Vitale: Calipari being treated unfairly

In a column at ESPN.com, college hoops analyst Dick Vitale says new UK coach John Calipari is getting a raw deal from many college hoops pundits.

His view:

I am tired of the John Calipari bashing.

It seems like there are columns and radio talk show hosts firing away against the new Kentucky coach because of the NCAA’s investigation into his former school, Memphis.

For those bashing the coach, take a break! How guilty is this guy? Do you really think he went out of his way to make sure someone took an SAT for Derrick Rose? Do you think he made sure an agent laid cash on Marcus Camby at Massachusetts?

This guy has been bashed and bashed, and in every case he has been cleared of involvement by NCAA investigators. Isn’t that enough?

The answer is no for those that have a personal agenda. I feel there are some envious people, jealous of his success. Remember, he did not come up in a pedigree situation.

Vitale says that because Calipari didn’t come up through more established college basketball channels, that he’s being made to pay for it by an establishment media.

Don’t know if I buy that. When you’ve taken two college programs to a Final Four, and each then caught significant heat because its BEST player was later ruled inelgibile, I think you’d better expect some criticism.

Maybe the level of criticism is higher because Calipari just went to Kentucky, and that job is so high profile. Vitale says “the bashers have had a field day,” and they have.

But really, what has been the effect of that? UK fans have ruffled, um, fur. But that’s about it. Calipari has reeled in the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, by a large margin. The nation’s top prep players continue to list Calipari/UK high. Nothing has happened to compromise Calipari’s ability to turn UK back into the steamroller it is accustomed to being.

In the end, perhaps it just has come down to pundits blowing off steam. And as long as there’s no fire with that smoke, that’s all it will be.

Media outlets are going through Memphis with a fine-toothed comb, and that’s nothing unusual. It’s the first thing the media does when NCAA infractions are found — look for more. I’m surprised that UK’s current commitments haven’t gotten more scrutiny, but they probably will.

In the end, however, without a major development on this story, look for the storyline to return to Calipari’s big blue debut and the Cats’ return to prominence come the beginning of basketball season.

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19 thoughts on “Vitale: Calipari being treated unfairly

  1. Wow Eric does Rick know you kinda wrote a positive article on Coach Ca, I sure he won't be happy with you LOL. But it was nice to see a positive article every now and then, now if only Rick B would do the same every now and then

  2. Wow, Anonymous 11:17, read my columns much? I would refer you to May 20 "Cal has UK fans seeing stars" and April 20, "Cal bringing fun back to UK hoops." Come on, man, keep up.Funny thing about us columnists. We say nice things about people when we think they deserve it. And we give people grief when we think they deserve it. Not so hard!Closer to the truth: I think most fans only remember the critical columns.

  3. Really Vitale? Is it any surprise that he is trying to jump on the bandwagon like he does with Duke every year, UofL last year, and Florida during their run? Vitale is usually critical of UK until they got the #1 recruiting class and an Italian coaching them. Is this just another case of Vitale trying to be in the minority on an issue to get some of the spotlight?I would think that any other coach with two programs in trouble after he has left and three former players on the same team with SAT score issues would be under the same scrutiny. Why should Calipari be treated any differently?

  4. "any other coach with two programs in trouble after he has left and three former players on the same team with SAT score issues would be under the same scrutiny. Why should Calipari be treated any differently?"EXACTLY!

  5. Treated unfairly? Oh please give me a break. Sounds like old Dickie V has a bit of agenda like trying to take up for a guy that was at his charity events etc.

  6. Vitale all you do is RUN YOUR MOUTH!! You're trying to tell me that Calipari didn't know his program at UMass or Memphis, I'm suppose to believe that!! Bull Hockey Vitale!! Calipari's nickname should be "The Grim Reaper"! Every school he leaves they die!! U.K. won't be any different!!

  7. I love all the people posting stuff about what Caliparie did to other programs when they OBVIOUSLY don't know the facts of what they are talking about. It's obvious from the claims they make they have no clue. LOL! Show some more ignorance UL fans.

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