Teflon John

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 19:  Head Coach John Calipari of the Memphis Tigers yells during their  first round game against the CSUN Matadors in the first half of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 19, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Walt TaylorContributor IAugust 24, 2009

With his expensive suits and his perfect slicked back hair John Calipari has the look of a made for T.V. mob boss; think Armand Assante as John Gotti. It turns out that Calipari has more than looks in common with the mob stereotype, he has copied their business model. No matter what illegal activity takes place never let anything be traced back to the boss.

When Calipari was at the University of Massachusetts his star Marcus Camby was being paid by agents. When the NCAA found out U. Mass had to forfeit tournament wins and pay back the money they had received. Calipari, he was off to Memphis without even a reprimand. It was as if he had no idea that anything wrong was going on. At least nothing could be traced back to him.

At Memphis one of his stars, allegedly Derrick Rose, cheated on his SAT to gain admission into the University. A players brother, allegedly Rose's brother Reggie, was provided with over $2,000 in impermissible benefits. Once again the University will have to forfeit wins and pay back the money they received from their NCAA tournament victories. Calipari, he is off to Kentucky, without even a reprimand. It is as if he knew nothing about any of this. At least none of it could be traced back to him.

As the head of a major college Division I basketball program a coach is running a big business and must know what is going on with his players. Coaches have contacts all over the country giving them information on their players and the players they are recruiting. The coach can't stop all the improper activity from happening, but when he knows of major violations he should see that they are reported and eliminate the players involved from his program.

Many coaches tell recruits and their parents that to join their program is like being a part of a family. Calipari can say the same, he doesn't have to tell them it is a mob family.

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