clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

OPEN SHOT: Is UK the fifth "dirtiest" football program?

New, 6 comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

It is according to Pete Holiday of AOL FanHouse.

Full disclosure -- cognitive dissonance warning:  Pete and I had a bit of a run-in via email over a post of mine earlier.  Therefore, my neutrality on this subject may be legitimately called into question.

Essentially, Pete's argument is the whole Claude Bassett thing made UK the "5th dirtiest" football program in the nation.  You can read his arguments for yourself, and I won't dispute any of his facts -- they seem to comport with my understanding.

But is Pete really telling us that this one incident makes us the 5th dirtiest football program of the last 20 years?  I'm sorry, but I just don't quite get that.  There have been many football programs placed on probation over and over again for NCAA violations, yet this one incident somehow elevates UK above all but four of those worthies?

Well, color me skeptical.  I suspect a bit of animus toward UK on Pete's part, and I say that because of the aforesaid previous conversation.  Of course, AOL Fanhouse disclaims all this with the following:

Using its own calculus, FanHouse ranks the 10 Dirtiest Programs of the last 20 years.

The link to their "calculus" is here, if you are interested.

I notice another qualifier they use is "The last 20 years".  It's anyone's guess why this matters, but since Pete is doing the math, it matters to him.

Others have recently come up with similar top ten lists that make a lot more sense to me, like Mike Freeman of Sportsline, but of course Pete, who's motto appears to be "I'm not being rude, you're just insignificant" has created his list as a response to that of Freeman.

Holiday even decides to call us out in particular, which I suppose shouldn't surprise me given our earlier conversation:

So, in other words, they thought they could make it all go away by sweeping it under the rug. It does seems to suggest that Mumme didn't know the things were going on. This seems highly unlikely, and we think the folks over at the Kentucky blog A Sea of Blue would agree. After all, if Stoops and company couldn't have missed two kids getting paid for doing nothing, how could Mumme miss such widespread and overt violations by one of his own employees?

For one thing, we're glad Pete has read A Sea of Blue more than the one time we linked him.  He is referring to this post of mine where I questioned Oklahoma's veracity.  What Pete doesn't address is why it is easier for two kids working at an automotive dealership (a profession known to often be a conduit for illicit funds to recruits) owned by a known booster to hide from their coaches than it is for a grown man, evidently with bad intentions, to essentially deceive his boss.  Call me crazy, but my money would be on the grown man deceiving his boss.

Finally, Pete thoughtfully reminds us of 1988, and our failure in the basketball program.  Well, I guess when you are talking about UK, "Kentucky's Shame" is always fair game.  No doubt our basketball program could justifiably rank in the top 10 dirtiest, given our history with NCAA sanctions.  However, our football program has no such comparable history, which is, I suppose, what makes this choice so curious.

Anyway, I'm not going to try to debunk him for two reasons -- number one is, I am convinced, rightly or wrongly, that he conformed his metrics to produce an outcome that not only allows him to place an imprimatur of mathmatical credibility on his conclusions, but also to produce a result that achieves his other objective of showing up Freeman.  

Also, his metrics and assignment of values seem pretty arbitrary to me.  For example, "lack of institutional control" is considered a much more serious violation than "failure to monitor", yet Pete assigns them the same point value.  

He also doesn't seem to assign any points for repeat offenders vs. occasional ones.  His explanation of excluding recruiting seems dubious -- not every recruiting violation is a result of an outside party which he uses as his rationale for excluding recruiting.

Number two, I don't think enough of Pete's reasoning to spend the time required to debunk him.  I suppose, therefore, I am objecting to his conclusion purely on a combination of partisanship and what I see as common sense, but your mileage may vary on the latter.

So, if any of you out there want to take on Pete, please do.  I will elevate it to the font page if it is well reasoned.  This is a community site, after all, and our readers are more than capable, if maybe not willing.