Saturday, August 22, 2009

You Don't Know What You're Talking About

Alright, now I'm pissed. This story has been so slanted and misreported that my neurons are in a tizzy. Now I just gotta flex poetic on the subject for a minute and get all this crap off my chest, because I gotta let you know that I've probably followed the story closer than you have. And as long as Pat Forde is spewing bull ish on the world wide leader of sports about every subject he can have an ill-conceived opinion over (besides Rick Pitino, of course), you've been misinformed.

John Calipari did literally nothing wrong in his dealings with Derrick Rose, nor anything different than any other coach in the country would have done with the information he was given. And you're a gun-jumping prick if you think you know otherwise.

Now let's also set the general record straight. The University of Memphis didn't even do anything wrong in their dealings with Derrick Rose. You got that? The entire burden of blame should be placed solely on the NCAA Clearinghouse and they should have reported their actions and ruling timelines in a more clear and distinctive fashion than the general accusatory press reports that were actually released. I'll now make my individual points.

1) Derrick Rose was never even proven to have cheated on his SAT exam. It only came under investigation after it was found that he strangely signed up to take the national exam in the city of Detroit after failing it in his hometown of Chicago three times as an underclassman. His reason for taking it in Detroit was that he was already planning on going to the Palace of Auburn Hill to see his hometown Bulls play against the Pistons in 2007 and he was running out of opportunities to take the SAT before college deadlines. Even then, there was only a single handwriting guru who questioned the legitimacy of his test, not a panel who explicitly invalidated it. Rose, though already in the NBA and free of any personal consequences were he to admit anything either way, maintains that he himself took the test and here's his official legal quote: "It is satisfying to see that the NCAA could find no wrongdoing on my part in their ruling. It is important for people to understand that I complied of everything that was asked of me while at the university, including my full cooperation in the university's investigation of this issue, and was ultimately cleared to play in the entire 2007-08 season by the NCAA Clearinghouse and the university. I look forward to putting this behind me." So let's get this clear in everyone's mind ... there is no actual proof that Derrick Rose had another person take his SAT for him.

2) Derrick Rose was cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse who looks into and validates all incoming college athletes as being eligible to play. What John Calipari and the University of Memphis athletic department knew from the NCAA going into the actual season was that there was a pending investigation to take place looking into Rose's SAT matter. But since Rose maintained that he was innocent and that nothing would be found of his guilt if an investigation was even to occur, Calipari decided to play him. So what happened was that Rose played the entire season and the NCAA never mentioned another word about the situation. The Memphis Tigers played out the season up until April 7, 2008, when they lost to the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA Championship game. The Tigers couldn't make free throws, fans were pissed, and Calipari was disappointed that he let another chance at a title slip away. It was only then that something funny happened. Rose's final attempt at the SAT exam, and his only passing grade, was canceled by the NCAA's Educational Testing Service. In May of 2008. After the entire season was over. The University of Memphis then got an official notice that Derrick Rose, the point guard who had already waived the remaining three years of his college eligibility to enter the next month's NBA draft, was now ruled academically ineligible. Does anybody see the slight issue of culpability there?

3) Derrick Rose was ranked by Rivals as the third best prospect in all of high school basketball and Scout as the fifth best. Both had him as the consensus top point guard. Something that was also consensus was that Rose didn't care about earning his college degree. He was labeled as a one-and-done player from the get-go who would have gone straight to the NBA if he was allowed to. Yet he was forced to either play one season of college basketball or, as then unprecedented, go overseas into a professional league. Rose, like fellow incoming freshmen Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Jarryd Bayless, Donte Greene, and Bill Walker, decided to sweat it out one season in the collegiate ranks and see how far they could spark their respective rental ball clubs in the 2007-2008 season. Now boggle your brain for a second and ponder if your respective team's coach could land a top five recruit with whom he knew the clock was ticking on his stay there, yet would have the audacity to not play him over a non-solid investigation sitting on the NCAA's desk that they may or may not even look into and rule on before your player has his name called as the number one overall draft pick in the pros. Do you think your coach would choose to not play maybe the most talented player in all of college basketball after the NCAA Clearinghouse has officially declared him eligible and continually allows him to suit up and play every single game of the entire season? Do you? Seriously, answer that.

4) The charges from here on out became a legal wording formality that the NCAA selectively chooses to enforce. Though Rose was never proven to have actually cheated on his SAT, the mere fact that it was canceled (even a year later) meant that Rose was retroactively ineligible to play. And by NCAA rule, no matter when it's processed, the games that a player who is found ineligible plays in have to be stricken from the record books. As Rose stood by his innocence in the matter, the University of Memphis could have acted in no other foreseeable way. They treated him as the legitimate student athlete that he was ruled as for his entire one year tenure. But this is where the bothersome hypocrisy comes into place. The NCAA has ongoing investigations on other student athletes from prominent colleges that they've either not enforced the same rules or inexplicably left open with no imminent consequences. Corey Maggette from the hallowed Duke University has admitted that he took large cash payments from a former AAU coach and crack dealer during his one and only year in college in which he played in the national title game. Even the man who gave him money admitted so under oath. Yet Duke's 1999 Runner-Up banner still waves with no sign of ever coming down, even though accepting cash in that fashion explicitly rules that player as ineligible to play in college athletics whatsoever. Then there's the case of former Kansas Jayhawk Darrell Arthur who was recently confirmed to have had his grades changed on the eve of two high school state championship games to prevent his record from showing that he was failing out. He was never even academically eligible to graduate from South Oak Cliff High School if it weren't for the instantaneous, adamant rewritings of his transcript. Yet he still played two entire seasons in college, including the championship game opposite Derrick Rose, and Kansas is in no danger of ever suffering any ramifications from it. Shouldn't he be retroactively ineligible since he had a falsified high school diploma which would have prevented him from entering any university in the summer that he did? I'm not here to tell you if the rules are right or if they're wrong, but I am here to share with you that the NCAA pretends that these kinds of issues are black and white when, in fact, they favor certain situations, programs, or players over others of the same.

I'll prolly do another whole post about Calipari's history that's been labeled as "shady" and how he supposedly jumps to bigger and better jobs as soon as things get rough or an allegation comes up. All I have to say without delving into it any further at this moment is that this man spent eight and nine years respectively at his only other college head coaching gigs. Come on now. The dude ain't Larry Brown, yet.

... but do take my word for it.

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