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Morning Newspaper for April 14th, 2009

The man to my left, Josh Pastner, has caused a lot of angst and consternation among the Memphis faithful and Arizona fans.  Jason Terry, formerly of the Arizona Wildcats, really wanted his alma mater to give Pastner a chance, according to this article at The Big Lead.

But many people see the Pastner hire at Memphis as a risk, due to his youth and inexperience.  Rush The Court notes that fact in this entry, and The March To Madness considers Pastner "the shakiest of hires."  College Sports Hotline grades the Pastner hire a D, and also give the Calipari hire at Kentucky only a B, saying that Calipari's "baggage" is likely to draw a visit from the NCAA.  Even though we debated the "Calipari baggage" meme at length, I expect to hear it over and over again for at least five more years.  Might as well embrace the hate.

Now, the news.

Kentucky Basketball News

  • Larry Vaught talks about the recent high number of sports columnists including Kentucky in their top ten.  Mike DeCourcy apparently even has UK at #4.  I sure hope he's right.
  • Yet another Calipari television appearance, this time on ESPNU, as well as making many radio appearances starting today.  Coach Gillispie and Coach Cal could not be further apart in this aspect of the job.
  • UK ponies up 80 million dollars for a ... wait for it ... professor from the University of Texas.  Eat your heart out, John Calipari.  As the article says, makes the case of critics of Calipari's salary just a wee bit tougher.
  • Lots of UK recruits/commits on the tube this weekend.  True Blue Kentucky has the scoop.
  • Rivals says that Calipari's lofty salary is good news for college football coaches, since football is a much bigger revenue generator than basketball at most schools, so it is reasonable to assume he will generally make the most money.

    A raise for Nick Saban?  Could be ...

  • Betsy's Page looks at recruiting in the age of Facebook, and the North Carolina State fan who created an NCAA recruiting violation by using the service.  This is nothing new to Kentucky fans, of course.  I do find it interesting that some are couching this as a First Amendment issue, and I'm not sure they don't have a point -- NC State accepts funds from the Federal government, which places them squarely in the crosshairs of a zealous litigator if the school were to punish someone for starting a Facebook group that was doing nothing more than encouraging a recruit to take an action.

    The NCAA seems quite content to make vague allusions to schools "educating" Facebook fans about the rules, but stopped way, way short of suggesting it might take some kind of punitive action against schools having this kind of problem.  My assumption is that that neither the institution nor the NCAA will try to escalate this situation, which leaves me wondering if the people doing the Facebook "recruiting" might try to force their hand one day.

  • In a related story to the one just above, Rush The Court takes the NCAA to task for being obtuse.
  • As John Wall decides, the nation awaits.  I like the way this guy thinks.

Kentucky Football News

  • Kentucky receivers still struggling to hang on to the ball.  They did well without pads, but now it seems that they are falling back into last year's habits.
  • Seven UK football players step it up in practice.  I know Winston Guy is going to be a stud at Kentucky, and Randall Burden really showed us some good things at the end of last year.

Other Kentucky Sports News

  • Bat Cats in free fall.  Gary Henderson is having struggles in his first year, and a shot at the NCAA tournament is beginning to look very long indeed.

NCAA Sports News

  • Terrico White will be back at Ole Miss next year.  That's got to be good news for Andy Kennedy.
  • Paul Westerdawg at the Georgia Sports Blog talks Georgia basketball, and Mark Fox seems off to a fast start.  Georgia basketball -- almost seems like an oxymoron these days, doesn't it?  That may be about to change.
  • David Huertas is headed to the professional ranks, but not in the NBA.
  • Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich will be back with the Jayhawks next year.  Wow, they are gonna be tough, no matter what Lance Stephenson and Xavier Henry do.

Other News of Interest

  • Touching story about a great player in Chicago with a learning disorder and a wonderful attitude.