Thursday, March 31, 2011

John Clay: A Must Read

Without a doubt, John Clay is one of my favorite writers at the Lexington Herald-Leader. This is just another reason why. He reminds readers that while everyone goes after John Calipari for the two vacated Final Fours, nobody bothers to remember that UConn's program was vacated in 1996. That Gene Keady's Purdue team was vacated. Larry Brown, too.

Here's an excerpt, which I recommend that you READ IN FULL:
In Calipari's case, his 1996 UMass trip to the Final Four was "vacated" after it was discovered star player Marcus Camby accepted gifts from an agent. Calipari's 2008 Final Four appearance at Memphis was "vacated" after the NCAA ruled Derrick Rose ineligible when he failed to cooperate with a review service and his ACT score was invalidated.

Never mind that Calipari wasn't implicated in either case. Never mind that, at last count, 34 coaches have fallen victim to having their NCAA Tournament appearances "vacated."

Lute Olson is on that "vacated" list. Jim Valvano is on that list. So is Larry Brown, Gene Keady, Steve Lavin and, yes, Jim Calhoun.

And yet on the ramp-up to Houston you haven't heard anyone mention that Connecticut's NCAA appearance in the 1996 tournament was erased. In fact, we've barely heard much about the fact Calhoun will serve a three-game Big East suspension next year after the NCAA ruled he did not foster a culture of compliance within the UConn basketball program.

In Newark, we didn't hear a peep about the fact Kansas was placed on probation after Roy Williams left for North Carolina because, according to the NCAA, "three representatives of the university's athletic interests" provided cash and clothing to graduating players.

When San Diego State was a feel-good story for grabbing a No. 2 seed, no one talked about how Coach Steve Fisher had two Final Fours (1992 and 1993) vacated at Michigan.
Tell your friends that they, too, should read it in full.

Major props to John Clay for this. Let's hope other outlets pick up on the story.

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