I was having a conversation with a friend earlier today about this and saw this line that made me just go “Huh??”:
Calipari didn’t arrange Rose’s SAT scam, in the same way he didn’t arrange agent payments to Camby, but in both cases it’s hard to fathom that Calipari was 100 percent ignorant of what was going down. He had far too much at stake in Rose and Camby to not be intimately aware of what was going on in their lives. Even if you’re convinced that Cal is a victim — that it was only a coincidence that two major scandals happened on his watch — you can’t deny that he profited immensely from his illicit use of those two stars.
So Calipari is at fault because he profited from having two immensely talented basketball players that made stupid decisions on his teams and that makes him slimy or a villain?
Look, I understand that people always want to blame the coach and could never fathom that kids could make stupid decisions on their own (I will attest that I made many stupid decisions during my five years in Athens). The ultimate reality is that Calipari had nothing to do with either of these situations. In the end, he is paid millions of dollars to do one thing: win basketball games. Perhaps did he take on guys with questionable backgrounds? Maybe. Is that worth labeling the guy as dirt or scum of the earth as guys like John Kincade on Buck and Kincade have been doing? Absolutely not.
What happened to the concept of personal responsibility? Derrick Rose chose to allow someone to fraudulently take his SAT exam. Marcus Camby chose to accept cash, jewelry, and hookers from agents while at UMass. Just because you’re an 18-21 year old athlete doesn’t preclude you from making stupid decisions. Calipari is being unfairly singled out here and I challenge the media drivel out there to take a step back and question what the kids did, not what Calipari should have known or done.