Kentucky Basketball: Great on the Court, Complete Opposite in Classroom

Jonah PulsCorrespondent IMay 3, 2010

SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 27:  Joe Mazzulla #21 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drives against John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the east regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2010 in Syracuse, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

We all know Kentucky had an excellent year going 35-3 (14-2). There is something much more important where they failed to succeed, though.

As we know, all these players are collegiate athletes. So, they have to not only perform on the court but also off the court. They have a duty to represent their colleges, and the Kentucky basketball players did a disappointing job of that this year.

When the fall semester grades came out, their grades were the worst of all 20 Kentucky athletic teams. To make the situation even glimmer, the grades were the worst of any UK men's basketball team since spring 2002.

As a team, they posted a grade-point average of 2.025, which is the worst of all the teams who released their grades to the public.

"I was disappointed," UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. said.

"It's not something we're happy with, I'll tell you that," said Sandy Bell, UK's senior associate athletic director and the person in charge of student services. "And we'll be working on it to get it up. We certainly anticipate that going up in the spring semester."

Calipari and UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart declined to comment on the matter for "privacy concerns."


So, you say: Well, their grades are good enough to play, so it doesn't matter in the end.

I respond back: If you look at it one way, they shouldn't have been able to, but a freshman rule saved some of them.

To be eligible to play, you have to have a GPA of 1.8. But, two players had a GPA of 1.667 and 1.765.

The rule of a GPA of 1.8 does not take place until after your first year. Therefore, the two players—by rule—must have been freshman.

Then, I realized that the freshman playing this year are the ones that Calipari went out and recruited.
But, according to Calipari, classroom success is a necessity for him.

Yet, that doesn't make sense, because the GPA average of Kentucky—2.025—is well below the college average of 3.1.

To some, this is not a major issue. To some, this is completely unacceptable.

To me, it's not the biggest deal in the world. But Calipari needs to meet his expectations and make sure these players perform off the court—not just on it.

Hopefully this is just a one-time thing, because I know the University of Kentucky is going through a lot of embarrassment with this situation, and this is not what college basketball is supposed to be.

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