Day four of vacation 2009. I did play golf yesterday, but my play was so loathsome that I won't comment further. That's the bad news.
The good news is that but for an unexpected thunderstorm on Monday, the weather here on the Grand Strand has been wonderful. My wife and I are thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
Getting back to the John Calipari/Memphis situation, it is unsurprising that many people who were originally looking at this as their, "Ah hah!" moment and hoping that the Evil Darth Calipari had finally been caught dead to rights are now slinking back into their caves. Oh, there are few still out there hoping against hope that more will come from this hodgepodge of allegations and questions by the NCAA, and Memphis' compliance program is definitely not looking too good right now. The most serious allegations are against the Memphis women's golf team, and even though the academic cheating question surrounding the men's basketball team is surely more spectacular, there seems to be very little that Memphis could have done in that case -- that is, assuming it turns out to be provably true, which at this point in time, it most assuredly is not.
Many will point to the failure of the player in question to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to him by the testing service to validate his test score as damning, and it certainly does not add to the credibility of his denial. Still, one of the pillars of our society is that the accuser is generally forced to prove his/her case, not disprove the accusations. With that tradition in place, and absent some sort of compelling evidence otherwise, it looks like the accused player will escape serious harm, as will Memphis by reason of what now looks like the reasonable claim that they could not have known, even if it turns out to be true, which they also cannot prove.
As is typical in our society, many have already tried and convicted the player based on the circumstances, just as they tried and convicted John Calipari years ago. There is no reasoning with these people, and I am done trying to do so. Believe whatever you want -- the sky is red, the sea is orange, that pigs really can fly, and that truth does not need an objective basis. Myself, I demand more than mere circumstances to draw such conclusions.
Now, for the news:
UK Basketball News
Katz reports on the Memphis response.
Memphis' response says essentially that the player who allegedly cheated on the SAT that started this kerfuffle claims not to have done so, and the only evidence that he did is the testimony of a handwriting expert. My opinion -- it is certainly possible cheating happened, but it is clear that Memphis could not have reasonably concluded that it had before the end of the 2007-08 season. The handwriting expert's analysis is does not meet a minimum standard of proof, in my opinion. If that's all there is, there is not enough "there" there.
Matt Jones: The media jumped the gun.
Great piece today by Matt Jones looking at how the Memphis/Calipari imbroglio was reported.
Blue Chips II: Return of the Wildcats
Pretty entertaining read -- every now and then, you find a gem on the Bleacher Report. It's pretty rare, but it does happen.
Zagsblog reports that people close to Wall and Cousins think they will qualify.
Good news for us all.
Intentional Foul says the Calipari/Memphis thing is much ado about nothing.
Still waiting for proof of wrongdoing. Memphis? Calipari? The player to be named later? Bueller?
Why was Cal OK in 2009 but not 2007
Good question, and I can only assume that pressure to get this one right made them look closer.
The North Carolina State Wolfpack is better off without Calipari.
I'm happy, the Wolfpack are happy. Win-win.
Deadspin - The Caliparis Continue To Use Social Networking Tools To Bash Pat Forde - NCAA Basketball
I must have missed this hilarious Deadspin post. I blame Pat Forde's hair.
Danny Jett's Inner Circle: When All Is Said And Done.....
Danny Jett asks this question: Will Coach Calipari receive an open apology from the individuals who blasted him over the last couple of weeks? Will they admit that they may have jumped the gun on this one a little too early? Sadly, Danny, I'm thinking no. Many of Calipari's detractors don't need reality -- they have their opinions.
Bluegrass State Basketball: John Calipari Heads to China.
BSB blogs about the things John Calipari is likely to see and do in China. He thinks this is a great thing for the University of Kentucky, and I think he's right.
Walker: Sky's the limit for UK by Evansville Courier & Press
I think Kenny likes Coach Cal.
Saunders on Sports: Don't Blame Memphis, Blame The NBA
This guy has it exactly right.
Memphis says Calipari had no proof of player's alleged academic fraud.
Strengthen compliance program? I should say so, but I don't think any sort of compliance program would have caught the alleged academic fraud.
Sprints Has 183 Secondary Violations to Report // 06.03.09 - Team Speed Kills
"Say what you want, the guys that released 500 pages of documents are not generally the ones hiding something. However, the "inadvertent" and "administrative error" excuses don't smell right. Those are weasel words." I think that's right.
Calipari's forecast likely clear to partly cloudy.
I do think we will have to put up with claims of cheating pretty much forever. But as long as that doesn't actually happen, I think I can handle it. UK is never going to be beloved of much of the NCAA basketball world under Coach Cal, but I would rather be a feared, hated winner than a beloved loser any day.
UK Football News
Other UK Sports News
UK Secures 11 Bids to NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Great news for the Track and Field athletes.
NCAA Sports News
Ralph Willard to Louisville?
That would be a serious coup for the Cardinals. Willard is a very capable coach, one of my favorites from the Pitino era.
Funny business in Razorback land.
Patrick Beverly is crawfishin'.
Luke Winn talks about the new Euro trend in professional basketball.
Calathes, Ogelsby, Brandon Jennings and others are trying the European route to the NBA, and Winn thinks that it will be more and more successful. He also debunks a John Wall Internet rumor. Perhaps this will be the eventual death of the one-and-done rule (practically, if not officially) if the NBA refuses to change it.
- Tyler Smith considering the Euro route?
Other News of Interest
The Daily Schadenfreude
More love from Duke fans.
I love reading these pieces. Truly.