Senior Writer

Five for Friday: State of Tennessee needs iPhone 101 course


Coaches in the state of Tennessee are violating the NCAA's phone rules.

What else is new?

The Wes Moore-coached Chattanooga women's hoops team also violated the NCAA rule regarding calls to recruits. (US Presswire)  
The Wes Moore-coached Chattanooga women's hoops team also violated the NCAA rule regarding calls to recruits. (US Presswire)  
Let's do Five for Friday.

1. Is another school in Tennessee really in trouble over phone calls?

Believe it or not, yes. This time it's Chattanooga -- which was placed on probation Thursday for 137 impermissible texts and 74 phone calls made to 12 recruits or their families in men's basketball, football, women's basketball and men's tennis. So the eastern part of the state -- the Tennessee Vols are in Knoxville, the Chattanooga Mocs are in, well, Chattanooga -- clearly needs a refresher course on what can and cannot be done with an iPhone.

My advice?

Download Angry Birds for every coach on both campuses.

That app ought to keep them busy and, by extension, away from illegal calls.

2. The tennis coach, too?

That's the funniest part, that the freaking tennis coach can't even follow the rules. I mean, if the tennis coach at a Southern Conference school cheats, what hope is there for men's basketball? In a larger sense, it suggests what I wrote two weeks ago is true: Everybody violates the NCAA's phone rules. Some do it excessively, others randomly. But everybody does it. Even the tennis coach at Chattanooga.

3. Kentucky's John Calipari said Thursday that, in his mind, Enes Kanter is an amateur. Thoughts?

I don't doubt Calipari believes that in his mind, and if you listen to him long enough you'll start to believe it in your mind, too. As I've said many times, there's not a more convincing talker in college basketball than the man who led five first-round picks to 35 wins last season. The guy is unreal, gifted beyond belief. He is capable of convincing himself and anybody else of pretty much anything, and I mean that as the ultimate compliment.

4. Is that a nice way of saying Kanter isn't an amateur in your mind?

All I can tell you is that Calipari is the only coach I know who believes Kanter is an amateur. I've had coaches tell me they declined to recruit Kanter because they determined it would be "impossible" to get him eligible, had one coach tell me Kanter should be "ruled ineligible for life" because the 6-foot-11 center is clearly a professional (at least in that coach's mind). There is no gray area. Calipari is on one side of this issue, every other coach is on the other. And before you suggest this is just the latest massive conspiracy against Calipari by jealous colleagues, understand that some of these conversations I've had about Kanter date to well before Kanter was committed to Kentucky, date to well before Kanter was even considering Kentucky.

In other words, the general manager of a Turkish club telling the New York Times that Kanter was compensated like a professional jibes with everything else I've ever heard, and my guess -- and I admit, it's merely a guess because I've never seen any contracts or cancelled checks, nor has any other media member in this country, far as I know -- is that it's probably true. And yes, I realize the general manager has a motive to lie because the Turkish club stands to make money if Kanter plays in Europe rather than the SEC. I get that. But somebody having a motive to lie doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth. And it should be noted, it's not like Calipari lacks a similar motive given that he gets paid millions to win games, and it's easier to win games with Kanter than without him, but I digress.

Either way, my point is this: Discounting the general manager's comments strictly because of a perceived motive is just as foolish as taking his comments at face value, but I'm not here to blindly vouch for the guy. All I'm saying is that what the general manager said falls in line with everything else I've heard, and what Calipari thinks does not. As always, take that for what it's worth.

5. So you completely disagree with Calipari?

Actually, no. The lead quote in the wire story on this subject is as follows: "The kid, in my mind, is an amateur. He never signed anything. He played on a club over in Europe. But how they rule that thing out, I have no idea."

I agree with Calipari on the last part.

I have no idea how the NCAA will, as he put it, "rule that thing out."

What I do know is that it could determine who wins the SEC and, perhaps, the national title.

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.

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