No one knows how "Coach Cal" works his white boy voodoo magic to lure the most talented high school players in the country year after year to play for him, but he has left a slimy trail of thinly veiled malfeasances at every program he has worked for. Neither UMass nor Memphis have come close to matching the success they enjoyed with Calipari, but those successes came at a cost, with the NCAA coming down on both programs after he's left. Here is a short laundry list of questionable practices by Calipari-
-There are many coaches who feel extremely uncomfortable with the allegiances Calipari's carved out for himself with various powerful street agents who masquerade as AAU coaches all across the country. This may not be illegal, and indeed these types of relationships are necessary if one is to compete for the best high school talent in the country, but the system itself is rife with massive corruption on that particular end. And the only thing that talks is money.
-The myriad of NCAA violations UMass and Memphis were left with after Calipari's tenures at both schools had ended. Leaving town just ahead of the posse doesn't look good, but it hasn't hurt his ability to land what is arguably the best coaching job in college sports. What does this say on the premium Kentucky puts on winning at all costs?
-At Kentucky, basketball has always taken precedence over everything else, including education. There is nothing else going on in that state, and despite the monumental pressure to succeed, Calipari has been unrepentantly doing "The Dougie" ever since he got there. So whatever he is doing to bring in these blue chip athletes, it's with the University's blessing.
Calipari is by no means what ails college basketball, he is merely the poster boy for how rotten things have gotten. He is a symptom-the greasy, flashy player's coach who can all but guarantee his signees a one-way ticket to the NBA lottery if they just buy into his system, which caters to developing a pro-style game with the dribble-drive offense on one end and stifling man-to-man defense on the other.
These guys played on the same college team-and couldn't win the big one...
Jerry Tarkanian-at least he made cheating fun...
So enjoy cutting down the nets tonight, Calipari. I for one will not be rooting for you despite the inevitability of the outcome.