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: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: June 13, 2011 4:35 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

dont really care about his 500 wins, but they should care most putting him on the same scale as a great coach like pitino getting to final fours with 3 diff teams,  when cal actually only should have one of them recognized because of the things he did to recruit his players. "oh he didnt know what was really going on when those things happened" oh come on... its just like the movie bluechips only hes not a good enough person to admit what he does. Not a louisville fan but pitino should be the only one recognized with that feat.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:51 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

You have it wrong, Bud.  We might, just might, look favorably on Kentucky, but we Calipari will have little sympathy.  Celebrating Calipari's 500th victory is like celebrating Reggie Bush's non-Heisman or SC's 2005 non-National championship.  You can do it but the rest of us know it is fantasy.  No, J.Calipari cheated and right or wrong, the NCAA punished him and his schools when he was caught.  It's like friend of mine who has a Law degree from Harvard but was found guilty of commiting a felony.  The law degree exists but it is not helpful since he can no longer practice law.  Kentucky is too classy to sink in Calipari's mud.  Now show it.

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:47 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Fair's fair.

The schools don't get to count the wins why should Calipari get to?

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:37 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Just a question of time with Calipari, he will do the same to Kentucky that he has done to UMass and Memphis.....vacate wins....and leave them on probation...

Don't bet your trailer payment just yet.

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:27 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

John Calipari not once but twice has cheated his way to the NCAA tournament.  This article displays the lack of authority the NCAA really has. He shouldn't be allowed to coach young men.  I could see giving him a 2nd chance after the 1st time infraction but, no 3rd chances.

And this is why little kids should not be allowed on computers unsupervised. Not one single factual statement made here.

How has Coach Cal cheated his way to the NCAA tournament. Are you claiming that he cheated last year and this year with Kentucky? How about all the other years not linked to 1996 and 2008? And for that matter....he didn't even cheat in 1996 & 2008, according to the NCAA. And, he's never committed an infraction.

Dumb, dumb posting......

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:12 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:39 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Apparently this is some sort of NCAA led witch hunt. As for the Kentucky runs a clean program or a dirty program comments both are irrelevant to this issue.

First of all the NCAA is for all intents and purposes is a totalitarian system. They are centralized and dictatorial and can pretty much do whatever the hell they want with only the US Supreme Court apparently having authority over them. (Even though they don't exercise that power or seem to want it).

And yes UK is under the microscope moreso than any of you could possibly imagine since it's "UK" and "John Calipari" combined. And even more of a reason for Kentucky and John Calipari to be doing things better than anyone else since everything they do will be exhaustively scrutinized by everyone. The NCAA, the media, as well as other fans and coaches of other schools, and even Kentucky's own fans.

Does that mean that the NCAA could set up shop in Lexington and not find any infractions....probably not. As good as Kentuckys compliance department is and as hard as they all work I believe the NCAA could probably find fault with Jesus himself if they wanted too. 

So what's to gain vs. the loss here? Kentucky has made it's point and took a non story to the national level and proven that the NCAA apparently has it out for them and for John Calipari to be so upset over this. They've already had the ceremony. Given him a ball (in fait accompli) so I say give them their five page apology and be done with it.

What else is there to do....Denounce their membership from the NCAA? I doubt that. Keep arguing over something silly with the biggest bully on the block? Again stupid.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:37 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

it's amazing how much heat Kentucky in general and Calapari in particular takes from  the NCAA and  other bashers. One and done? Where is the squeky clean Coach K on this . Kyrie Irving, William Avery, Correy Magette, Elton Brand? Did they stay the full 4 yrs? Did the Ncaa clearinghouse not permit Derrick Rose to play? As well as Bledsoe? What weak shit this after a full season to question their own decision in retrospect.  Corey Magette might be one of the dumbest thugs to play in the ACC. Yeah, he qualified, what a great student.  None of these kids go to class unless you are Wojo, or Hurley, or some other weak white kid who has no chance to play and might be able to continue to make a living sucking on coach K's teet. Where all all his great coaches? Amaker, Capel, Collins, Wojo, ? Still suckin' hind titty

Since: Mar 27, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:15 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

As a UK fan, I really only care about the 64 wins, in two seasons, he has as the coach of the wildcats.  So if the NCAA wants to get their panties in a wad over a small celebration for 500 actual wins the man has, so be it.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:52 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

You guys do realize that Coach Cal was the one that reported Camby to the NCAA right or did you just slip your minds?

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