When someone says they hate the coach of a team, someone like Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, it really means they fear and respect them. When I say I hate John Calipari, I really mean I hate him.
Calipari is quite possibly the slimiest, shadiest character in the slimiest and shadiest of all collegiate sports, men's basketball.
Recent allegations about NBA Rookie of the year Derrick Rose's SAT scores and improper benefits to Rose's brother are just the tip of the iceberg.
Now, new allegations of impropriety have come forth regarding the SAT scores of another player on the 2007-2008 Memphis team, Robert Dozier.
It is now being reported that he was denied admission at the University of Georgia based on inconsistencies in his SAT scores. Dozier's initial SAT score was invalidated by the company that grades them (something that in and of itself is very rare) after he scored 540 points lower the second time he took the test.
Dozier initially committed to Memphis in high school, then changed his pledge to Georgia, where admissions officials were immediately concerned with his SAT scores.
In a letter to university president Michael Adams, the faculty admissions review board issued a "strong deny" is this case.
"Of greatest concern is the gross inconsistency in his testing record," the committee wrote in its report. "His [SAT verbal score of 590] would place him in the 76th percentile nationally, while his [SAT math score of 670] places him in the 89th percentile. This raises a serious red flag, since his PSAT from October 2000 places him in the 4th percentile nationally in both areas. Such a remarkable improvement in testing abilities in the span of nine months is highly improbable, particularly for a student with a C-minus record in average college prep courses in high school."
That doesn't sound good at all. The NCAA will meet with Memphis officials Saturday regarding the Derrick Rose case, while the Dozier matter will not be included in those particular hearings.
Some might be shocked at all of these allegations swirling around the Memphis program, but they shouldn't be. If the NCAA chooses to vacate Memphis' 2008 record 38 wins and National Championship game appearance, it will be the second Calipari-led program to be punished in that fashion.
In 1996, the NCAA vacated Calipari's Final Four appearance at UMass (the school's first) after it was revealed that Naismith player of the year Marcus Camby was found to have received roughly $28,000 from sports agents. Calipari was of course cleared of any wrongdoing.
The latest rash of allegations at Memphis are far from shocking. Calipari isn't just one of the best recruiters in college hoops because he's a nice guy, it's because he's willing to play the games respectable coaches aren't.
Case in point, recent high profile commitment John Wall will play at Kentucky where he will battle for playing time with the other handful of high-major prospects Calipari brought in. The smart choice for Wall would seem to be attending North Carolina, where there was a scholarship open and an open slot at point guard with Ty Lawson going to the NBA.
It makes sense to go to the best program in the country where your position is available right? Well, john Wall has a handler who said, "I would absolutely not support Wall going to North Carolina."
Because Roy Williams has a reputation of not dealing with people like him and the handler knew he'd get cut out of the deal.
Clearly, I've been railing against John Calipari, but what I'm really angry about is the state of college basketball recruiting. Are there programs that do things the right way out there? Certainly. But when as a head coach you KNOW there are guys doing this (and trust me they know) you've got to ask yourself why even bother doing things the right way?
The NCAA needs to get it together and crack down on the handlers and the AAU garbage and start letting these young punks who are only in it for the money start going pro straight out of high school again. Of course they'll need the NBA's help on that, but this forced amateurism will only continue to lead to dirty programs and even dirtier coaches.