Sunday, August 23, 2009

John Calipari, Pt. 1 of a 2-Part Series on College Coaches in the News

Ah, the world of big-time college athletics. I let these two incidents slide for a bit too long already, so now it's time to let these guys have it.

The first one involves John Calipari, the slick-haired, slick-talking dribble-drive offensive guru who can out-recruit just about anyone in the country. Officially he has no NCAA Final Four appearances on his resumé. ¿Como puede ser, you ask? NCAA violations, that's how. While he was at UMass, Marcus Camby was courted by two sports agents with hopes of signing him as a client when he went pro. "Mr. Marcus"(get the reference? If you don't you're a square) admitted to taking at least 28 grand from these two cats along with jewelery, free use of rental cars and of course the obligatory prostitutes (gotta love them whores-the world would stop rotating on it's axis if it weren't for them).

Kind of makes you wonder what was going on (or NOT going on) at UMass if Camby, the most popular basketball player on that campus since Julius "Dr. J" Erving, couldn't get laid for free from amongst the myriad of hoochies that constitute the female student body. UMass is crazy and full of the trashiest undergraduate broads this side of the Potomac River. I should know, I've visited the campus. If you can't get laid there you might as well pack it in, brother. WORD UP.

Aside from being a high-profile athlete on a campus full of party girls that are easier to lay than wholesale carpeting, I can only assume no one told Camby that all he needed was a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and a couple of nickel bags of weed to be the life of any party at the U of ASS.

Hey Camby, this is how you freak college coed hoochies, my son. Courtesy of the illustrious Greg Oden-

But this isn't about Camby, it's about Calipari. Actually, it's not. In both NCAA investigations (UMass and Memphis) he has been cleared of any wrongdoing while the programs have been hit with sanctions. Kind of makes you wonder what the fuck is going on, especially since he's been able to parlay his success into the highest profile, highest paying job in college basketball at Kentucky despite the trail of slime he's left in his wake. After the Camby revelations Calipari took off to coach the Nets and right after the Rose SAT fiasco Calipari took off again, leaving both programs to deal with the sanctions that occured under his watch.

And now the latest scandal, which has led to the elimination of the most successful season in Memphis basketball history from the record books, including their run in the NCAA Tournament. Derrick Rose, the phenom from Chicago, inexplicably took his SATs in Detroit. Why would he do this if he lives in Chicago? Was it too windy to take the test there? No, because it made it easier to have someone else take the test for him without anyone knowing (that is, until now).

By the way, those weren't gang signs Derrick Rose was flashing in this photo-

He was holding up his SAT prep book and someone photoshopped it out of the picture!!! Rep your set, motherfucker!!!

And just who lives in Detroit that would be in a position to facilitate this fraud? Why, none other than friend to college and NBA stars alike William Wesley, better known as "World Wide Wes". Who is he?

Here is an excerpt from a GQ article written about him-

In his March 2005 ESPN “Page 2” column, the well-known basketball writer Scoop Jackson wrote, “I believe Phil Knight is the most powerful man in sports next to Wes Wesley.” Eight months after Jackson’s column, New Jersey-based basketball journalist Henry Abbott mounted an obsessive open-source investigation on his blog, TrueHoop, that brilliantly illustrated how, if you look closely at the various forces at work in basketball at every level of the sport—the AAU programs that funnel players to college programs, the agents looking to land players as early as NBA rules allow, the shoe companies, coaches, franchise owners, front-office executives, players—it eventually dawns on you that they have one thing in common: William Wesley.

This weasel has ingratiated himself into every fabric of sports management without bothering to take out an agent's license. He is the man who guides top recruits through the various levels of competition from AAU programs and high school to high-powered D-1 programs (like Memphis and now Kentucky where Calipari currently coaches) and makes sure everyone gets paid, himself first and foremost, all the while lurking in the shadows and pulling strings like some Armani-clad Svengali. Calipari describes him a s a "friend of the program". Uh-huh.

Here is another excerpt from the same article describing what transpired during the infamous brawl at Auborn Hills-

Auburn Hills, Michigan, November 2004. William Wesley, a middle-aged mortgage broker (how's that line of business going right now, Wes?)
, runs onto the court to shield Ron Artest from a uniformed police officer wielding a can of pepper spray. Artest’s teammates are trading haymakers with fans; coaches and referees are struggling to restore order. The mortgage broker lunges forward and throws his hands in the cop’s face, and in the next instant, Pacers teammates Austin Croshere and Reggie Miller rush to restrain Artest. Through a tempest of tossed soda and popcorn, Wesley moves on to shepherding the Pacers’ Jermaine O’Neal on the court. Once in the tunnel, O’Neal breaks free, but Wesley wraps him in a bear hug and drags him to the locker room.

Two years later, when I ask Reggie Miller about Wesley’s presence on the court, he’ll say: “What the hell is he doing out there in the middle of all that? I mean, what is he doing? He has no business out there! He injects himself into the middle of everything!”

If you want to find out more about this guy, feel free to Google the online article. Getting back to Calipari, he has been known to do things that while not technically in violation of NCAA rules just seems dishonest. I highly doubt he would of landed prize recruit and Naismith Prep Player of the Year Dajuan Wagner in 2002 without offering his father the job of Coordinator of Basketball Operations for Memphis. He engages fiercely in recruiting "one and done" players who have no interest in academic life and doesn't care. Sure he wins, but he does so while making a mockery of what college athletics should be about.

Should he be excused because he wins? Let's ask the University of Kentucky in a couple of years when they inevitably face the same recruiting and illegal payment violations that will erase whatever success their basketball program will achieve under this polished, smooth talking snake. It should come as no surprise that Calipari majored in Marketing in college. He's been able to market himself flawlessly while leaving behind problems for his ex-employers to clean up as he's moved on to more lucrative positions. Adolf Rupp (not exactly an upstanding citizen himself) must be turning over in his grave right about now. Then again if Calipari gets Kentucky winning again no one will care.

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