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Calipari: Cheater or Winner?

Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images

Congrats – John Calipari and Kentucky are in the Final Four for the first time since the late 90′s.

But I’m not impressed.

Sorry - it’s like a kid cheating on an exam and then wanting credit for being smart.

He’s a cheater.  Period.

Just look at his track record.  Calipari has taken three different schools to the Final Four: UMass (1996), Memphis (2008) and Kentucky (2011) but two of those appearances were erased from the NCAA record books.

UMass had 1996 NCAA Tournament record vacated when the NCAA discovered that Marcus Camby had accepted money and gifts from an agent.  Oh yeah, there was also a huge grade scandal involving Lou Roe and a handful of other UMass players.

After the 2007-08 season at Memphis – which included 38 wins and a trip to the NCAA title game, the Tigers were stripped of their Final Four season after the NCAA determined Derrick Rose didn’t take his SAT test – someone else took it for him.  Feel Free!

Chris Trotman, Getty Images

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  Remember people, these are the only times Calipari was caught. What about all the other times he didn’t abide by the rules and didn’t get caught?

Can Calipari coach?  Absolutely!  Can he recruit?  I guess – if he’s paying guys or cheating to get him, I don’t call that being a great recruiter.  He gives the NCAA rule book the finger.

The penalty for losing is far worse than the penalty for cheating.  Despite the fact that NCAA violations have followed Calipari everywhere he has gone, he’s never been fired from any job.

In fact, he keeps getting good jobs.  From UMass to Memphis to Kentucky – nice resume.  Other coaches like Paul Hewitt follow the rules but because their record stinks, they get blown out.

If you’re a big-time college basketball coach, why shouldn’t you cheat?  If you win, you keep getting promotions!  No one cares about cheating if you win.

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