Ryan Craig

Calipari should be punished by the NCAA

Posted August 20, 2009

I saw the news that John Calipari once again lost a Final Four from his resume because of some form of cheating and immediately thought of the phrase “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

Well, NCAA, shame on you.

This is a guy who just became the first head coach in college basketball history to vacate Final Fours with two different programs, and he’s still on the sidelines collecting a paycheck?

Forget a slap on the wrist – this guy hasn’t gotten so much as a wag of the finger from the game’s governing body.

Calipari apologists will try and make the (very poor) argument that he had no control over whether Derrick Rose had someone take his SATs for him before enrolling at Memphis.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you believe that all of this happened without Calipari’s knowledge - that the eligibility of his once-in-a-generation recruit was somehow not at the forefront of his mind each and every day leading up to the season – than in the words of Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg, “you’re certifiably insane.”

The NCAA calls it institutional control, and Calipari has proven to have none at two different schools.

Even for those Kentucky fans that would love to pretend they just hired an angel to direct their program, and that firmly believe with all of their Kentucky blue blood that somehow Calipari was just in the wrong place at the wrong time – (ahem) twice – there is the minor detail of the second major violation the school has been found guilty of.

Apparently, Rose’s brother received free transportation on the team’s charter plane and hotel lodging the year that the eventual first-overall pick played for the Tigers.

Maybe Calipari’s staff didn’t realize it was Rose’s brother.

Maybe the coaches thought it was just a really energized fan that wanted to follow the team everywhere it went on the road.

Maybe the X-men are real.


Or, maybe Calipari should be treated like every other two-time violator of the NCAA’s major policies.

Whether or not he was in the room when Rose took his test, or when Rose's brother’s hotel and flight bills were paid, is irrelevant. As the program’s leader, Calipari is responsible for it’s day to day operation.

Just because Calipari can put on a smile during his press conferences, doesn’t mean the NCAA should turn a blind eye to major infractions on both the academic and monetary side of its guidelines.

Just because the coach is a good salesman, doesn’t mean you have to buy what he’s selling.


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  • Objective Scientist Aug 23, 2009

    Do we need yet another example of sports being "insane"? The old adage "where there is smoke there is fire"? Even if there is no visible fire, Calipari has smoke rolling out of every orifice of his body. Yes... we can fault the NCAA to some degree, but what about the institutions? In how many universities do the ADs hold FB and BB coaches accountable for such things? How many Chancellors/Presidents hold both ADs and coaches accountable? None that I have seen. We could move right on up the line... what about university Boards of Trustees? How about them holding everyone from the Chancellor/Presidents on down accountable? If there is a rule... it is that there is "no accountability". If Boards of Trustees demanded accountability of coaches by being very explicit that they fully expect Chancellors/Presidents and ADs to be 100% intolerant of anything that even "smells wrong"... and refuse to hire or renew the contracts of coaches who have a history of such things... this mess would slow significantly, if not be eliminated. While they are at it the Chancellors/Presidents could also refuse to pay the absolutely bloated salaries of FB and BB coaches. Let's have some sanity in collegiate athletics!

  • jbboone Aug 22, 2009

    I think the "no action" by the NCAA against Calipari, Eddie Sutton (Kentucky); Bobby Bowdin (FSU); Roy Williams (Kansas gifts, now at UNC) vs Sampson (Indiana) demomstrates to me that there is a double standard by the NCAA depending upon the name of the coach and program.

    The NCAA needs to close the books on the recent Florida State situation BEFORE this football season...In my opinion let the school keep the wins...but they should lose scholarships, TV options, and be banned from bowl games for at least four years...if they are going yo let bobby stay "because he did not know anything" then the AD should be fired

  • sbas2 Aug 21, 2009

    did Kentucky fall for the "snake song"? you know. the one that goes "take me in oh pretty lady, take me in...." will Kentucky be bitten by the snake and have Calipari say to them: after all, you knew i was a snake?

    thank goodness State was unable to hire him.

  • WufSkins Aug 21, 2009

    Thank goodness he ain't coaching the Wolfpack!! What a slime ball. KY deserves him and Memphis got exactly what they deserved. Lay down with dogs, don't be surprised if you wake up with fleas!

  • bpgeurin Aug 21, 2009

    Hokie 94
    You mentioned Kelvin Sampson, he was a repeat offender and is now banned from coaching any NCAA school for five (5) years. I guess good looks and a charming personality can get you somewhere.

  • StunGunn Aug 20, 2009

    This is an example of schools willing to win at any cost. I believe Calipari wasn't the only one at Memphis who knew what was going on with Rose's SAT scores. Kentucky is rolling out the red carpet for him regardless of past infractions. Calipari and everyone involved should be punished and the Kentucky blue bloods should ask themselves if this is really who they want running their men's basketball program - is winning really everything?

  • VT1994Hokie Aug 20, 2009

    I used to like this guy. And, he comes through interviews with flying clors. I want to believe in him when he speaks. He knows exactly what to say. But, this proves that he is a cheater. He is no different than Kelvin Sampson. Greedy people; the both of them.

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