View Full Version : Zag Victors Calipari and Bone - the wreckage they leave behind

06-06-2009, 10:58 AM
I'm hoping I'm not having an Emily Littella moment here, but I've been steaming about this for days ...

Tell me why I should feel anything but contempt for guys like John Calipari and Ken Bone, who built tough, competitive teams, both of which beat the Zags this year, by seemingly turning a blind eye on academics, and are rewarded for their tactics by moving on to better jobs, leaving behind programs in shambles. Shades of Kelvin Sampson! And the questionable areas for Calipari and Bone are much more serious than Sampson's cheating on the number of phone calls he made to recruits.

Calipari: The thing that's got my dander up today is this Gary Parrish story (http://gary-parrish.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6271764/15398258) about SAT issues for Memphis' Derrek Rose and Robert Dozier - two guys, one school, one coach who recruited them, fishy circumstances behind both their SAT scores? Ah, can't beat coincidence, can you?

The focus of Parrish story is that it appears the Memphis AD didn't tell coaches it interviewed to succeed Calipari about the fact that investigations for serious NCAA violations were underway.
One of the stranger subplots of the NCAA allegations facing Memphis is how athletic director R.C. Johnson and first-year coach Josh Pastner continue to deliver different answers when asked about who knew what when. Pastner has said many times that he didn't learn that the program he inherited in April from John Calipari had been charged with major violations until last week, right before The Commercial Appeal received a copy of the allegations in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. But Johnson has rejected that notion and stated publicly that Pastner knew about the allegations, although Johnson offers little in the way of details.

So who's telling the truth?

Who knows?

But it's worth noting that all the evidence seems to back Pastner, because CBSSports.com has learned that Johnson did not disclose that his men's basketball program had been charged with major violations with any of the candidates he seriously considered before settling on Pastner. According to multiple sources, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Missouri coach Mike Anderson, Southern California coach Tim Floyd and Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton -- all of whom were pursued by Memphis to varying degrees -- were unaware that Memphis had been accused of major violations until the news broke last week, this despite the fact that the NCAA charged Memphis more than two months before the school went looking for Calipari's replacement, more than two months before each man entertained the idea of leaving their jobs for a program that is spending this offseason enduring one negative headline after another.

"It's unbelievable," one source told CBSSports.com. "How could they pursue so many different candidates and not be up front about where the program was at or what the program was facing? It seems to me that they should've been up front and let [the serious candidates know] that [they] might be inheriting some NCAA problems if [they] changed jobs. But [the Memphis officials] didn't do that. They never even hinted at it."

Memphis is to appear today before the NCAA infractions committee today about the Rose matter, with Calipari phoning in from China for his participation. The Robert Dozier matter remains to be dealt with at a later date.

This Rivals story on Yahoo (http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?prov=ap&slug=ap-ncaa-memphis&type=lgns)yesterday addressed the Dozier case.
ATLANTA (AP)—Robert Dozier is the second men’s basketball player who starred on the Memphis team that made it to the 2008 championship game to have questions arise about his entrance exams.

University officials already were preparing for an NCAA hearing Saturday to answer charges that a former player, believed to Derrick Rose, cheated on his SAT exam.

Dozier’s inconsistent SAT scores prevented him from being admitted to the University of Georgia. His initial SAT score was invalidated by the company that scores the exam, and his follow-up score was dramatically lower, according to Georgia records obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

Dozier’s problems with his SATs prompted the University of Georgia to deny his admission in 2004, the records show. His four-year career at Memphis ended with the 2008-09 season.
Dozier gave a verbal commitment to Memphis in 2003 but signed with Georgia in March 2004. Georgia officials were alarmed that Dozier scored 1,260 on the SAT because the score wasn’t consistent with his grades at Lithonia (Ga.) High School or his much lower score on the PSAT.

According to documents released by Georgia through an open records request, a faculty member at Dozier’s high school informed the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse that Dozier’s score “is completely out of line with anything Robert has done academically at our school.”

The faculty member, who asked to remain anonymous in the report, also reported in the March 30, 2004, letter an allegation that a Lithonia High graduate took the SAT for Dozier at the North Atlanta High School test center.

Dozier’s score on a follow-up SAT test was 720, according to records obtained from the University of Georgia, and the results of his first SAT were canceled by the Educational Testing Service.

Dozier enrolled at Laurinburg Institute, a prep school in Laurinburg, N.C., where he played with future Memphis teammates Antonio Anderson, Kareem Cooper, Roburt Sallie and Shawne Williams.

Bone: Portland State, also the victor of a win over the Zags, saw its coach depart for a Pac-10 job, keaving behind a program burdened with loss of two scholarships, for failing to meet the APR. I don't know how the folks at Kentucky feel about the mess their new coach appears to have left behind, but this poster on CougCenter.com on May 12 (http://www.cougcenter.com/2009/5/12/873126/bone-still-mum-on-psus-apr-woes-as)appeared uncomfortable about Bone's silence about the mess he left behind him at Portland State:
Geving speaks out

Like me, I know a lot of you are interested to learn more about the APR mess at Portland State left behind by new WSU coach Ken Bone.

It's kind of the giant pink elephant in the room in what has been an otherwise amazing first month on the job for Bone. We've come to take pride in our basketball team's ability to not just play great, but perform in the classroom as well. And, to be frank, after what we went through with the football team last year, the academic trends at PSU are a little scary.

So, do we have reason to be scared? Is there reason to think that Bone might be bringing a philosophy that's destined to cause problems?

While Bone has been relatively mum on the issue so far, new PSU coach Tyler Geving -- Bone's top assistant for all four years -- is speaking out for the first time, telling The Oregonian that there is plenty of blame to go around for the mess the Vikings are in:
"We as coaches need to do a better job of evaluating who we're bringing in and making sure that academics are a priority to them," Geving said. "I don't think that you can point the finger at just one person or thing for this whole situation.

"The coaches have to hold the players more accountable, and the players have to want to get their degree. It has to mean something to them. And our academic support group has to do a better job. ... There's a lot of blame to go around, but we also have an opportunity to fix it."

In one sense, this ought to be just a little scary -- Bone bears some responsibility for the poor evaluations that led to bringing in players for whom making progress towards a degree was not a priority. Some of that is chalked up in the story to Bone trying to get the program off the ground, presumably because getting talented players to come to Portland State proved to be a challenge. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence that this is more of a PSU issue than a Bone issue, as WSU suffers from many of the same challenges as Portland State. Will he be tempted to take the same risks to add talent here?We can all be proud of the kind of program Mark Few and Co. run, but still some of us here whine about why we're not always on the top of the five-star-recruit dogpile. Maybe it has something to do with a commitment to the "student" part of the "student athlete." Maybe some things just aren't worth sacrificing for a top rung in the recruiting circus.

06-06-2009, 11:16 AM
Ahhh, we're nice folks. I'm sure other SEC fans will let Calipari have it, and UW fans will razz Bone and Wazzu.

Just very, very thankful we have Few.

06-06-2009, 11:23 AM
ZN ain't "nice folks" when coaches who cheat on academics beat us ... I love our friends from Memphis who visit here. They are classy fans and have my deepest sympathy for their being left potentially holding John Calipari's bag. I wish them the best in their difficulties with the NCAA infractions committee and hope they get off the hook, but that doesn't change my opinion of their former coach, and I don't want you offering up any"facts" that might take the edge off my Nancy Grace moment of outrage here, either, BZ. :o

06-06-2009, 12:01 PM
I agree with you 100%, ZN. It almost feels like coaches can avoid consequences for their unsavory actions as long as they play dumb and/or don't stay in one place for too long. And I also agree that Sampson's violations seem the least agregious, but it may end up being the Hoosiers and Sampson who pay the harshest penalty.

To recap, within the past year and a half, Indiana, UConn, and Memphis. three of the most high-profile CBB programs in the nation, have all had to deal with allegations of NCAA violations. If thats what it takes to get to a Final Four, then I'll gladly watch other teams play during the first weekend of April.

06-06-2009, 12:33 PM
Calipari at Providence figures in this too doesn't it? I dunno...I'm just a dumb.....:( Leopards don't change spots.....or so my Daddy said at the Chinese Kitchen in Hillyard many moons ago.
Excellent post ZN.

06-06-2009, 12:58 PM
Agree strongly re Memphis.

Portland State is a different situation and a very different environment from most D1 schools. For the most part PSU is an urban non-residental university. The most similar school to Portland State may be St. Johns in New York and everybody knows the academic and off-court struggles that St. John's has had to deal with over the years. PSU has no on-campus residents to speak of, and historically has had an endless stream of local and international kids coming and going for a term or two and then leaving to go back into the workforce for a few years or back to their country of origin for a few years or whatever. It is probably unfair to crucify the athletic department or men's BB program because their kids have marginal academic progress. I would bet that the entire university has a very low 6 year graduation rate as compared to virtually any "regular" D1 school.

Just my two cents.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger! Don't Cheat!

06-06-2009, 01:06 PM
there have been a few posters on this board who have been lambasting calipari for years. I agree with differentiating between PSU and Memphis.

If the NCAA really wants to clean this swamp, it would go after the high profile cases like this one and then put some teeth into the rules to deal with it visibly and sternly.

As it is, too often the school may be fined, but the new coaches and new recruits are generally forced to deal with the infractions while the coaches and players seem to skate. It's backa$$ward.

Coug Tracks
06-06-2009, 03:25 PM
Bone has commented on the APR issues at Portland State. 75Zag's comments are in line with some of the challenges Bones said they faced at PSU. He followed up those comments saying he was ultimately responsible for the poor APR score and that he probably took too many risks.

I am pretty sure Boneís players had a very good academic record at SPU along with fielding competitive teams on the court. The APR is not only flawed but just one descriptor of performance in the classroom. It is afterall just one statistic. WSUs APR is probably lower that the overall performance of their players because they have had higher incidence of transfers while the Bennettís have built up the program. If you look at the kids grades it would probably not reconcile with their APR even though it is above the NCAA minimum.

Anyway, I am not sure you can put APR issues side-by-side with the potential academic fraud going on at Memphis. I really think Bone is a good man and while this is a red flag I donít think he is walking down the path of Bob Huggins, IMHO. Something to keep an eye on but by all accounts Bone has run good programs.

Martin Centre Mad Man
06-07-2009, 06:25 AM
I am very grateful that Gonzaga has fielded quality teams with players who are usually decent students and decent human beings.

These types of cheating scandals cast a cloud over an entire university and its overall reputation for academic quality. You rarely see these types of shenanigans at the best academic schools. Could you imagine the administration at Duke, Stanford, or Northwestern tolerating a coach who put the academic reputation of the school in jeopardy to bring in one kid with a marginal SAT score and a nice jump shot?

Gonzaga's national reputation as an academic institution is growing. The success of our athletic programs has helped raise the profile of the university in a very positive way. One bad scandal, like the current Memphis scandal, would ruin years of positive national publicity that our school has gained during the rise of our basketball program.

I would never trade the academic reputation of my university (and by extension, the prestige of my undergraduate degree) for a national championship. There are schools that would make that trade. I'm glad that Gonzaga is not one of them.

06-07-2009, 09:52 AM
Calipari at Providence figures in this too doesn't it? I dunno...I'm just a dumb.....:( Leopards don't change spots.....or so my Daddy said at the Chinese Kitchen in Hillyard many moons ago.
Excellent post ZN.

During an NFL game last year, Emmitt Smith twice stated that "leopards don't change their stripes." :lmao:

06-07-2009, 12:52 PM
The NCAA needs to include the Coach involved in any and all punishment meted out. If Calipari were to bring sanctions, as baggage, he probably wouldn't have been hired at Kentucky. The same with Sampson and Indiana. The sanctions need to be for a definitive number of years that the coach is employed. It would do no good to put two years of sanctions on a coach, have him sit out two years and then get hired with no remaining punishment. This would be like the death penalty that has been applied to some schools for serious and on going infractions. If it could cost a coach his career, he, or she, would be less likely to transgress.

06-07-2009, 04:52 PM
Cal's a bum.

06-09-2009, 08:36 AM
steam away ZN. This kind of crud steams me, too, on many levels. Good post, and I will now continue the rant.

1. the kids are obviously taken advantage of, and the parents look bad, or better, weak. But it's hard for me to judge the daily lives we're talking about from my cozy space (not letting them off the hook either) except to condemn the vultures, aka the cheaters; up and down the system, they suck, period.

2. Weber, Crean, Izzo, Coach K and our own UberCoach and sooo many others do it right and succeed while teaching and leading with their integrity.
But the icky factor in recruiting, with all the pressures to cheat created by the $$$ and egos on the bench and at the alumni socials, obviously tempts waaaaay too many, and their cheating internally bleeds to all coaches, all programs imo, hurts us all. Nice college lesson on how to live life without integrity, Coaches! What a joke!

3. as mentioned, the sanctions must follow the coach so he/she is not rehired...for example, at Indiana or Kentucky for crying out loud, the storied programs for crying out loud! Enough embarrassing ridiculousness already!

4. This 1 year rule is another joke. How the NBA makes the ncaa have to deal with this is...you fill in the blank.

Of course, everything will continue on the same. If Cal survives this, he'll win at Kentucky, I feel sure of it, and then they'll deify him. Re. Bone, just don't know enough, but that rating system has holes.

I'm with you ZN.


06-09-2009, 10:20 AM
Fraud to gain unfair advantage over other schools who play it straight. And when these little issues continue to be repeated. And when the one guy who's involved has it follow him around from institution to institution. The fingerprints on these stunts add up after a while so it becomes a "body of work". Worse...and when he leaves, the bad acts don't recurr at the institution. Sounds like something should be done about this.

06-09-2009, 12:08 PM
To be fair, Parrish posts this (http://gary-parrish.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6271764/15425727), about Memphis response to the allegations about Derrick Rose:
Memphis meeting with NCAA is done
Posted on: June 6, 2009 1:46 pm
Memphis officials have said the school should keep the victories from the 2007-08 season that ended in the national title game. An NCAA spokeswoman said a ruling is expected between six and eight weeks.

"We are hopeful that we will receive a favorable decision on behalf of the university in this matter," Raines said. "We look forward to having more to say after the committee has released its decision."

A letter from the NCAA forced new Kentucky coach John Calipari to participate in the hearing. The NCAA says Calipari, who coached the Memphis Tigers during the season in question, isn't considered "at risk" in the probe.
....I wonder what that statement means about Calipari not being considered "at risk" ... Is that because there's no NCAA rule that infractions follow coaches to new schools and that only the school where the infraction was committed bears the risk for "lack of institutional control"?

I don't know ... I suspect that I should probably holster my outrage taser until the NCAA rules in six weeks whether Memphis was guilty of anything in the Derrick Rose matter, and, after that, to see the results of the decision on the Robert Dozier case. Allegations may be found to be without merit, after all.

Concerning the issue of whether infractions should follow a coach to a new school, Rivals had this interesting read (http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=rivals-298730&prov=rivals&type=lgns) back on June 1:
Should the NCAA punish a coach’s new school?
By Rivals.com, Rivals.com College Basketball Staff Jun 1, 5:00 am EDT

News broke last week that Memphis is under NCAA investigation for possible major rules violations in its basketball program. The coach at the time of the alleged violations was John Calipari, who has since moved on to Kentucky.

We asked basketball writers Mike Huguenin and Jason King to ponder that situation, then asked them this: If a coach’s former school is found guilty of violations that happened under that coach’s watch, should his new school face the same penalties?

The NCAA’s enforcement of penalties almost always is a joke. Taking a few scholarships away is the NCAA’s big stick. That means a football program will have 82 or 83 scholarships instead of 85 and a basketball program 11 or 12 instead of 13. So what? Football and basketball programs routinely have less-than-a-full complement of scholarships in use.

To truly wield a big stick, the NCAA needs to reach into schools’ pockets and take away TV money and postseason money. And if a penalty is serious enough to carry those kinds of sanctions, they should belong to the coach as well as the school.

Thus, if a coach leaves, say, one school in the Southeast for another and after he leaves it’s found that NCAA rules were broken at the original school, those penalties would follow the coach to his new school.

Spare me the “How is a coach supposed to know about everything that goes on in his program?” rhetoric. I buy that – to an extent – when it comes to a player’s behavior once he’s on campus. But when it comes to recruiting a prospect or knowing about a prospect’s academic status, big-money college coaches should know everything that goes on. If they don’t, shame on them because they’re not doing their job.

Unless the school knew there was an ongoing investigation at the coach’s former school when it made the hire, I don’t think it should face any penalties.

Imposing any sort of discipline on the coach’s new team would be grossly unfair to the players and administration that had nothing to do with – or any knowledge of – the coach’s actions at his previous school. If the NCAA truly has the student-athletes’ best interest at heart, such an action should never be taken.

Penalties against the new school certainly would be more understandable if it hired the coach realizing that violations may eventually surface at his former school. But even in that situation, the better solution would be to discipline the coach and not the school. Reprimand him, suspend him, fine him heavily. The coach is the one who needs to pay – not his new players.What I don't know, among many things, is if NCAA actually has the power to follow a coach's transfer with sanctions against either him or the new school. It would seem, at the least, that the NCAA should require that the new school be required to make inquiries of all prospective coaches of any serious NCAA investigations ongoing at the old school ....

06-09-2009, 01:08 PM
<< zn wrote: I wonder what that statement means about Calipari not being considered "at risk" ... Is that because there's no NCAA rule that infractions follow coaches to new schools and that only the school where the infraction was committed bears the risk for "lack of institutional control"?>>

in an earlier thread on this, I recall reading that Cal was not a target because Rose allegedly cheated on an entrance exam (I recall someone else took the Rose's test or somesuch) without Cal's consent or knowledge.

06-09-2009, 01:46 PM
in an earlier thread on this, I recall reading that Cal was not a target because Rose allegedly cheated on an entrance exam (I recall someone else took the Rose's test or somesuch) without Cal's consent or knowledge.All due respect, gamagin, but I find nothing in my googles to indicate that the NCAA expressed that position. Cal may very well have alleged it, but I don't see anything that's been posted quoting the NCAA to that effect.

I'm willing to wait on the findings of the NCAA infractions committee on whether or not Memphis is guilty of anything, but I remain puzzled about why the school should still be on the hook but Cal not. What could they nail them for, aside from "Lack of institutional control?" If Cal didn't know, is the Mephis compliance department on the line alone? If the NCAA clears a kid prior to enrolling, does the university and coach have no "due diligence" duty to satisfy itself, as Georgia did in refusing to enroll Dozier?

We'll see what shakes out.

06-09-2009, 02:13 PM
try this. blow into a paper sack this time before reading. It might help.


06-09-2009, 03:14 PM
thanks, gamagin. That was an informative piece.
The allegations include "knowing fraudulence or misconduct" on an SAT exam by a player on the 2007-08 team, widely reported to be Derrick Rose. The player's name is redacted in the NCAA's notice of allegations, but the description of the player in the notice also pointed to Rose.
If the allegations are proven to be true, the Tigers could be forced to forfeit their NCAA-record 38 victories and Final Four appearance.

The report was the result of an NCAA investigation into the men's basketball program that began roughly one year ago. It does not include allegations of lack of institutional control, meaning Memphis would likely avoid serious penalties that would have an impact on the program going forward.
alipari, who left Memphis for Kentucky on March 31, is not named in the report, but the NCAA has requested his presence at the hearing. Calipari did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

The University of Kentucky issued a statement late Wednesday, noting there were no allegations against Calipari.

"First and foremost, there are no NCAA allegations against UK Head Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari," the statement read. "Coach Calipari was forthcoming with the University of Kentucky during the hiring process about any issues under investigation at the University of Memphis at that time. It is normal procedure for the NCAA to ask a former coach to participate in a hearing. Therefore, Coach Calipari will participate as requested.

"Coach John Calipari has received a letter from the NCAA stating that he is not at risk of being charged with any NCAA violations in this case.

06-10-2009, 10:14 AM
Re: Graduation rates. This morning a study was released which lists and compares graduation rates for every college in the country.

GU's reported rate is 80%, highest in Washington except for Whitman.

Portland State's is 35%, lowest in Oregon and one of the lowest in the entire USA. So, as I said above (without benefit of statistics until now), it appears to be unfair to criticize Bone on his record for graduating players at Portland State.

An interesting report, although I am no fan of the sponsoring organization.


Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

06-10-2009, 10:45 AM
And a Division I basketball program helps the seemingly underachieving Portland State kids exactly how? I'm not going to spend time looking at the report, because, for one thing, I suspect that what it may reflect is not an underachieving student body but rather a ransient population, one that stops in and picks up a few credits and moves on, rather than embarking on an intended four-year commitment to one school - the type of school that competes in Division I.

Whatever the deal, if they have to recruit by picking up academically questionable kids who can't collectively meet the NCAA's APR requirements, it's not fair to schools that are bound by and honor those requirements. They lost two, count em, two, scholarships.

06-10-2009, 11:10 AM
ZN - You are correct about the discrepancy between PSU being essentially a "drive by" university and yet having a D1 basketball program. Has a lot to do with state and local Oregon politics. Portland is offended that it does not have a "major public university" while the downstream runts in Eugene and Corvalis have two major public "doctorate level" universities which are each Pac 10 schools. So Portland booster types (not just sports boosters) have tried to make PSU into something it is not for the sake of local civic pride. There is even talk of trying to merge OHSU - one of the better medical and dental schools on the West Coast - with PSU, in order to create a "major public university" in Portland. Just what OHSU needs, a merger with a school with a 35% graduation rate!

Anyway, my original point which I cling to is that Bone did not drive the PSU BB team into academic insolvency, it got there by itself.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

06-10-2009, 12:01 PM
ZN's response to letting Bone off the hook?