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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- News for Kentucky Wildcat Fans, June 6th 2009

Today, we will talk about Joe Bolgna's.  Specifically, we will be talking about the galactically stupid NCAA secondary violation created by Joe Bologna, knowingly.

You know, I love restaurants, and by all accounts, Joe Bologna's is a very good restaurant.  I have personally never been there,  but I hear good things about it.  I had hoped to go there one day, but after this latest stupidity, I will not be showing up there for the next three years in honor of UK's dissociation.  It's bad enough that we have to listen to all the criticisms of Coach Calipari with respect to the allegations going on at Memphis, and all this new kerfuffle over Calipari taking other players, like Robert Dozier and Doneal Mack, who have had questions about their test scores (even if there appears to be no substantive allegations of actual impropriety by Calipari or Memphis) without having to watch the justifiable sniggering of rivals and detractors at the foolishness of a legendary Lexington eatery.  Say it ain't so, Joe -- Oops, too late.

Regarding the most recent dust-ups, do I personally believe Dozier cheated on his SAT?  Absolutely.  There is no way, in my opinion, that somebody has a discrepancy that wide without some kind of problem, I mean, we are talking about a 43% change here.  Compare that to Doneal Mack's 22% discrepancy, and you can see why I feel a lot more certain that Dozier did not take the test turned in under his name  10% is believable, 22% is marginal, but 43% is ... well, evidence.  Is it proof?  No, but it is very strong evidence in the Dozier case, not to mention that someone anonymously alerted Georgia that Dozier was involved in some funny business.  Taken together, the facts are surely sufficient to conclude a high probability of impropriety.

Dozier redeemed himself to a great degree, in my mind, by prepping, getting offered a scholarship and graduating from college.  But there is very little reasonable doubt, at least in my opinion, that he did not cheat on his original SAT, and he will have to contend with the justifiable doubts about his honesty that come with his apparent unethical actions.  Obviously if Memphis or Calipari were in any way knowledgeable or complicit in the apparent Dozier cheating, there should be very serious consequences for both.

So the question becomes, what objectionable activity did Memphis engage in, and by extension, Coach Calipari?  As far as I can see so far, none.  The time-line in both cases essentially precludes any nefarious involvement by either Memphis or Calipari, but the fact that there have been three cases of alleged academic irregularities against Memphis players recruited by Coach Cal along with the UMass problem with Marcus Camby makes it easy for opinion writers, especially ones predisposed to find Calipari "slick," to point to all this as evidence of wrongdoing.  This despite the factual reality that would have made it highly improbable (if not downright impossible) for Memphis or Calipari to be involved, not to mention the NCAA being convinced Calipari was not culpable in either of the cases they have investigated.

In the end, I have absolute confidence in UK's compliance staff, and I believe John Calipari is committed to strict compliance with NCAA rules and regulations.  For me, that is sufficient.  For others, it may not be.  When it's all said and done, assuming no real evidence of culpability by Calipari, his staff or Memphis comes up, the naysayers will eventually crawl back into their dark caverns of self-righteous Cal-loathing, and UK fans will cheer the coming of a new and likely prosperous era of Kentucky basketball.  Could I be wrong about all this and Calipari be a direct pipeline to another dark period in UK history?  Sure.

But I don't think I am.  Call me Tru, the Whatmeworry.  Wake me up when we have something other than "guilt by association."


UK Basketball News

UK Football News

Other UK Sports News

NCAA Sports News

  • Dawg Sports has some hilarity in SEC coaching.
    Definitely worth a read.

  • Age limit rationale: 18-year-olds are immature, 19-year-olds not
    A thoughtful piece by Eamonn Brennan. We do need to admit that there are some players who just don't belong in college. Most of the top five of this year's recruiting class is arguably among them. We might as well face it -- the players don't want to be in college. It is the colleges and the NBA that want them there, for purely financial reasons. Welcome to the new reality, when money easily trumps the best interests of young people we pretend to care about. Maturity has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  • says bring back freshman ineligibility.
    Never going to happen. I'm not saying it is a bad idea -- in fact, it is probably a good idea. But money will win out in the end. College basketball, and universities in general, are businesses more than ever. Don't expect that to change. I'm not passing judgment, just looking at reality.

Other News of Interest

  • Nothing today.

The Daily Schadenfreude

  • The Tomb of Doom: Memphis Beats Kentucky!
    Heh. Schadenfreude from a Memphis fan.

  • "It could be easy for one to ask how Memphis said yes after Georgia said no."
    It would be a pretty easy answer, too -- because Dozier went to prep school and met the initial eligibility requirements. He was fully qualified to be admitted to Memphis. The only reasonable justification for not admitting him was the likelihood of the moral turpitude that the SAT discrepancy represented.

    But when schools all over the country admit athletes with minor criminal records, are we actually saying that possible (but unproven) cheating on a test score is a greater evil? Maybe so, and maybe it is. But neither Memphis nor Calipari apparently thought so, for whatever that's worth.