OF CONNECTICUT: I did not. Grade troubles as far as, you know, myself and staying up with the studies and stuff like that. And staying up with the help that I was given. And it just didn't work out for me.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Mandeldove, a seven-foot center, has been a coveted basketball player since he was 14 years old.

MANDELDOVE: Watch your feet. It's all about foot work, ladies. GRIFFIN: Now 24, he helps coach his younger sister in skills drills. But without a degree, his chances for actually being a coach are limited.

MANDELDOVE: I'm only short three classes. Three classes.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Why can't you just get it done?

MANDELDOVE: You know what? I had to leave the school because my GPA wasn't where it needed to be in order to graduate. So they told me I have to leave school, come back and finish up with the three classes. Just take some time off. It's looking like classes right now, I was struggling.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Now he is struggling with his future. And UConn is struggling with his past.

HERBST: There's plenty of blame to go around. At least in our men's basketball program.

GRIFFIN: Susan Herbst came on board here as president about a year ago. She inherited UConn's basketball graduation rate, but now she's dealing with a real UConn crisis.

Under new rules instituted by the NCAA, UConn, the 2011 men's basketball champs, will be banned from postseason play next year. Banned because of its terrible record graduating basketball players.

(On camera): So what did happen here at UConn for so long, and how was it allowed to last?

HERBST: It was very complicated, the story of sort of how you get there. I do think it takes a village. You know, that it's not just a coach or it's not just a player. It's not even an athletic director or president. It's everybody together, you know, trying to support the team. In our case not supporting the team as well as we could.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The past athletic director is gone. The team and school are now making class work and education a huge priority and, according to Herbst, the student athletes are doing much, much better. In fact, she and the school are trying to desperately get the NCAA to lift its postseason ban. Citing their progress.

But one thing has not changed here. Long-term, heralded coach Jim Calhoun. He stays.

(On camera): Don't you feel that if it was important for this coach to get these kids to graduate, he could have done it?

HERBST: Well, I think you have to talk to the coach himself. But I will say that, again, it takes a lot of people to support a basketball team. It's not just a coach saying you must do this. You must go to class.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): We did ask to talk to Coach Calhoun. Instead, we were told President Herbst would speak for the school. Jonathan Mandeldove who played for Calhoun for four years doesn't blame the coach for anything. Mandeldove admits he went to UConn with one goal in mind. Get to the NBA.

MANDELDOVE: I fault myself for my downfalls in class. And I don't fault anyone else. I don't fault the institution. Because they offered the help. You know, it's just there for us to take it. We have to take it. If we don't, then that's a problem for us.

GRIFFIN (on camera): And Coach Calhoun?

MANDELDOVE: Coach Calhoun does -- I think he does everything that he needs to do in order for guys to succeed.

DR. RICHARD LAPCHICK, INSTITUTE FOR DIVERSITY AND ETHICS IN SCHOOL: Well, I think student athlete is taken kind of loosely.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Dr. Richard Lapchick has tracked this problem for years. He says there's as a whole basketball players graduate less than any other team in college sports. According to his research, there are 14 teams in the NCAA tournament that fail to graduate even half their players.

LAPCHICK: It's great that we can afford athletic scholarships to gifted student athletes, but if they come to our institution and just play basketball or whatever the sport is and don't get the education, then I think everybody's been shortchanged in the bargain.

GRIFFIN: Susan Herbst insists the focus at UConn is now where it belongs, squarely on education.

HERBST: As a matter of fact, when I came, it was the first time that we had real communication in one room, you know, between the academic people, the provost, the president's people and the basketball coaches. And they were incredibly grateful. And to me that was very instructive.

GRIFFIN (on camera): To me, it tells me it wasn't important before.

HERBST: You know, I think it was important to individuals. The institution, apparently not.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): But what about the rest of the country?

Up next, pressure from the White House to raise performance in the classroom. The problem may be bigger than anyone thought.

BRUCE PEARL, FORMER COACH, UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE: If he wants to fix it, fix it at the high school level, at the middle school level, at the elementary school level. His problems in this country in our educational system lie elsewhere.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GRIFFIN: The coaches make millions. The athletes, rock stars. But are big-time basketball schools failing their players off the court? The secretary of education is putting pressure on men's college basketball to bring up the grades. And the NCAA has responded in a way that could seriously hurt last year's national champions.

My special investigation into "The Real March Madness" continues.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): The secretary of education was watching college basketball as he loves to do and was getting mad. Because he knew on average, nearly 44 percent of the players he was watching would never graduate. So last year he decided to do something about it. He wrote editorials and held phone conferences with the press. The NCAA had to do better.

ARNE DUNCAN, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: I want to reiterate my proposal to the NCAA that teams that fail to graduate 40 percent of their players should be ineligible for postseason competition.

GRIFFIN: Somehow, some way, all schools, according to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, should be able to graduate at least 40 percent of their players.

DUNCAN: And we have a few bad apples. That's where we've really tried to challenge the status quo. And when players aren't going to class and they're not graduating. Well, they're actually being used. And that has to stop.

GRIFFIN: To Bobby Fong, president of the Butler University at the time, it sure seems like a good idea.

BOBBY FONG, FORMER PRESIDENT, BUTLER UNIVERSITY: I didn't think the NCAA would go for it. But I would be in support of it.

GRIFFIN: Last year Butler, which graduated 83 percent of its basketball players, lost in the NCAA championship to the University of Connecticut. A program that at the time was graduating just 30 percent. To Fong, getting student athletes to graduate seemed a no- brainer. But Duncan's ideas were not being welcomed by big-time coaches like Tennessee's Bruce Pearl. Like other coaches who said graduation problems weren't his problem.

PEARL: If he wants to fix it, fix it at the high school level, at the middle school level, at the elementary school level. His problems in this country, in our educational system, lie elsewhere.

GRIFFIN: Even the NCAA at the time said a ban was probably not the best course of action. But in the fall of last year, something changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kids ready?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They better be. It's time.

GRIFFIN: Mark Emmert is the president of the NCAA.

(On camera): Did you need the White House to put pressure on everybody within college sports to get this going?

MARK EMMERT, PRESIDENT, NCAA: Well, it certainly doesn't hurt, right, to have an advocate like Secretary Duncan as a good kind of push. We've got a society that teaches young men in particular that if you can play ball, you can dribble, focus on that, that'll get you into college. That'll get you into the NBA. Now we need to say that's important, but it doesn't work unless you have schoolwork alongside it and you're prepared to be a college student.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The first to be hit would be the school that won it all in 2011. UConn men's basketball team will not play in next year's postseason tournament, no matter how good they may be. The school is still trying to get the NCAA ban reversed. UConn's president says Husky basketball players are right now improving their grades, going to class, and shouldn't be punished for statistics from the past.

HERBST: To see them get punished for something that students a few years ago failed to do is heartbreaking.

GRIFFIN: The new NCAA rule is pretty simple. Teams need to have a graduation rate of 50 percent. If a school fails to meet the mark four years in a row, the school's out of the tournament. That's tough news for UConn, but not so tough for many others like Marquette. The perennial basketball powerhouse has graduated all its players in some years. This year it's at 91 percent.

How do they do it? They put their money where they put their priorities. Last year the school spent $10.3 million on men's basketball alone. That buys nice facilities and practice equipment. But also lots of educational support.

Larry Williams is Marquette University's athletic director.

LARRY WILLIAMS, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY: From the president's office to the field maintenance office, everybody in between has to embrace the culture that celebrates academic success and athletic success.

GRIFFIN: Players here start with academics before their freshman year even begins. Incoming players go to summer school. It's where they get used to school, to class and the one person who isn't about to give them any slack. Adrienne Ridgeway.

ADRIENNE RIDGEWAY, ASSISTANT ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY: From that point then we know how to approach the school year.

GRIFFIN: Ridgeway is assigned to coach basketball players in academics. Her assignment comes directly from the Catholic university's president, Father Scott Pilarz, who gets his orders from an even higher authority.

FR. SCOTT PILARZ, PRESIDENT, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY: We have a moral obligation to all of our students and -- including our student athletes that we are going to offer them a powerfully transformative educational experience.

JAMIL WILSON, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY PLAYER: It's like having more coaches that don't yell, without whistles, basically.

GRIFFIN: Red Shirt sophomore Jamil Wilson says he's never had this much attention both on and off the court. The school pays for chartered planes that take players back to class. Tutors even fly with the team to away games.

WILSON: They monitor when you show up to class. What you're doing there. When you're in study hall, you swipe in your ID card. So it tells them how long you've been there. They monitor everything you do on their computers. Your homework, your papers, things like that. So you're never really behind even if you are missing class.

GRIFFIN: He hopes to graduate next year and then play ball while starting grad school. And after that, with a degree, maybe basketball. But prepared for a much bigger game.

WILSON: I'd like to play basketball until my body says, hey, this isn't for you anymore. I mean, you never know. Maybe my impact in life is somewhere else.

GRIFFIN: It's the kind of focus Susan Herbst has tried to bring to the University of Connecticut. Every aspect of the school and the team needs to support education, she says. And, yes, that includes long-time basketball coach Jim Calhoun.

HERBST: I don't want you to get the impression that he doesn't care deeply about them as people and about their success. He really does. And because he has that heartfelt interest in their success, he's bought into our academic plans. And he's demonstrated --

GRIFFIN (on camera): But, you know, I must tell you I find that hard to believe when so many kids have left here without a degree.

HERBST: I -- all I can talk about is the future going forward. I mean presidents inherit all kinds of challenges at universities with regard to student success and all other aspects. And what a new leader does when they come in is they try to take charge and move forward.

MANDELDOVE: That's one.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Meanwhile, former UConn center Jonathan Mandeldove says he wants to finish school, but right now he sees his future playing basketball. Without a degree, it's really all he has.

(On camera): Can you still get there?

MANDELDOVE: I think I can. I think I can. I'm still young. I'm only 24. Sky's the limit. I don't think there's an age limit where they stop, you know, taking guys into the NBA. So I'm going to continue to push forward and continue to work and do whatever I need to do to get there.


KAYE: Drew, the number of college basketball players not graduating is pretty astonishing. And UConn's ban isn't even official?

GRIFFIN: Yes. NCAA officials tell us it's a process. So even though they have already failed their first appeal, they get a second appeal to the same organized body. They will try to show that, look it, since the last time you looked at us, we're doing better. Our students are doing better. We are going to graduate. But as of right now, this ban may not apply to UConn.

KAYE: And is it just basketball?

GRIFFIN: No. It's every sport. The benchmark is 50 percent need to graduate four years running, otherwise you're not going to be in the postseason no matter what sport you play.

KAYE: Thanks, Drew.

Coming up, the new face of bully prevention is a little scary. Is his flashy performance what schools really need?


KAYE: What to do about bullying? It's the burning question facing school districts across the country. And some of them are willing to fork over a lot of money to buy the services of experts to help them solve the problem.

We caught up with one self-styled expert known as "The Scary Guy." he's built a business convincing schools he can help stop bullying. But does it really work?


KAYE (voice-over): Homecoming in Austin, Minnesota. Some are here for the Friday night lights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job, team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How we've been doing? Like on teachers selling a lot?

KAYE: Others are here to raise big money.


KAYE: The ultimate goal? Twenty grand. The price tag for what they hope will be a solution to school bullying. Leading the charge, parents like Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold who started a bullying committee.

DANIELLE BORGERSON-NESVOLD, COMMUNITY AGAINST BULLYING: It opened my eyes that it's happening to my own child. KAYE: On Valentine's Day last year, Danielle's 11-year-old son Sam was attacked walking home from school.

SAM, DANIELLE BORGERSON-NESVOLD'S SON: Out of nowhere a boy grabs my arms and holds them behind my back. There was another boy who's coming, and he says that he was going to beat me up.

KAYE: Sam's mom is banking on an unlikely solution. To make her community bully free.


KAYE: I figured it's time for the scary guy.

KAUFMANN: I'm in charge of the brain of Zach.

KAYE: This is the scary guy. A former tattoo artist. He entertains the students by playing the bully.

KAUFMANN: Check out that geek in the wheelchair dude.

KAYE: This is supposed to be bullying prevention. He calls it edutainment.

KAUFMANN: Stop talking on other people's rotten horrific negative words as energy and putting them back out on this planet thinking your defending yourself.

KAYE: His message may sound good, but his delivery is unconventional, to say the least. Tattooed from head to toe, the Scary Guy commands as much as $6500 a day for his performance. And a curriculum that goes with it.

KAUFMANN: It's not your job to make it right, you let it go.

KAYE: For those looking to wake up a community with shock and awe, he delivers.


KAYE: Austin, Minnesota, principal Dewey Schara.

SCHARA: It's not perfect. It's not -- you know, some would say not beautiful. Maybe a little shocking to look at. But it gets everyone's attention.

KAUFMANN: I role play my behavior based on my young adult years where I would find fault with people no matter what. Their height. Short, tall, skinny, fat, blonds. And bald guys.

KAYE: Scary, as he likes to be called, pushes the envelope.

KAUFMANN: Two guys to hug in the hallway of a school, this could be dangerous. Gay.

KAYE: To get people's attention and prove a point. KAUFMANN: What a lie.

KAYE (on camera): What would be the strongest message that you have to kids about bullying?

KAUFMANN: I think if I can get a message through to people to empower the mind. In other words, show them that they have the power to make a choice as to who they want to be and not become what they see and hear around them.

Now, Sam, if I call you a rotten word, who's that rotten word about?


KAYE: Is your teaching research based?

KAUFMANN: I think my teaching is research based on my personal experience in how I read people. No, it's not out of a book.

No longer will another person's words define who you are. You create you.

KAYE (voice-over): Scary has no formal academic credentials. But he makes no apology for that. Or his looks. Instead, he touts his last 13 years speaking to tens of thousands of schoolchildren worldwide. He also has been booked by law enforcement. Even the U.S. military. Never mind he never finished college. A fact that some school administrators are willing to look past.

(On camera): No matter what his training is, you do see him as an expert.

SCHARA: He is. Absolutely. In our world, in academic world and in the schools, you have to have a degree. The law says you have to have a degree. But that doesn't make you a good teacher.

KAYE: So for anyone who might say, look, this guy has a great program, but what are his credentials?

KAUFMANN: I would say that my credentials are that I'm doing something to help people that's based on love and it's me on the street learning it for my whole life. And I don't know where else you could go to get this kind of information and training.

KAYE: Is there proof that your methods work?

KAUFMANN: Yes. Letters.

KAYE: And what do they say?

KAUFMANN: They just tell me what it's like to make a difference, to change. To wake up to the idea that they don't have to live with stress and negative behavior around them.

KAYE (voice-over): But coming up, who is the Scary Guy? And does he really help the kids? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids forgot, for the most part. They say I remember Scary, but I don't remember what he said.



ANNOUNCER: We now return to CNN PRESENTS. With your hosts tonight, Randi Kaye and Drew Griffin.

GRIFFIN: He's known as the Scary Guy. Wanted by schools worldwide to help them solve the difficult problem of bullying.

KAYE: He's controversial and unconventional. Yet in such demand that one Minnesota community is willing to put up $20,000 just to bring him to town for two weeks. But who really is the scary guy? And is it money well spent?


KAYE (voice-over): The Scary Guy was born Earl Kenneth Kaufmann.

MIKE ELSMORE, FORMER PRINCIPAL: Scary is Earl to me. Earl grew up here.

KAYE: Mike Elsmore grew up two doors down on this quiet street in New Hope, Minnesota. Elsmore says Earl was like a brother. But they couldn't be more different.

ELSMORE: He was always kind of wanting to be over the top. He was an agitator.

KAYE: Even though Scary's early childhood was happy, as the years passed, a divorce and an absent father left Scary emotionally scarred.

KAUFMANN: I wanted my dad to give me approval, you know what I mean? Say, hey, son, I really love you. But he was really kind of a silent guy. My first tattoo was this little green dragon over here.

KAYE: Scary got his first tattoo at age 30. Before becoming a tattoo artist himself. In 1993, when his mother died, he turned to cocaine for several months. Two years later, he started tattooing his face.

(On camera): Is this part of getting some of that attention that maybe you missed?

KAUFMANN: It could have something to do with the fact that maybe I didn't get any attention from my father. However, I've always felt fairly comfortable and confident in who I am. I didn't plan to tattoo my face, really. I just decided that I wanted an accent bar.

KAYE: You got it.

(Voice-over): Eventually a rival tattoo artist placed an ad referring to Earl as a scary guy. The name stuck. And Earl legally changed his name to the Scary Guy. The name became a marketing gimmick. He trademarked Scary wear and sold Scary bobble heads. His wife at the time says the name change was strictly a business decision. That later became a hook in marketing himself to schools as a bullying prevention guru.

JULIE KAUFMANN, SCARY'S EX-WIFE: Scary always used to laugh and say, you know, if we marketed me as the love guy, you know, no one would come.

KAYE: And schools do buy it. Scary says schools in 19 states, some through taxpayer money, others through private donations, have paid him to come. Kids love him.

KAUFMANN: You mean I can't just grab on to Jorge's shirt like this and pull him along like this?


KAYE: But we discovered some of his customers have begun to question whether he has any real lasting impact. Once the flashy performance is over.

ELSMORE: There's a part of me that feels like that Scary is artificial.

KAYE: Even his childhood friend, Mike Elsmore, now a retired principal, is a skeptic.

ELSMORE: His whole program of getting the attention is based on, hey, look at me. I'm this -- this is shock value. If he did that same kind of presentation without the tattoos, it wouldn't work.

KAYE: Elsmore hired Scary to come to his school.

ELSMORE: Kids forgot, for the most part. And they say I remember Scary, but I don't remember what he said.

JUNTENNEN: You can have these kind of folks come in. And they're in a sense a bit of a mercenary. A one-time, one-shot deal. Does that really change kids' lives? And my answer is no.

Good morning. Good morning.

KAYE: Middle school principal, Kerry Juntennen, is another dissatisfied customer. He says the real answer is how he starts every day, rain or shine.

JUNTENNEN: Good morning, how are you guys this morning?

KAYE: Greeting kids before they enter the school doors.

JUNTENNEN: This is where we make that initial connection with kids. Have a good day.

KAYE: This Hermantown, Minnesota, principal encourages his staff, from bus drivers to counselors, to make that connection every day. Because, he says, people like the Scary Guy come and go. JUNTENNEN: It's important to create a culture because it's going to stay with kids forever.

KAYE: The Scary Guy came to Juntennen's school last spring. The cost covered by a federal grant. He says although parts of Scary's presentation were positive, some parts were simply inappropriate.

JUNTENNEN: He's talking about the fact that shaking someone's hand is not sex. It's not an act of sex. He said, here, shake my hand. A kid grabs his hand. He shakes his hand, ooh, that's the best sex I've had all day. What got left with kids? Kids got left with that's the best sex I've had all day. Not the fact that it's OK to shake someone's hand or to hug them.

KAYE (on camera): You made a sexual comment about a handshake after you shook a child's hand.

KAUFMANN: Every now and then I ran into somebody who doesn't tell me that I offended them.

KAYE (voice-over): Scary says it was just role-playing. And that most people find it funny. He also doesn't seem overly concerned about discrepancies in his professional claims. For instance, Scary told us he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Turns out anyone can be nominated if the nominator is deemed qualified. Scary says he was nominated by a professor he knows.

(On camera): Speaking of credentials.

(Voice-over): And this Tucson Citizen of the Month Award on his online profile?

(On camera): You recognize that guy?

KAUFMANN: That's Marty.

KAYE (voice-over): It was made up on MySpace and given to him by a friend.

(On camera): Some in the community of Austin have questioned the Scary Guy's $20,000 price tag. Here, $20,000 is a lot of money. The typical household income is $41,000.

(Voice-over): His invoice claims his corporation, Kids Visionheart, is a nonprofit. As did his Web site before we sat down for an interview. The truth is, his charity is no longer registered with the IRS. It lost tax exempt status nearly two years ago.

(On camera): Why isn't it registered?

KAUFMANN: Well, because it probably fell out because I didn't report all my taxes in the last seven years.

KAYE (voice-over): So the money has been going to his bank account tax free.

KAUFMANN: I just filed --

KAYE: Scary says he's trying to work out his taxes now. But his life on the road has made it difficult. And, he says, schools don't care if he's a charity or not. He's right in the case of Austin, Minnesota. After two weeks of Scary, those who booked him are still true believers.

BORGERSON-NESVOLD: His image, he's using it to help others.

KAYE (on camera): So you think it's money well spent?

SCHARA: Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

KAYE: How will you keep this going?

SCHARA: The same way we keep anything going that we teach in the schools. If we don't continue to reinforce it and implement it with fidelity, it's gone.

KAUFMANN: Teachers, are they going to be perfect?

KAYE (voice-over): Even the Scary Guy himself admits he is not a long-term solution.

KAUFMANN: It's not the scary guy. He doesn't live here.

JUNTENNEN: Good morning, Riley. Kylie, good morning.

I think a lot of people are just asking for somebody else to do what we need to do ourselves.

KAUFMANN: You get the message across, OK? Because you know what? I'm leaving.


GRIFFIN: Randi, what a fascinating guy. But given all you've learned about this Scary Guy, why do schools still hire him?

KAYE: Well, the schools and communities, they need help. They really need a wake-up call. But what I heard over and over again is that if they brought in someone wearing khakis and a button down, it's just not going to work. The kids aren't going to pay any attention. They're not going to get the message. But that could also be the problem, Drew, with the Scary Guy. Because they pay so much attention to his tattoos and his piercings that they could miss the message there as well.

GRIFFIN: Well, we certainly paid attention.


KAYE: We did.

GRIFFIN: Thanks, Randi. He stands 5'7". But there's no tape measure long enough to measure the size of his heart or his determination. Coming up, a young man who's basketball's next big thing.


GRIFFIN: Coming up, in a tough Baltimore neighborhood, one kid is single handedly stopping crime. And he's doing it not in the courts, but on one.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PRESENTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Carr calls it "the show." His stature and swagger has earned him a big following on YouTube. Along with a killer nickname, the "Crime Stopper."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aquille, aka, "Crime Stopper" Carr.

LAWRENCE: The theory is, when Carr's on the court his Baltimore dealers and hustlers take time out to catch the show. Hard to believe? Yes. But city crime statistics support it. Overall, violent crime goes down about 40 percent on game days.

(On camera): Why did they start calling you Crime Stopper?

CARR: I guess when I'm on the court, everybody's there. And nobody's like, outside committing any crime.

LAWRENCE: You called it "the show."

CARR: Yes. The show.

LAWRENCE: What's that mean?

CARR: That means when you come you're going to get a great show.



KAYE: That story just ahead on CNN PRESENTS. But first a look at the top stories at this hour.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Don Lemon. Live in the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Here are your headlines this hour.

Thousands of people gather in Miami to take part in a hometown rally for Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The unarmed teenager was shot and killed more than a month ago in Sanford, Florida. Martin's parents were joined today by civil rights leaders.


SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: We just want the public to know that he was a regular teenager, that he was respectable and loved by his family and his friends. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: They continue to ask for neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman to be arrested. Zimmerman says he shot the teen in self- defense.

The opposition in Syria says it can't hold on forever. So the U.S. is promising to nearly double its funding support. At a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined others in saying the Syrian people will not be left alone. She says sanctions are starting to work.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think the sanctions are beginning to have an effect. But we have to do more to implement them. We're making progress. Also, the individual sanctions, you know, the travel bans, the visa bans, the kinds of direct personal sanctions are beginning to really wake people up.


LEMON: So far the Syrian crackdown shows no signs of letting up.

A woman who went to prison fighting for democracy is now Myanmar's newest symbol of freedom. Voters elected Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament today, though the result is still unofficial. She won the Nobel Peace Prize for the decades-long fight for democracy. Her opposition party called today's victory momentous.

Myanmar has lived under military rule for 50 years and the army still holds the balance of power.

Pope Benedict XVI began a hectic holy week schedule with a Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's Square today. Palm Sunday marks Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem leading up to his crucifixion. The pontiff just returned from a six-day trip to Cuba and Mexico. After meeting with former dictator Fidel Castro and others the Cuban regime says it will agree to the Pope's request to make Good Friday a holiday.

Lin-sanity as they call him has quickly turned to Lin-injury. Did I just say that? Yes, I did. The surprise star of the New York Knicks injured his knee and has to have surgery for a torn cartilage. The point guard will miss the next six weeks and possibly be out for the rest of the season. Wow.

Those are your headlines this hour. "CNN PRESENTS" continues next.


KAYE: If you are putting together a basketball team, it probably makes sense to choose the tallest players. And while that may seem logical, you would be missing out on one of basketball's up and coming stars.

GRIFFIN: He's been called the country's most electrifying high school basketball player. A kid from the mean streets of Baltimore who has more hurdles than most to reach his dream.

KAYE: But just wait until you see him play. Chris Lawrence has his story.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go, y'all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our house on three, one, two, three.


LAWRENCE: He's 5'7". By most standards, way too short to play elite basketball. Especially here. In hoop crazed Baltimore. Where they play high school games with an intensity that rivals most colleges. But Aquille Carr isn't just keeping up with his much taller opponents. He's passing them.

COACH HARRY MARTIN, PATTERSON HIGH SCHOOL: When people Baltimore basketball players they talk about toughness. The guys -- small guys with big hearts. If he was 6'4", 6'5", he'd probably be the number one ranked player in the nation.

Only one that can beat you in here is yourself.

LAWRENCE: Carr is ranked 55 on ESPN's super 60 list of the best high school juniors in America. Aquille's team, the Patterson High School Clippers, sell out gyms up and down the East Coast. Carr calls it "the show." His stature and swagger has earned him a big following on YouTube. Along with a killer nickname. The Crime Stopper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aquille, aka, "Crime Stopper" Carr.

LAWRENCE: The theory is, when Carr is on the court, East Baltimore's dealers and hustlers take time out to catch the show. Hard to believe? Yes. But city crime statistics support it. Overall, violent crime goes down about 40 percent on game days.

(On camera): Why did they start calling you Crime Stopper?

CARR: I guess when I'm on the court, everybody's there and nobody's, like, outside committing crime.

LAWRENCE (on camera): You called it "the show."

CARR: Yes. The show.

LAWRENCE: What's that mean? CARR: That mean when you come, you going to get a great show.


LAWRENCE: The nickname, combined with his size and style, have captured the attention of the national press. The "GQ" photo spread. That's the image. The kid himself is all East Baltimore. It's a tough place to grow up. Constant violence and the fifth highest murder rate in America. A lot of kids his age have already ended up jail.

Aquille's success is a credit to his teammates, coaches, and above all, his family. At every game, his dad prowls the sidelines. And his mom anchors the Clippers' cheering section from the bleachers.

Alan was a high school star himself. He and Tammy have raised three kids. Aquille, the youngest.

(On camera): Was there a moment you were ever worried about him? Not just on the basketball court but off the court things could happen.

ALAN CARR, AQUILLE CARR'S FATHER: No. Aquille was like a homebody. You know, he stayed around in the neighborhood, stayed home. He didn't get in an awful lot of trouble.

LAWRENCE: Sometimes you don't have to go very far. Trouble can come looking.

A. CARR: I just thank god for that.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): In March, the Clippers reached new heights. Winning their first Maryland State Championship.



LAWRENCE: But the very next day, the team headed back to East Baltimore. And the court where Aquille grew up playing.

(On camera): You're like a celebrity in the neighborhood.

CARR: Something like that.

LAWRENCE: Where do you want to end up?

CARR: In the NBA. The NBA. My biggest goal.

LAWRENCE: You know that's going to be tough.

CARR: I know. I just got to work 10 times harder than the next person.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Part of the reason he works so hard, this kid hates to lose.

CARR: I love to win. I can't take losing. Failure is never an option.

LAWRENCE (on camera): A lot of guys have had promise. A lot of guys have had talent. And they were never able to make it. Because of everything going on and, you know, in the city. How do you avoid that?

CARR: I just stay in the gym. Stay in the gym, there ain't to drugs going to be sold in the gym. So you stay in the gym, you stay out of everything.

LAWRENCE: People say, hey, you're a short guy. It's a tall man's game.

CARR: I just be laughing at them. Because I know once I got on the court, I'm going to show them wrong. I'm going to prove them wrong. I'm going to show them up.

LAWRENCE: It seems like you almost like that.

CARR: Yes, I love it. I don't just like it, I love it. Because I can just prove them wrong and make them a believer.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): After he scored 28 points in the state championship, Aquille was congratulated by another Baltimore star who played above his height. The legendary Muggsy Bogues. And if all that wasn't enough, his girlfriend gave birth to a daughter. More pressure means more motivation.

CARR: I really playing for something now. Like I'm not just freelancing. I'm more like I've got a daughter to look after. And I've got a family to take care. So I know if I make it there, I think they can be set for life.

LAWRENCE: What does basketball mean to a town like Baltimore where every player dreams of stardom? Just ask the mothers of Aquille's teammates.

TRINAE WASHINGTON, MOTHER OF CLIPPERS' PLAYER: You never know when you walk out in the street, anything can happen. A bully doesn't have anybody's name on it or anything like that. So, you know, we constantly worrying every time they leave the house. Basketball, it's a family. Like, you see all these kids out here playing right now. It's no problem.

LAWRENCE: The college scouts have taken note. But he's just a junior. And a year is a long time in East Baltimore.

(On camera): Is there a part of you that still worries about Aquille every day.

TAMMY CARR, AQUILLE'S MOTHER: All the time. Especially because that's my baby. He's the youngest of all of them.

LAWRENCE: Is there a part of you that wishes, man, I wish he was going off to college right now?

T. CARR: Yep. Every day. Every day.


T. CARR: Every day.

A. CARR: I wish this could have been his last year.


KAYE: Aquille Carr was recruited by top schools including the former national champs, UConn. But he signed a letter of intent to play with big east rival Seaton Hall. A smaller school where he hopes to get the playing time and exposure to vault him to the next level, the NBA.

GRIFFIN: That's it for tonight's show. I'm Drew Griffin.

KAYE: And I'm Randi Kaye. Thanks for joining us.