NCAA is a Joke and Calipari's the One Laughing

I was at the Meadowlands in '96, when John Calipari's Massachusetts team lost to Kentucky, and in San Antonio 12 years later when his Memphis squad lost in overtime to Kansas. Now comes word that Calipari is two for two, that Memphis' glorious campaign, like that of UMass, is to be deleted from the record books.

So should I expunge the memory as well, to pretend that Mario Chalmers' three-pointer, the famous shot that sent the game into an extra period, never happened? And what of the fans from, say, UCLA, who traveled to Texas to get beat by a player who, it now turns out, shouldn't have been playing? Derrick Rose had 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists while holding the Bruins' Darren Collison to 1-of-9 shooting. I'm sure Bruins fans would love to forget that. Maybe it would help ease their pain if the NCAA reimbursed them for the price of their tickets to the vacated games.

Actually, it's easier to pretend these games never happened than it is to imagine the NCAA parting with a cent. This game's all about money, which brings me back to Calipari.

His '96 UMass team was dirty. His '08 Memphis team was dirty. But now as then, the coach keeps getting richer. Thirteen years ago, while the NCAA was investigating the Minutemen, he took a gig with the Nets as coach and director of basketball operations. It paid about $3 million per, pretty good money back in the dark ages. This time, as investigators were uncovering the fugazy tales of Rose and his brother, Calipari was negotiating with Kentucky. His deal in Lexington runs almost $32 million for eight years.

The purely coincidental similarities don't stop there, either. Back in '96, he didn't know anything about the cash and the jewelry agents were lavishing on his star player, Marcus Camby. I'm sure he had absolutely no idea — none at all — that an assistant athletic director was leaving comp tickets for the agents.

Latest from Kriegel Dirty shame: Memphis didn't make a Final 4? Or win 38 games? The NCAA is a joke yet again and John Calipari's the one laughing. Liar, Liar: I could tell you all the ways the new Vikings QB has mangled the truth, but isn't it better to let Brett Favre do it himself? Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

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"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

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Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

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Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

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Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

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Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

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Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

    Add a comment

Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

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Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

    Add a comment

Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

    Add a comment

Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder why a Chicago kid — who had already failed the ACT three times — finally qualified for college eligibility by taking the SAT 283 miles away in Detroit?

Then again, Calipari understood as well as anyone: don't ask, don't worry.

I'm probably being too hard on Calipari, who might be almost as good a coach as he is a hustler. After all, he only does what the system allows him to do. Kentucky knew. A few months ago, AD Mitch Barnhardt issued a press release commending his new coach for being "forthcoming and honest about the NCAA inquiry" during the interview process. Even university president Lee Todd deigned to be quoted in a release, saying he was "confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way."

Of course not. Everything went as forecast. Memphis' record — including those games won by its long-gone coach — have been "vacated." It had to return the trophy. Then, in perhaps the final indignity, Paul Dee of the Infractions Committee explained the NCAA's position on a conference call.

"The coach is the important person on any team," said Dee.

Then what about this coach, he was asked, who presided over a now-vacated season?

var userStatus='vote'; // if this poll is the one for which they have answered, show results if (typeof(pollsVoted)!="undefined") { for (var i = 0; i < pollsVoted.length; i++) { if (pollsVoted[i] == 9963118) { var userStatus = 'results'; break; } } } // has to have retry because hitbox code is defered. function hitBoxVote(m,p) { } var pollHeight = 0; if (pollHeight == 0) { pollHeight = Math.max(140 + (3 * 45) ); } var flashPollQuery='choices=3&questionId=502682&pollId=9963118&cUrl=&pgCode=null&categoryId=null&isNarrow=true&userStatus='+userStatus; var tag = new FSFlashTag("/id/8796869", 250, pollHeight); // movie path, last two arguments are width and height tag.setId('flashPoll'); tag.setFlashvars(flashPollQuery); tag.setWmode('transparent'); tag.setWmodeFF('transparent'); tag.write(document);

"No allegations were brought against the coach," he said. "Therefore we did not go through that exercise."

Still, you wonder: was Calipari in a position to know better?

"There was no allegation that the coach knew or should have known so we didn't go forward with that inquiry."

Sounds as though the NCAA has vacated common sense along with Memphis' record. Yes, I know Calipari wasn't individually charged or investigated. But if the infractions were serious enough to expunge a school's Final Four season, then the guy who runs the team for that university — "the most important person" in Dee's words — should bear some real responsibility. So, too, should the university that hires a coach with an investigation still pending.

Instead, Calipari was rewarded. He may not be a cheater, but he had almost 32 million reasons to look the other way.

Now the NCAA wants me to imagine that Memphis' 2007-08 season never happened. It's much easier to imagine Calipari being introduced as the next coach of UCLA, just weeks before Kentucky vacates its next appearance in the Final Four.

.commentsDisclaimer { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; border-bottom:1px solid #c5c5c5; _height:45px; background-color:#ffffff; background-image:url(/fe/img/Story/comments_disclaimer_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-x; background-position:bottom left; padding:10px 10px 10px 10px; } .commentsDisclaimer a:link, .commentsDisclaimer a:visited, .commentsDisclaimer a:active { font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:#838383; text-decoration:underline; } Please note by clicking on "add a comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Member Comments     Add a comment Post Comment No comments yet. Report Abuse  

    Add a comment

Love hurts: To most, Gina Carano is the tough, sexy face of women's MMA. But for her biggest fan, watching is painful. Complete Mark Kriegel archive

Likewise, 13 years later, one of the sharpest coaches around again finds himself in a state of blissful, lucrative ignorance. How was he to know that Derrick Rose didn't take the SAT himself? How was he to know that Rose's brother received $1,713.85 in illicit benefits from the university, including free transportation, lodging and meals?

Apparently, it was too much for Calipari to say: "Hey, Derrick, what's your brother the AAU coach doing on our charter flights? How's he paying for it?"

Or to wonder wRead Full Article »

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