John Calipari’s 2-for-2. He’s taken two college basketball teams to the Final 4 (Massachusetts in 1996, Memphis in 2008), and both have been scrubbed from the record books by the NCAA. At UMass, his star player Marcus Camby received money from an agent – Calipari got away unscathed, and immediately left for the New Jersey Nets after the Final Four appearance. At Memphis, his star player Derrick Rose is alleged to have had someone else takes his SATs. Again, Calipari got outta there before the SHTF, accepting a job at Kentucky. Is there a dirtier college basketball coach who consistently proclaims his innocence? And has the state of Kentucky ever had a dirtier pair of coaches – Calipari the cheater, Pitino because he shagged a woman – who wasn’t his wife – rotten on a table at a restaurant – running the show?
All the pathetic NCAA can do is strip past accomplishments from the Tigers. BFD. As if fans won’t remember that epic 2008 championship game. The current program will not lose any scholarships, or be prevented from playing in March. (Not that it should – why punish the current players for transgressions that had nothing to do with them?)
Maybe Calipari should think about ditching “Refuse to Lose” for a whole new slogan. Like: “Never implicated!” Or: “Not personally named!” It takes a village to take the fall for Calipari, doesn’t it? Or at least a university. To be sure, the university was complicit in this one. The university handed its program over to a scoundrel and let him do his thing.
Here’s the dangerous part – Calipari went to Kentucky, and immediately, prized recruit John Wall choose the Wildcats. Will the NCAA start sniffing around? Calipari, so skilled at avoiding punishment, couldn’t possibly have an escape plan from UK already in place. Then again, maybe he won’t even need one – the NCAA can’t pin him down, and without proof, clowns like the Governor think Cal is a “very upstanding guy.” Source: Memphis Tigers to forfeit record 2007-08 basketball season (Commercial Appeal)