Just a few days left in the vacation, and I am already dreading a return to the daily grind. I have pretty much ignored everything but the blog all week, and I expect there will be a price to be paid when I return. But that is just the way vacations go. At least my golf game was better yesterday than the first attempt. Even though an 86 is no score to party over, it at least has the virtue of not being the vile assault on the hallowed game that my earlier effort yielded.
I am tempted to rename The Big Blue Daily Mail to The Daily Calipari, at least until this whole Memphis business gets resolved for good and all. It is all anybody wants to talk about in the arena of Kentucky sports at the moment, so I suppose we are stuck with it for a little while longer.
One of the big things that has bothered me, and still does, are the efforts by some to connect dots that appear to be "connectable" on the surface, but when we look deeper, we find that they are unrelated. This goes back to the whole "guilt by association" or "guilt by proximity" argument that we see so many people utilizing in order to justify criticizing John Calipari. Jay Bilas, a respected (and rightly so) voice at ESPN, joined me yesterday in attacking this line of reasoning, as well as the idea that the head coach has to be the absolute be-all and end-all in responsibility for a failure in any part of the process. If that is the case, we should place the head coaches in charge of the university's athletics and its compliance department. If they are going to be held responsible for the actions of others, at the very minimum, they should have authority over them. Then, we could legitimately hold them responsible for failures throughout the system, rather than illegitimately attempting to do so like we are now.It is clear that the NCAA does not hold coaches responsible for the failure of other university departments to police their respective areas that impinge upon the athletics department and the teams thereunder -- if they did, every time there was an NCAA violation, the coach of that team would be blamed and sanctioned. But in many cases, the coaches justifiably escape such sanction because no culpability can be rationally shown. But that's not enough for many of the scolds we have seen in the media and blogosphere, and I just hope sports fans are smart enough to eventually reject the, "guilty until proven innocent," standard that seems to be implicit in their scorn.
I suppose, in the end, "embracing the hate" and responding to the unreasonable with reason is all we can do in this case. I get the idea that many people have abandoned clear thinking in favor of an opinion that borders more on faith than facts, and will gladly contort anything that happens into the most negative light possible when it comes to Calipari. It really requires no effort to demonstrate the fallacy of many of the anti-Calipari arguments, but it is frustrating when you see otherwise sensible people fall all over themselves to draw vacuous conclusions.
And now, for the news:
UK Basketball News
Corey Graham writes an open letter to Jodie Meeks.
I would love to have him back, too, but he needs to do whatever is best for him.
With Calipari comes rumor and innuendo.
"But now, when there’s mention of Calipari and people flinch, there’s something more concrete than a notion. Sadly, in the world of college athletics, you’re guilty until proven innocent. And in the minds of some, even after you’re proven innocent." How sadly true.
Alan Cutler catches up with The Real Gimel Martinez.
Great to hear from Gimel. He is one of the good guys, and was a great role player at Kentucky.
Slone's transfer to Morehead a win-win for both parties
Definitely. I think Slone is a perfect fit for Morehead, and I hope he gets to play immediately, but frankly, I don't think the NCAA will allow it. But you never know. Here's hoping.
One-and-done players leave behind a mess for colleges
A thoughtful article at USA Today about one-and-done players. Based on what we are hearing out of Stern, I'd say that there is not currently enough pressure being put on him to try to force the NBA player's union into making a change. If they don't, I don't know what's to be done.
Bluegrass State Basketball asks "What will Jodie do?"
I have no idea.
Memphis Department of Athletic Compliance
You have to admit that this is pretty funny, given the current NCAA situation with Memphis.
Team Speed Kills disagrees with Bilas.
Unfortunately, I think Bilas has the stronger argument of the two.
True Blue Kentucky on 2011 Elite point guard Marquis Teague
This guy looks like a good fit for the DDMO.
UK Football News
Team Speed Kills has some fun with the SEC football coaches.
Very funny. You should read this.
Other UK Sports News
Softball All-American wrecking UK's record book
Congrats to the softball team, and to Molly Johnson.
NCAA Sports News
Is the NCAA is out of their minds?
The NCAA asking for bank records is just wrong. This organization is its own worst enemy sometimes, and this is one of those times.
" Florida football’s arrest record too long to ignore.
Heh. Some think this could be UK's basketball program in a couple of years. I sure hope not, at least from the police blotter standpoint. I sure would like to hang a couple of banners, though.
Other News of Interest
No way the Celtics will be trading Rondo.
Not according to this article, anyway.
Mine That Bird finally in spotlight.
I doubt Rachel Alexandra could handle the Belmont distance. I think Mine That Bird wins this leg, and Calvin Borel wins the Triple Crown as a jockey on two different horses. Has that ever happened before?
The Daily Schadenfreude
More guilt by association.
This is a tired argument, thoroughly illogical and easy to debunk. I wonder why so many are making it. I'm filing these under the Daily Schadenfreude -- they just don't deserve any more than a giggle.
More hilarity from the Dookies.
On the hunt for Calipari's scalp, these guys will link anyone who argues that bad things should happen to Coach Cal. Of course, if Calipari had anything to do with the alleged SAT scandal, he should be sanctioned. That degree of sanction should be determined, though, not by the wiles of some opinion author, but by the actual facts of the case.
We Kentuckians are just all bad people.
Another lamentable opinion piece that trashes UK fans along with Calipari. Embrace the hate.