John Calipari, one of the good guys


Pat Forde, Pete Thamel, Dana O’neil, and sites like The Bleacher Report (whatever that is) truly enjoy blasting Kentucky Head basketball coach John Calipari at any opportune moment. Sometimes, these moments are even fictional and hold little to no truth. Lexington might as well be the Middle East of the sports writing world, because haters be digging constantly trying to strike it rich. I have often said writers like Thamel and Forde whisper to themselves as they go to sleep on their custom made contour pillows “I’ll get you yet, Calipari”. I mean, what is their fascination\obsession with Coach Cal? I argue that he is one of the good guys and certainly does not belong in today’s cesspool of convicted cheating college coaches (I heart alliteration). Who are the bad guys, you say? These following coaches have been named and found guilty at some point by the NCAA:

[B]Tom Izzo[/B]- Everyone’s sweetheart, Tom Izzo was found guilty of paying an individual connected to a possible prospect. The violation was paying $475 for five days of work with middle school campers. Izzo received a punishment that Coach Cal has NEVER received: a 1 game suspension. I like Izzo and would have been honored if he coached at Kentucky, but the facts are facts. Izzo, by definition, was held responsible by his school and the NCAA for “cheating”.

[B]Jim Calhoun[/B]- If a 1 game suspension doesn’t impress you, how about a 3 game sussy? Jim Calhoun may very well be the sleeziest coach in the game, but because he is older than gas powered vehicles he gets a pass. Calhoun was busted for allowing–nay, encouraging a former team manager/agent to “guide” Nate Miles to Uconn. [URL="http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=ys-uconnphone032509"]Phone records indicated Calhoun not only knew of the relationship but help set it up[/URL]. Calhoun insisted he’s not a cheater though. I don’t know how things worked in the 1800’s, but in 2011 that’s called cheating, sir.

[B]Bill Self[/B]- Did you know [URL="http://www.aolnews.com/2009/01/20/bill-self-cops-to-john-wall-recruiting-violation-but-with-slight/"]Bill Self committed a recruiting violation with John Wall[/URL]? Or how about the [URL="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4179/is_20030722/ai_n11802406/?tag=mantle_skin;content"]20 violations that were reported while he was at Illinois[/URL]? He admitted to both violations, but basically had the defense of “everybody does it”. The “ah shucks, I’m just a country boy who is living the dream” crap doesn’t fool me, sir. I think Self is as crooked as any coach out there.

[B]Bruce Pearl[/B] was the golden child and a charming young fellow until he single handedly broke every single rule in the NCAA rule book (twice, I believe). [B]Kelvin Sampson[/B] was a great recruiter and a swell guy until the NCAA discovered he couldn’t stop texting like a 16 year old girl. [B]Roy Williams[/B] screwed up and violated an NCAA rule by giving graduating players gifts. Goodness knows that gift wasn’t developing them into NBA basketball players. Dick Vitale immediately came to his rescue stating this mistake just shows Roy Williams is a human being. I disagree; I think it shows he’s a human sucking.

Speaking of sucking, Coach K is about to feel the wrath, or I think he will at least. Once again, it is something small and minute, but nothing I’ve listed so far is exactly murder in the first. He made a phone call to a player at an impermissible time. A guy like Coach K can’t wait like the rest of these yahoo coaches, he can call a recruit whenever he wants. Will the NCAA agree with his “above the law” attitude? I think he could be punished for that hair alone.

I’m not so blind that I don’t realize Coach Calipari left two programs that had seasons and final fours vacated. The difference is Coach Cal was never directly implicated by the NCAA. This excerpt is from Eric Crawford’s article on Coach Cal: Tom Yeager, chairman of the NCAA infractions committee at the time of the Camby case, to Calipari, stated explicitly, in part, [I][B]“The committee fully recognizes you had nothing to do with the violations of Marcus Camby during the 1995-96 season. In a sense, you were an innocent victim.” [/B][/I]While he did not receive such clearly stated “immunity” in the Memphis ordeal, he also wasn’t implicated or even a connected to the allegation. Simply put, Calipari has never been mentioned by name for any wrong doing by the NCAA, nor has he missed a game due to an NCAA violation. The aforementioned coaches do not have the luxury to say that and yet Cal is still the bad guy? That’s not fair and just plain sucks.

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