Just a quick thought

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.


2 responses to “Just a quick thought

  1. As a Dawg living in the Bluegrass state who appreciates the passion of the Kentucky fanbase, I can only say “Amen.” Calipari isn’t Harrick, for instance. These are not systematic “top-down” kinds of offenses. To some extent, the buck always stops at the top. And that’s why Calipari will always have to deal with sketpicism as to his character. But, other than that general raised eyebrow, I’m not sure what more there is for reasonable people to say. Spend ten minutes on a college campus, and then explain how it is that ANY person, no matter how much money they make, should be held directly accountable for every decision that fifteen or more young men make.

  2. Sadly the NCAA doesn’t have any retroactively punitive measure to take against the guys who actually make the decisions — they can’t even take Reggie Bush’s Heisman — so unfortunately (except in case of outright shenanigans like Harrick), the head coach or program is always going to catch the brunt of whatever punishment is doled out.

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