Quantcast

Just How Crooked Was the Memphis Basketball Program Under Calipari?

We’ve already discussed some of the alleged violations committed by the Memphis program regarding Derrick Rose’s bogus SAT test. I indicted John Calipari saying that he likely knew what was going on with Rose. When the report about Rose having his high school grades changed came out, it only further confirmed my suspicion. Well now there’s a report by Gary Parrish suggesting that four-year forward Robert Dozier also had SAT issues but was still accepted by Memphis:

According to a source, Dozier took the SAT once before trying to enroll at Georgia, but that score was flagged after the school received a tip that the score might be “fishy.” At the time, Georgia was still dealing with charges of academic fraud under Jim Harrick and determined to be extra careful with everything. So the school asked Dozier to take the SAT again, and a source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com that the second score was “not enough to resolve the issue.” Put another way, Georgia officials were not properly convinced the first test and second test were taken by the same person, which led to the end of Dozier’s time as a Georgia recruit in August 2004.

That sounds like it all makes sense to me. Dozier wound up committing to Memphis for a second time about a month after his second SAT test. Before that, he attended Laurinberg Prep along with three other future Tigers. That makes me wonder what kind of shady relationship Memphis and Calipari had with this Laurinberg Prep. Regardless, whatever doubt that may have existed regaring Calipari’s knowledge of Rose’s issues have now been eliminated. This is what we call a disturbing pattern, my friends. But as long as he continues to bring in the top quality players, Kentucky won’t care. That is, until the NCAA comes investigating, which they already should be doing.

Sounds Like John Calipari Helped Derrick Rose Cheat on the SAT

Hmm, so Memphis offers John Calipari more money than Kentucky in the immediate future but Cal jumps to Lexington, saying that coaching at Kentucky was his dream job? I guess it’s entirely possible, but now something tells me he was ready to jump ship so quickly because he knew the NCAA was getting ready to crack down on Memphis for major violations. Yeah, I’d say knowing a guy cheated on the SAT is a pretty big deal. The Memphis Commercial Appeal says the Memphis program is being accused by the NCAA of major violations:

The allegations include “knowing fraudulence or misconduct” on an SAT exam by a player on the 2007-08 team.

The NCAA alleged the prospective player became eligible after an “unknown individual” completed his SAT. The player, said the NCAA, “subsequently competed for the men’s basketball team through the 2007-08 season, which included his participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”

The only player who fits the description in the report (a guy who only played on the team during the ’07-’08 season) is Derrick Rose who’s currently with the Bulls. The punishment as of now is that the team could forfeit its 38-win season and Final Four appearance of two seasons ago. I’m pretty sure the punishment will be much harsher — almost program killing — if the allegations are proven to be true. And they better darn well follow Calipari to Kentucky — he can’t just escape the problems and violations he committed by running away from them. They should follow him the way Kelvin Sampson’s problems followed him to Indiana.

Maybe this will temper all that excitement created when John Wall said he’d go to Kentucky. And maybe now this also explains why the school fired Billy Gillispie — they knew Calipari wanted to get out of Memphis and that they’d be able to sign him. Ahah! Everything’s starting to come together!

I Guess Tim Floyd Was Pretty ‘Hands On’ with O.J. Mayo

Between the investigation of all the Reggie Bush stuff with the crooked Michael Michaels and the leaked O.J. Mayo information, it’s no wonder that USC decided not to bring Renardo Sidney aboard. Why would they want another problem on top of current problems being investigated? Well with rumors swirling that the NCAA was going to hand down penalties on the SC programs, information got picked up by Yahoo! that basketball coach Tim Floyd was involved in some pretty shady stuff when he recruited O.J. Mayo. As Yahoo! tells it:

[Louis] Johnson, a one-time Mayo confidant, has told both NCAA investigators and federal authorities – including the FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney’s Office – that [Tim] Floyd gave at least $1,000 in cash to Rodney Guillory, a man who allegedly lavished Mayo with improper benefits while the guard starred for the Trojans.

Johnson also said Mayo received approximately $30,000 in extra benefits from Guillory while playing for the Trojans. He first made those allegations to ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” in May 2008, producing a litany of receipts to back up his claims, including purchases of food, clothing and a 42-inch flat screen TV for Mayo.

When the ESPN report came out my first reaction was to say that Mayo made the error of having the wrong people around him — ones that would rat him out. Never did I realize that Floyd would be dumb enough to make this big of a mistake. Moreover, the story that Mayo “picked” USC on his own and that Floyd just fell into O.J. seems now like a semi-truth; it was much easier for Mayo to tell USC that he wanted to go there so long as they met his monetary needs.

[Read more...]

John Calipari Hiring Tony Delk, Scott Padgett to Coach at Kentucky

And that’s why Kentucky brought John Calipari in to coach them. That, and because he’s taken UMass and Memphis to the Final Four. While Billy Gillispie would have been fine job-wise if he had won a few more games and probably would have had great success at UK, I never saw him hiring the former stars of the program. That’s something Calipari’s already doing:

Saying he wanted to help them launch coaching careers, new UK coach John Calipari on Thursday said he would hire former Wildcat players Tony Delk and Scott Padgett.

“I’ve done this many times. What happens is with guys like that, they’re in positions of assistant strength coach or assistant equipment manager,” Calipari said.

“This is not a money thing,” Calipari said. “If you want to get started in this profession, I will help you.”

The new coach also said he will have 4-5 guys around every year who want to get into the coaching profession.

I’m not exactly sure how they can afford to just hire anyone and dole out all kinds of funds but this is a great way of stepping up fan relations. This guy is really smooth. I said you better have a great replacement in mind if you’re going to fire someone who’s good and Kentucky had that. Imagine how much easier it will be to recruit when all the Kentucky legends are on your side making phone calls. Coaches should take notes from Calipari on how to work alumni-relations. Are you listening, Sean Miller?

Isiah Introduced as ‘Isiah Thompson’ for Florida International Press Conference

I already talked about Florida International’s interesting choice of hiring Isiah Thomas as their new basketball coach. I guess when you’re FIU and your only claim to fame is Carlos Arroyo, you might be inclined to bring in a big name to help put you on the map. Problem is, as you’ll see in this video of Jim Rome giving his hilarious take on the matter, Zeke was introduced as “Isiah Thompson” for his introductory press conference Wednesday. Skip ahead to around the 2:10 mark if you want to laugh your ass off.

Think that’s a bad omen? I’d say so. Isiah also got grilled by Chris McKendry in an interview on ESPN. She played hard ball asking him what he’ll say to recruit’s families when they ask about the sexual harassment case, and what really happened with the suicide attempt. Zeke’s classic response was that many of these parents name their children after him and then he passed the suicide thing on to his daughter again, of course. At least some smart person gave him the great idea to donate his first year’s salary back to the school. That’s some genius P.R.

Greg Paulus to Disappoint College Football Fans Now, Too

The whole year of backing up Nolan Smith at point guard in his senior year at Duke must have been the lowest of the low points for Greg Paulus. Paulus came into Duke with super-high expectations — the guy was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in football coming out of high school in Syracuse. But when Coach K comes calling, sometimes you have to go try and live that dream. Things however ended more as a nightmare as Paulus got demoted from his starting gig in his senior year. Once Duke made its swift exit from the tournament, the Green Bay Packers apparently came calling for a workout. As if that wasn’t enough, Michigan football apparently is hot on the trail for Paulus’ services:

According to sources close to the situation, the former Duke point guard was in Ann Arbor on Tuesday meeting with Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez about the possibility of playing this season for the Wolverines.

He watched Michigan practice Tuesday afternoon and could fit in with Rodriguez’s spread offense. The Wolverines don’t have a clear-cut starting quarterback, and Paulus could come in and play immediately.

I understand that Paulus was all-everything come out of New York, but it’s been four years since the guy played competitively. They really think he’s going to be worth much? I sure don’t think so. Who was the last transition guy to make it, Chris Weinke? I guess if you’re Michigan and you were 3-9 and facing somber days hitting the Makers Mark bottle, you’re open to anything. I can’t imagine a transition would work well but I could be wrong. Also, can someone please explain to me how he has the eligibility to play football after burning four years at Duke??

(via Ballhype)

Florida International Committing Basketball Suicide, Hiring Isiah Thomas

After reading that the Clippers were discussing the possibility of hiring Isiah Thomas, there was no doubt Zeke was close to finding a new job. It’s been just over a year since Isiah was canned by the Knicks after costing them years of potential success and over $10 million in a lawsuit. I never thought Isiah would actually get a head coaching job in his first gig back but it appears as if that’s the case. Florida International would rather see their program commit suicide by hiring Thomas than continue to post a sub-.500 record under Sergio Rouco. The hiring is expected to be announced on Wednesday:

”Isiah really wanted to get back into coaching, and wanted to do it at the college level,” said the source. “He was offered some jobs within the NBA, but he feels FIU suits him better right now. He wants to make a clean start, loves Miami, and thinks FIU has a lot of potential because of where it is and because it’s a big school with 38,000 students and a strong alumni base.”

The source said Thomas has always enjoyed eyeing and developing young talent, and the Golden Panthers job is perfect.

Pardon me if I can’t help but laugh after reading the “Enjoyed eyeing and developing young talent” part. In the case of A-mooch-a Brown Sanders, middle-aged talent might be more appropriate. Though the hiring of Isiah could bring the program a ton of publicity and make it easier to recruit, I’m pretty shocked they would turn the reigns over to him. Thomas was a complete screw-up with the Knicks and has proven he can’t run a team or organization. And clearly he’s pretty unstable mentally. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t go with a safer pick — there’s no way this ends well for them.