Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday Was a Bad Day For Kentucky

Yesterday, Wednesday May 27th, 2009, was a bad day for the University of Kentucky basketball program. Nothing that ground-shattering that would put the program in dire straits, but it was a bad day of public relations.

Obviously at the top of the list is the NCAA charging the University of Memphis with fraud. Apparently someone else took Derrick Rose's SAT to get into college and there was some money spent on some clingers-on. This will probably not get to Kentucky, but does anyone really, really, really, really think that this was the only time that one of Calipari's players got this kind of treatment.

It stains Calipari as he will most likely have TWO Final Four appearances removed from the record books.

Next up is Billy Gillispie's wrongful termination lawsuit against the University. Now, I'm far from a law scholar so I'm not going to attempt to figure out the validity of it. Gillispie is going after $6 million he feels he's owed by the school for firing him without just cause. I'm sure we will see more on this.

So UK recruit John Wall picked a good day to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of breaking and entering. Wall will get delayed prosecution where he will have to perform 75 hours of community service and a six month probationary period. If he does all that, then the charges will be cleared from his record.

All this shadows Calipari's treatment of the lower end players on his team. Walk-on Landon Slone is leaving Kentucky because Calipari shut him out. As we all know, Calipari has more players than scholarships and said he will pare it down by "working itself out." I guess that means ignoring the guys who you don't want around anymore. Slone claims that he made numerous attempts to meet with Calipari about his future at the school and the new coach met with him ... let's see ... zero times. Calipari admitted this himself on his Twitter account.

Slone joins Jared Carter (who isn't going to take his medical redshirt season), A. Stewart and Donald Williams as cast-offs. Stewart and Williams plan to transfer.

Again, none of this should affect anything other than the perception that Kentucky will be the new UNLV (or Miami Hurricanes). Also, if Calipari can get to a Final Four, don't be so sure that it won't be taken away a few years down the road. After all, John Wall still has to take his SATs.

For Kentucky fans, this is what people meant when they said that you sold your soul to the devil.

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