Kentucky’s basketball game against the University of Louisville this weekend comes at a time when the Cardinals are awaiting a rules investigation by the NCAA.
So, what else is new? The Cardinals are the most penalized team in NCAA history.
Louisville ranks No.1 all-time in the number of games and titles the team has had to forfeit in the last 10 years.
Here’s the Cards violations scorecard:
Louisville: 123 regular-season and tournament wins and 3 tournament losses vacated, covering four seasons (2011–2015). This includes the Cardinals’ 2012 Final Four appearance and 2013 national title, making them the first Division I basketball program of either sex forced to vacate a national title.
Other teams on the top 5 dishonor role list: 2. Stephen F. Austin: 117 regular season and tournament wins from 2014 to 2019 due to an administrative error in certifying eligibility for student-athletes. 3. Michigan: 113 regular season and tournament wins and 4 tournament losses vacated covering six of eight seasons between 1992 and 1999. 4: Syracuse: 106 regular season wins from 2004 to 2007 and 2010 to 2012. 5. Ohio State: 82 wins from 2014-2019.
Others in the top 10 include Fresno State, BYU, St. John’s, New Mexico State, and Memphis.
It’s ancient history, but the Wildcats were one of two hoop teams to ever receive the NCAA’s death penalty. This sanction was imposed against Kentucky for the 1952–53 season; and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball program (then known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana) for the 1973–74 and 1974–75 seasons.
This was, of course the era of point-shaving scandals. (If you want to know the whole story about this era, read my book “Big Blue Blues.”)
NOTES: Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina was one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen. The whistle-happy refs sent players to the line for 59 free throws. The most ridiculous calls were the walking and moving screen calls…The most unbelievable UK stat: Olivier Saar played 19 minutes and never took a shot from the field.
One reason: He never got a pass in the post. You have an All-American candidate and he never gets off a shot? Think about it, John…UK is dumb as hell for not playing Dontaie Allen more. He needs at least 10-12 minutes a game (not mop-up 1-2 minutes).
Remember Derek Willis, another Kentucky sharpshooter who languished on Calipari’s bench for two years before becoming a star his last two years and is now a star on an Italian pro team.
Don’t do it again, Cal.
(Ken Mink is former Herald-Leader sports writer, journalist for 65 years and author of 26 books, He is a native of Vicco, near Hazard).