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: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:48 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

I'm guessing this is just an article that was made because there's nothing else to talk about? 

Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:32 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

The bottom line, they are trying to find dirt on Coach Cal.  The NCAA is also watching big blue nation very close...

And why would the NCAA be watching Kentucky very close?

It's called history.  If you didn't want to deal with Calipari's history, you could have not hired him.  This history is exactly why Barnhart didn't hire him when he hired BCG. 

Plus, we ALL know by now that Cal has not implicated.  You don't have to tell us that every single time.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:30 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

This is dumb. Calipari has 476 wins. End of story. If UK fans want to celebrate 500 wins for him to make them feel better let them do it. He has 476 whatever they think. Dumb story.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:24 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Wow--- talk about an infinite loop. 

A University does something stupid and makes a mistake. (Kentucky should not have recognized it as it's not his 500th win.  Plain and simple.  The rules, to which UK has agreed to, state ca's cheating wins were not wins.  Don't like it, get out of the NCAA or change the rules)
Then, the NCAA does something stupid.... (Instead of making a big deal, just quietly tell UK to kill all references and change the media guides.)
Then UK continues the loop by doing something emore stupid; refusing to admit the truth they made a mistake. 
Then the NCAA continues the Circle by threatening an investigation.
Then Kentucky continues the stupidity by pretending to be the aggreived party.

Never mind---- my head hurts.

let's stick with what we know.  Cal has coached teams that cheated.  That had players that cheated.  That had institutional support for those cheating.  He has questionable associations.  In short-- he's a douchebag. 

I have no ax to grind in any way--- I'm a Michigan Alumnus---but the guy looks like scum, associates with scum, and when the scum comes home to roost---- he scampers away.  When someone acts like a scum... he's probably a scum.  He might be the nicest guy in the world and friend to millions...but his actions and associations denote "SCUM"

UK-- just be smart-- change the media guides/make the banner disappear, and deep six the golden 500 win basketball... and let this go away. 

Since: Jul 4, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:17 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Calipari has had seasons vacated because of program infractions but he has never been personally implicated so he can't be put in the same category as a Tressel or a Pearl. Not yet, at least, anyways. I just don't see what the big deal is with the NCAA. Calipari has 500 coaching wins and only 476 that count.  What will end up happening is UK will apologize somewhat and when he reaches the 500 official win plateau then Kentucky will make a mockery out of the whole situation by having shirts that say something along the lines of Calipari: only coach to win 500 twice!

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:58 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. He will

need a 4th and 5th chance or more!Money mouth

thank you for your time,


Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:57 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

This isn't about Kentucky vs Memphis or Cal lovers vs Cal haters, or even UK vs the NCAA.

This is about selective enforcement.

I don't care one way or the other, but if the NCAA ultimately allows Kentucky to refer to Cal's 500th win, then the banners need to be re-hung at FedExForum, and Memphis needs to be tied with UK for the longest conference winning streak in history.

We may find out what kind of backbone (if any) the NCAA truly has in this one.   


Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:47 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

Don't forget Mr. Calhoun

Since: May 27, 2011
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:46 pm

NCAA, Kentucky disagree on Calipari's win total

"Kentucky is ACTUALLY running a CLEAN PROGRAM."  Ha ha ha....Who Knew?  Ha ha ha..............Let me catch my breath............Kudos Sir...JOKE OF THE DAY!

Since: Nov 5, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:21 pm

NCAA, UK disagree on Snake Oil Calipari's record

Look out, Wesley is going to very angry about this !!!

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