The easy target for most writers to poke fun of this week is Kentucky coach John Calipari. And rightfully so. This will be his third trip to the Final Four and first with Kentucky. Because of NCAA infractions, his first two trips with UMASS (1996) and Memphis (2008) have been vacated by the NCAA. We won’t know for a couple of years if this team is “clean” by NCAA standards, but we’re all pulling for ya’ John!
But then there’s the other coach who will stand on the other side of half-court on Saturday night. He has his fair share of NCAA investigations and shady recruiting but no one seems to be as quick to point that out…
Calhoun’s NCAA violations, sketchy recruiting tactics, and ineptness when disciplining players that misbehave just seem to be forgotten though. Before we get to his latest violation, let’s go through a little history lesson on Calhoun:
- Convincing ACC Rookie of the Year Ed Nelson to leave Georgia Tech (where he received less playing time…)
- Continuing to talk to St. John’s recruit Doug Wiggins (along with Wiggins’ barber) and making him switch his commitment
- Suspending Ben Gordan ZERO games after he was arrested on an assault charge against a female student
- Suspending back-up point guard A.J. Price the entire season and starting point guard Marcus Williams for the first semester when their involvement in a laptop theft scandal was the exact same
- Organizing an interesting little scrimmage involving Rudy Gay’s AAU team and paying the AAU team’s owner 22K for it
That’s just a little taste of some of Jim Calhoun’s scandalous history. But then the Nate Miles situation arouse this year regarding his involvement with a former UCONN manager. When the Big East
threw the book at him gave him a slap on the wrist by suspending him 3 Big East games next year, many skeptics said it wasn’t enough. Of course it wasn’t enough and of course it should have happened this year! But after reading this Slam piece from Miles’s point of view, my hatred for Calhoun reached its peak.
The guy is a slime ball. A ruthless jerk who only looks out for numero uno. I’m not even gonna go into his poor sportsmanship (try thinking of the last time he ever congratulated an opposing coach, actually don’t– it’ll take you awhile and you won’t remember one instance). I’m not even gonna mention his short temper with the media (see the Ryan Gomes blow up or the Connecticut state deficit fiasco). At least Calipari is engaging to the media and is a gracious loser.
Basketball junkies know that Calhoun’s checkered past is just as bad (if not worse) than Calipari’s. The general public probably doesn’t. Hopefully this helps.