Blog Entry

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Posted on: June 13, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 11:15 am

By Matt Norlander

We couldn't go too, too long this offseason without a Kentucky story, you know?

The latest mini crisis in the Bluegrass State is a debate over the true total amount of wins John Calipari has collected in his career. Calipari has seen two of his seasons -- the two seasons that, coincidentally, featured Final Four appearances -- get wiped out by the NCAA. The first was with the '96 UMass team; the second was the '08 Memphis squad, which was two Derrick Rose free throws away from a championship. Those are now seasons non grata in the NCAA's record books.

This past season, Calipari won his 500th game, or so Kentucky believed and still does. The NCAA thinks otherwise. Those '96 and '08 seasons were vacated, meaning, according to the NCAA, Calipari is stuck at 467 Ws as of now. Kentucky's public acknowledgement of this faux feat has caused the NCAA to pucker its tush and demand an apology -- yes, an apology, a five-page apology, at that. How dare Kentucky make such a big stink over its head coach reaching a milestone few men and women accomplish.

Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader broke the story over the weekend.

Earlier this month, the chairman of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions sent University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. a letter asking the school to publicly acknowledge it was wrong to recognize John Calipari's 500th coaching victory this past season. Chairman Dennis E. Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, also told Todd that the wording of UK's statement "must be approved by the office of the Committee on Infractions prior to its release."

Thomas asked UK to respond to the letter no later than next Friday.

Spokesman Jay Blanton said Saturday that UK did not have a comment.

What's fascinating about this should-be non-story: We've go the first case of a school simply refusing to oblige by the NCAA's foolish vacate rule. The NCAA likes to retroactively take away wins and championships. It's one of the weakest, most-mocked "punishments" in sports. And now there's blowback when they didn't expect it.

According to Tipton, if the NCAA doesn't get its apology and some timely changes in the Kentucky media guides and record books, then UK officials will eventually be called to meet with the Committee on Infractions. Yes, the same group of people currently dealing with cheaters at Tennessee and Ohio State. A meeting with the COI? What a gigantic waste of time and fuel that would be. The theater of the absurd is hosting a new act.

We're talking Calipari getting a commemorative basketball and a round of applause for winning 500 games. A quick celebration at Rupp Arena. It's hardly a huge deal. But the NCAA's taking it very seriously, making the entire thing is pretty hilarious. The NCAA can't keep Kentucky from acknowledging Calipari's accomplishment, no matter how much they insist. They can't go back in time and erase the celebration from happening, just like they can't go back and erase seasons or championships from having occurred. What are they going to do, remove Kentucky from NCAA affiliation? Remove scholarships? Of course not. Another PR disaster if they did, especially considering it's Kentucky and Calipari, and both would be looked at sympathetically in this mini drama.

Suddenly the NCAA is looking like the angry neighborhood kid who's not getting its way and wants to take its ball and go home. Two steps forward, one step back with the NCAA. Same as it ever was. I wish we could vacate this kind of birdbrained behavior. 

Category: NCAAB

Since: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: June 14, 2011 3:50 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

No coach gets to count vacated wins in their total.  It has to be fair for everyone, and that's the rule.  Why should the standards be different for Calipari?

No matter who you think is right, the NCAA has the final say, so that's that.  Kentucky isn't going to win this battle, so why even bother trying to fight it?  Every member of the NCAA is there by choice - no one made them sign up - and that means abiding by the rules that have been formulated and agreed to by the members.  Kentucky's response needs to be trying to get the rule(s) changed, rather than ignoring the rules altogether.  Any other couse of action raises the question:  does Kentucky get to pick and choose which rules by which to abide?  Maybe that's why so many people wonder how serious Kentucky is about compliance.

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: June 14, 2011 3:49 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Hey maxjazzy (nice name),

i know i speak for the vast majority of Kat-fans when i say we stand WITH MemTiger fans.  You guys are passionate and recognized talent in CoachCal when many had written him off.  The so-called vacated season is a JOKE.  The ncaa is the epitome of hypocrisy:  "Yes, he is cleared to play."...."Ohhh, wait, Calipari might go to KentuckY???  No, we can't have that.  We can't have KentuckY regaining its power and stature in CBB.  Let's find something to scare them away.  Let's GO BACK ON OUR WORD.  Let's GO BACK ON OUR OWN FINDINGS and declare a player ineligible and make Memphis pay for our ineptitude."

It's all a complete joke.  The ncaa's need to be moved from Indianapolis just like DC needs to be moved out of Washington just scrape the grime and filth off them and start new somewhere else, fresh and clean.

All Our KentuckY Kat best to you and yours and to a great CBB season for the Tigers and Kats in the 2011/12 seasons and well-beyond!

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: June 14, 2011 2:32 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

u think Coach K didn't know about the Maggeot mess...that he recieved payments...u dont think Coach K knew about Capel's mother and brother recieving high paying jobs on campus amounst other players parents...jus as this argument should go for any college team in the country...they all is the problem with excepting money..they need to pay these college athletes some runnin money...for dates...geting their car's a joke they NCAA makes millions upon millions... but can't find reason to pay te college athete...

Since: Jun 14, 2011
Posted on: June 14, 2011 2:32 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Are you serious?  Until you know the difference between "know" and "no" or "me" and "mean"...or for that matter, the importance of punctuation, please go back to 3rd grade grammar class.  I almost feel sorry for you after reading your post.

You and others simply can't find something wrong with UK's success and just like the NCAA, you're grabbing at straws.  We all know that every program walks the line between what's moral and what generates wins.  This scenario is simply the NCAA's inability to find something that Cal violated, so they're going to tarnish the school's reputation by making this a headline.

Even if he/they apologize, what then?  Does he get to keep the basketball he was presented.  Do we need to have a halftime show that says "Sorry Folks"?  Get over it.  Your school sucks, ours doesn't - now that we got rid of the dead weight of Tubby and BillyG.

Have fun watching the 'Cats climb to the NCAA Finals this year, while your team fails to even get a bid.

Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: June 14, 2011 1:53 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

ohh comee on you honestly believe calipari had know clue whatsoever what was going on with his players "just because Marcus Camby did it doesnt me he did anything" even if he didnt do anything (he probably did) theres know way in hell he didnt know what was going on with his players on his team. (see jim tressel) plead the 5th! come on... and the fact that theres been issues like that at more then one school with him doesnt help his case. I mean i get it the top recruits know theyre great players and could go anywhere they want to, so they chose the place the can give them the most. Most coaches even if they didnt do anything would not allow something like that to happen, so they missed out on those players but that wasnt a problem with him.

Since: Jan 23, 2009
Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:21 pm


This seems more than a little ridiculous.  I might have expected Kentucky to have taken the vacated seasons into account when celebrating milestone victories, but what's done is done and this defintely doesn't seem worthy of NCAA scrutiny or COI involvement.  It's not like Calipari is about to break the all-time wins record.  This is just stupid, and comes across as the NCAA being sore that they can't catch Calipari at something substantial, so they're going to hassle him on this.

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:03 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Well said Penguin...the NCAA...has become a Nazi Party...out to terrorize who they don't like...and out to give breaks to all those who kiss their corrupt arses. Memphis...memphis fans...aren't's not they have no balls...they are victims...of the corrupt nazi athletic association...the same association...who OK'd Rose's grades...told Memphis and Cal..he was good to go...then come back later...and witch hunt the crap out of Cal and memphis...on a mistake that they made. The only cowards...the only stupid people i see in all this is the NCAA...they need to be disbanned...they are an impotent bunch of lil men and women...who know no real justice...or knows any responsibilities for their own mistakes....They have let Coach K get away with murder...and it's ridiculous...and like has been mentioned already??...that Marcus Camby is goin into UMASS hall of fame...and they still got their Final Four banner up..and they say nothing to UMASS???but giving KY hell over what they see is Cal's wins....God , they make me sick....Got an ex Universty of Washington President in charge of the committee that made a foreign player who decided against Washington and go with Kentucky inelgiable...Kanter was bent over...memphis was bent over...and they're trying their best to do Ky...while Coach K walks around with a NCAA halo on his head and Auburn wins a NCAA football championship with a player whose father did the same as Kanter''s such a joke...The NCAA is a joke...they have become scum...a reflection of the US Congress...jus a bunch of filthy, paid-off, corrupt...power hungry, bums....I leave more common sense in the commode in the morning than they ever apply...and I've never seen a committee to use so may definitions of laws and bi-laws...and they're all different with different schools depending on their mood...or how good the school is in with them....

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:19 am

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Man, shades of "1984".  Are you going to believe your lying eyes or what the NCAA tells you.  Those games DID NOT HAPPEN.  The NCAA doesn't care if 500,000 prople witnessed those contests, they DID NOT HAPPEN.

Talk about your re-write of the history books.  Why doesn't the NCAA just declare a National Champion rather than waste all that time on actually playing the games?  All college basketball fans can just send their season ticket money to the NCAA and let them divide it amongst its memebr schools.  Then there is absolutely no chance that anyone cheats, as there are no rules against having your Great Aunt Sally donating your season ticket money for you.

Makes about as much sense as insisting an event didn't take place that alll concerned knows actually happened.  Heck, the NCAA is probably insisting that the Germans forfeit Poland because they  used illegal bombs on Pearl Harbor.  They also awarded China to Japan since they hired Coach K to lead the invasion.

Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:32 am

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total


Now, for all of Memphis fans being stupid and having no balls.  In the words of John Wayne, "You talk mighty bold for a one-eyed, fat man"!  No, I don't appreciate someone who talks about me or mine on the internet that way.  When some men can't be confronted face to face they get mighty bold.  Take a trip to Memphis, visit one of our many sports bars and spout off like this.  We'd love to have you!

***I do think that Memphis fans are stupid! This is my God honest opinion. They have been much more upset about Cal than about the ones who actually wronged them. If this isn't stupidity then stupidity has lost its meaning.

What you're suggesting is that I go to Memphis and start an argument, which leads to a fight. I'm not like that. However, if Memphis fans attack me to my face and belittle my team; my coach; and, my players (as they do on here) it could very well become confrontational. I would adamantly defend them.

In any event, your bravado is also done behind a screen. Don't call the pot black, Mr. Kettle.

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:24 am

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

I agree with tigerron the NCAA has gone beyond ridiculous with this. As well as the statement that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Just something about the NCAA these days and the way the go about their business makes me think of Rod Sterling everytime I read something new.

That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone!

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