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.