John Calipari is without a doubt the most controversial college basketball coach to grace the sidelines in the past 10 years. With stints at UMass and Memphis and now UK, he has left two of those three programs in the wake of NCAA recruiting violations. First, it was Marcus Camby at UMass accepting nearly $30k in gifts, cars, etc. Then it was Derrick Rose having a stand-in for an SAT. There have also been allegations that Dozier of Memphis had falsified SAT scores, although that has yet to be proven.
With all this said, how does he get by without a sanction being attached to him personally as a coach? Well, that's easy. He keeps his distance. Think John Gotti or Marlon Brando in the Godfather. If you stay at least one or two levels removed from the actual violation, its going to be nearly impossible to pin things on you personally. In those instances, you just pack your bags, take a new job, and head out for greener pastures, leaving the former program with vacated wins and championships.
Calipari knows that he can't be caught talking directly with these "handlers" or "agents" he has to put buffers between the transactions and himself so as to stay personally clean. Do you remember the scene in the Godfather where one of Michael Corleone's soldiers, Cicci, is testifying before a Senate subcomittee. The soldier is asked whether Michael Corleone had ever told him directly to kill someone or if he'd ever seen Corleone kill someone? The soldier replies, "you mean tell me himself, uh no?"
The moral of the story for Calipari is that he knows that as long as he keeps his "soldiers" at arms length from him, the NCAA will never be able to implicate him directly.
So, for that I give him an A+ for intelligence. He's doing what some others have not been smart enough to do, mainly Kelvin Sampson. For his integrity and honor, I give him an F. He's a slimebag who just knows how to scam the system and until the NCAA gets some stones, people like Calipari will continue to leave programs in his wake with vacated wins.
Calipari.....keeping his distance.
Posted on: December 18, 2009 11:09 am