Thursday, May 28, 2009

Calipari Left a Dirty Program That He Ran Just in Time

NCAA is investigating charges that Memphis helped out a guy who is almost certainly Derrick Rose.  Helped him by helping him on his SATs, after the fact.

And, certainly, of course, John Calipari hasn't been outright blamed for this shit.  He's way too smart for that.  (Clem Haskins could have learned a lot from Calipari).  So right now, the NCAA is investigating Memphis the Program.

If the allegations are at all accurate, there are no innocent victims here.  Memphis knew who they were hiring when they hired Calipari.  Calipari set his guidelines for recruiting, and Derrick Rose almost certainly knew what he really scored on the SATs (if Rose is the subject of the inquiry).  

But as Pat Forde pointed out--Calipari has always been dancing on the knife's edge of legal.  Memphis knew that.  Did his recruits know about Calipari's reputation, or did they just know his record, and buy into his promises?  It's going to work out fine for Rose, and Tyreke Evans, and for a lot of Memphis players.  

Here's the thing that bothers me--if the allegations prove true, if the NCAA hands down sanctions, they may send an angry letter to Calipari, but they will bring the hammer down on Memphis as an institution.  Meanwhile, Calipari is in Kentucky, where he can recruit on the strength of reputation and SEC glory, and never dance on the knife edge again.  Except that he probably can't help it.

The NCAA will keep their eyes on Kentucky, but the punishment will be where Calipari was, not where he is.   He's like a serial eyewitness--a guy who is always on the scene of a murder.  Show up too many times, and guess who the cops begin to suspect?  

Memphis was probably well on their way to becoming a regular C-USA team, because without the Dancing on Knife's Edge recruiting skills that Calipari brings, they would just sink back down to C-USA normalcy.  But now, they might be hit with sanctions.  We'll see.

No comments: