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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- Calipari, Floyd and Victimhood

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I know most of you are wanting to talk about the still-unconfirmed reports (by UK, anyway) that Matthew Pilgrim and Kevin Galloway will not be back next year.  I will comment on this at the appropriate time, but at this moment, I have little to say until the story has a chance to be fully confirmed and ripe for comment.  So look for that later.

Today, I want to talk about the bizarre fact that people are coming out of the woodwork to defend Tim Floyd as a victim of "the system," and virtually none of this talk was going on when Memphis was questioned about the possibility of academic fraud during Calipari's time as head coach there.

First of all, the argument that either Floyd or Calipari might be "victims of the system" (the "system," of course, being the "one-and-done" rule) is not only absurd, it is irresponsible in the extreme.  To the extent either of these men engaged in any wrongdoing, "the system" had nothing to do with that decision other than being part of the circumstances creating it.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, held a gun to Tim Floyd's head and told him to give cash to a runner for an agent, as has been alleged.  "But Floyd was under tremendous pressure," apologists for this argument will aver.  "He had to win or lose his job."

Well, duh!  Every coach in America (well, with the possible exception of Mike Krzyzewski) has that metaphorical Sword of Damocles hanging over their head.  That's part of the job, and it happens all the time -- just ask former UK coach Billy Gillispie about that.  That's why coaches demand, and receive, large contracts with all sorts of provisions for termination.  When you lose enough games, you lose your job.  Then you go get another job.  That's how it works in America, and it does not justify violating the rules to make sure you don't have that happen to you.  Tim Floyd is no exception to that, and I'm sure if you asked him, he would reject that excuse out of hand

So why are so many blaming the NBA for the alleged rule-breaking of a college coach?  There is only one reason -- they hate the "one-and-done" rule so badly that they are willing to sacrifice their reputation for reasonableness (assuming they have one, which I often doubt) on the altar of the more noble task of creating a public outcry against the current NBA rule.  Either that, or they have decided this whole "personal responsibility" thing is an evil plot by the people in black helicopters.  I don't like the rule, either, and have said so many times, but I am not going to defend Floyd or Calipari or anyone else by saying "The NBA made them do it!"

If Tim Floyd did wrong (Doug Gottlieb argues that a presumption of innocence is in order, and I agree), then he should pay the piper, and I'm sure he will.  The same holds true for John Calipari.  But my question is this -- why the double standard?  If Tim Floyd can be a "victim of the system" in a scenario where he allegedly handed money to a runner (and only $1000, to boot) for a one-and-doner, why can't John Calipari be a "victim of the system" for a situation that happened to a one-and-doner 400 miles away from Memphis? 

I'll tell you why -- because Calipari is so successful, he just isn't sympathetic at all.  Floyd came into a downtrodden USC basketball program and breathed some life into it.  Calipari doesn't know what the word "downtrodden" means, even though he did the same thing at Memphis, and at UMass.  But nobody wants to remember that, and when you go from downtrodden to the top of the world, nobody remembers when you were fired from your NBA job and looking for work, especially when you just inked a $31+ million-dollar deal with the winningest program in college basketball.

I suppose it's the nature of the beast.  But I thought it was worth an observation.  Now, for the news:


UK Basketball News

UK Football News

Other UK Sports News

NCAA Sports News

Other News of Interest

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