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Archive for Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kentucky basketball victories tainted

February 13, 2010

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Kentucky with its tainted history has registered 2,011 victories to sit atop the college basketball heap. Now North Carolina (1,997) and Kansas (1,993) are neck and neck in an exciting race to the 2,000 level.

As we all know, there are countless, indelible KU-UK-UNC connections. It’s regrettable that KU grad Adolph Rupp factored so heavily in a shady Kentucky march to glory. Kentucky may have hit 2,000 first but KU and UNC will do so more honorably. The Wildcats got there with considerable assistance from cheating and NCAA criminal indifference and oversight.

In his 1931-72 reign at Kentucky, the abrasive Rupp became noted for his ability to disregard and flaunt recruiting legality and remuneration limits for his players. As Ken Johnson, the incomparable KU court historian in Des Moines, points out: “In the 1930s and ’40s, 386 of the Wildcat wins were generated when there was virtually no oversight in college basketball. Transgressions never were penalized. Since then, though, the Kentucky basketball program has continuously been documented as one of the most criminal of all NCAA Division I schools.

“Rupp’s 1952-53 squad was nailed with what amounted to the NCAA’s first death penalty (cancelled season) because of payments to players. It all came to light during an investigation into a point-shaving scandal involving players during the ’49 season.” Kentucky won the NCAA title in ’48, ’49 and ’51 at the height of the horrendous fixing scandals; the NCAA never rescinded a trophy or a single victory.

A judge called Rupp’s UK program the acme of commercialization and overemphasis. He said he found covert subsidization of players, ruthless exploitation of athletes, cribbing at examinations, illegal recruiting, reckless disregard for physical welfare, matriculation of unqualified students and flagrant abuse of the athletic scholarship concept.

Rupp retired, but in 1976 the NCAA said the Wildcat scholarships would be limited for two seasons because of recruiting violations by coach Joe B. Hall’s staff. A handslap; UK won the ’78 NCAA title. In 1985, the Lexington, Ky., Herald Leader broke a story about UK paying players and recruits, documented by 31 former player admissions. Recruit Sam Bowie reportedly was handsomely rewarded.

There were recruiting, ineligibility and payoff scandals during the Eddie Sutton tenure and Eddie had to resign. An assistant was banned from coaching in the NCAA for five years. Boy, did the NCAA get tough on that one!

Historian Ken Johnson offers a kicker on the Kentucky outlawry so often ignored by the NCAA. He says UK periodically has tried to clean house but questions if that will continue.

“ . . . with the history and culture of cheating, there is probable doubt a clean program will continue under the stewardship of John Calipari. It’s hard to overlook the corruption of the athletic department when they sign a basketball coach to the richest per year contract in college hoops within two months of the coach’s second school being stripped of a Final Four appearance by the NCAA.”

Where was Calipari once an assistant? At KU, of course. Yet any barrel can have bad apples, including “alumni” who create programs with notably less honor and dignity than the source of their apprenticeships.

I admire how KU and UNC will reach the 2,000 level a whole lot more.

Comments

Steve Jacob 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow! I hope people at UK read this. Almost sounds like we are jealous. And KU has never been on probation, and we have never hired family members to work at KU when there kids's come, which the NCAA recently cracked down on.

mom_of_three 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't believe KU ever paid players. And one point I got of this is that Calipari has left TWO schools after NCAA is looking into them for problems. TWO. And now he is at KEntucky, a school notorious for problems. So what do you think is going to happen.

puddleglum 4 years, 10 months ago

Ku and Kentucky don't even compare.

Kentucky plays a schedule full of nobodies.
heck, I'd have to say that within the last 25 years, UNC has most likely had the hardest schedule every year. They annually play against teams with which we have a poor record: Duke Wake Forest Maryland Georgia Tech

but don't worry, I'm sure calipari will get what he has coming.

kansasredlegs 4 years, 10 months ago

Every player at the Division 1 level gets paid. Make no mistake about it. Someone explain how Roy's Boys could always dress in the best suits when injured and sitting on the bench, could have the most stylish eyewear, could obtain braces to straighten their crooked smiles?

Today, all players (all sports at KU) are provided well over "$2,000" in Adidas coats, jackets, sweats, shirts, hoodies, shoes, backpacks, etc. Isn't this getting paid as well? Is this taxable income in the form of benefits? If one is to pay income tax for personal calls on the company phone, should these amateur athlets pay taxes on this stuff as well?

Anyone check to see if any of the current players are receiving federal Pell Grant money for one of those turn on the automatic water sprinler jobs or turn on / off the "automatic timer" lights at the fitness center? There is always more than one way to pass the money when one wants to.

Mr. Mayer, perhaps you could have contacted Lester Earl to be a contributer to your story. I'm sure he would have some wonderful, fact-based insights to the inner world about which you report from the outside.

notajayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

“In the 1930s and ’40s, 386 of the Wildcat wins were generated when there was virtually no oversight in college basketball. Transgressions never were penalized."

How many of KU's, UNC's, and everyone else's wins came during that same period?

bkr3015 4 years, 10 months ago

wow this article makes me embarassed to be a kansas fan. This makes us look jealous. Please take this off here cause this doesnt make kentucky look bad it makes us look bad. And dont let that idiot bill mayer write anymore articles. This is just embarrasing!!!

mom_of_three 4 years, 10 months ago

Calipari has left two schools with ncaa violations...and now he is at kentucky....what do you think is going to happen to Kentucky....

just a matter of time before he gets caught there....

sparky1958 4 years, 10 months ago

Ok guys read this article from ESPN. It tells alot about all the major rule breakers especially KU.

sparky1958 4 years, 10 months ago

or go to espn.com and enter the following in the search line

Kansas isn't alone in cutting some corners

more_cowbell 4 years, 10 months ago

"and we have never hired family members to work at KU when there kids's come" [sic]

Hopefully this was said tongue-in-cheek?

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/aug/21/meet_chalmers/?sports

and

http://www.kuathletics.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/081208aab.html

edgefactor 4 years, 10 months ago

Ok jayhawk fans before you want to bring out the laundy on someone else, bring out your own first.Roy Williams violated NCAA rules as basketball coach at Kansas by approving gifts to graduating players and others who had used up their eligibility.. On November 8th, 1988, KU became the first NCAA basketball champion to be barred from defending its title. This probation from the NCAA was the result of major violations largely involving illegal benefits provided to Vincent Askew, a potential transfer recruit. The primary violation was the provision of a plane ticket home to see his sick grandmother. Now Williams excuse was "Oh I didnt know". that was a crock..coming from a person who has been coaching as long as he has, that is nothing more than an excuse..I find it hard to believe that schools no matter their size do not follow all the rules...its just they havent been caught.

jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

"Anyone check to see if any of the current players are receiving federal Pell Grant money for one of those turn on the automatic water sprinler jobs or turn on / off the “automatic timer” lights at the fitness center? There is always more than one way to pass the money when one wants to."

No such thing is allowed anymore, no jobs and especially no 'school jobs'.

edgefactor 4 years, 10 months ago

As for Kentucky playing nobodies...UNC,UCONN, Lousiville,Florida,Vandy,Tenn,Ole Miss and Miss State were eiter ranked before the season started or are ranked now. Is it UK's fault that these teams have under achieved this year..no its not. This is about the same schedule as last year except UK played UCONN this year, why was it no big deal last year when UK wasnt having a good year but now that they are its a big deal..the answer..because UK is ranked #2 and is 24-1 at the moment.

jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

"This probation from the NCAA was the result of major violations largely involving illegal benefits provided to Vincent Askew, a potential transfer recruit. "

It was the result of an assistant coach (R.C. Buford) who LENT the poor kid $75 'cuz he didn't have enough money for the ticket home to see his DYING grandmother. The money was paid back a short time later, and long before the NCAA began their 'investigation'. The sanctions for that 'infraction' were a crock.

edgefactor 4 years, 10 months ago

It doesnt matter if it was a crock or not the end result was KU on probation and they were not able to defend their title..you can say its a crock but it still goes on record.

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 10 months ago

All the players at major schools get paid. How about a free ride and special academic arrangements for them. And there's the stuff we don't know about but I don't really care because these players are exploited by the schools so why not pay them something. Get it all out in the open and treat them all the same. KU, Inc. baby its a business and has little to do with education.

Jim Williamson 4 years, 10 months ago

"I don't believe KU ever paid players."

momofthree is exactly right.

Sincerely, Wilt Chamberlain

jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

"you can say its a crock but it still goes on record."

That's swell, edge, if you live in a world of black and white. But if you're able to discern between a true infraction and an act of compassion and humanity, then that incident can't be compared to the types of infractions that UK has committed.

WildcatsOne 4 years, 10 months ago

You know....it must really suck to be a Kansas fan and always have to look up to Kentucky. You guys are so jealous......it's really getting pathetic.

Besides, if anyone thinks that Kansas has never violated an NCAA rule, then they are delusional.....just ask Danny Manning.

UK2K......The Greatest Tradition In College Basketball.....and THE WINNINGEST BASKETBALL PROGRAM OF ALL TIME!!!!

Eric Dawson 4 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Mayer, I have two questions if you would be so kind as to reply, either here or via email.

First, given your tenure and long association with KU Sports reporting, did you personally know Rupp?

Second, I would agree with your article if you limited the comparison to UK (4 major infractions) to UNC (1 major infraction). But given that KU (5) has had more major infractions than UK (4) -- or any other major program, for that matter -- it is hard to support including KU in the comparison. I will grant that overall one can argue that KU's major infractions weren't qualitatively as bad as UK's, but even if that is so, they are still major infractions, and a lot of them. In comparison, UCLA has 3, while UNC, Duke and Indiana all have just 1. Given these facts, I would be interested in knowing how you justify including KU in the comparison, as I would think some of KU's wins must also be considered "stained".

In closing I would note that while UNC has done well in this arena, it is somewhat ironic/problematic to me that KU's last two major infractions were incurred during the terms of KU's two UNC alum coaches.

Thank you.

ericpdawson@kualumni.org">p>ericpdawson@kualumni.org KU 1982 (b), 1984 (g)

edgefactor 4 years, 10 months ago

As to the comments about Calapari and Rupp, Calapari was not mentioned in any type of fault what so ever. While at Umass, it was Marcus Camby that excepted the cash, so Calapari is to blame for that? Thats like saying, lets blame Bruce Pearl because of the 4 Vols that were stopped by the police for Drugs,guns and speeding. While at Memphis, is there any proof that someone took the test for Derrick Rose or is it just the media saying it with no proof, of course if the media says it it has to be true. The NCAA cleared derrick Rose to play. You name me one coach out there who if they were told that their player was cleared to play that they wouldnt play him..the answer is zero. People can say all they want but until it is proven, Coach Cal is found not guilty.....Now as for Rupp being called a racist..tell me when he was coaching, who wasnt showing discrimination to black players, if you answered that question honestly..you know that Rupp was not the only one. For the record, Rupp was the first coach in the S.E.C to sign a black player, so does that mean that the rest of the teams should be called a racist..the answer is no..

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