Little Men on Campus: John Calipari and Derrick Rose

Benjamin BaroffCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2009

The Memphis Tiger's are being stripped of their 2007-2008, 38 win, runner-up season. The Tiger's season was full of memorable games, alley-oops, and steamrolling opponents. 

For an entire season Memphis brought us the most exciting college basketball team in years.  They gave us Derrick Rose and John Calipari, the nation's best freshman and the hottest coach money can buy.  

If not for a championship game implosion the Tiger's would be our National Champions, completing a dream season.  

But now its all coming unglued for the Tiger's.  Derrick Rose allegedly had a stand-in take his SAT test for him and Memphis forward Robert Dozier guilty of a similar scandal in 2004.

It has not been determined what exactly has happened with Rose or Dozier yet but the prospect of the idea is plain and simple—both would not be academically eligible on their own.  

After submitting a staggering SAT score of over 1200, Georgia had asked Robert Dozier to take the test again.  Dozier then submitted a score of 540...


Georgia refused to take Dozier after coming to the conclusion that the two tests were taken by two different people.  Two months later Memphis accepted Dozier.  

Now what bothers me is not that this scandal has actually happened, I'm not surprised and I don't think anybody is.  That's why this has all blown over pretty smoothly and we only had to hear about it for one full day on ESPN.

It has been the response from Memphis and everybody involved that has (as John Calipari would say) disheartens me.  

At what cost are we willing to win? How much do we have to pay to get a ring? How low do we have to sink to climb up the ladder?

Those are the questions Memphis should be asking themselves today.

Now we all know that it is very likely that Memphis is not the only school in the country that is sneaking in athletes that cannot academically perform to the standards set by the NCAA. Memphis just got caught.

But never have I seen the people involved run so cowardly from the situation as Memphis, Derrick Rose and John Calipari have in the last week.  

It disheartens me that Memphis president Shirley Raines believes these are unfair allegations and is in the process of appealing any penalty the NCAA can think of.

"We know the rules," Raines said. "We did our due diligence. We did everything we could to determine the student-athlete was eligible and that the rules were being followed." 

Really Shirley? Hmm. Did you?

John Calipari, now the big-man on campus at Kentucky has had little to say on the matter.  Calipari has been quoted that he was "very disappointed and disheartened by the NCAA's findings."

That's it John? You are compromising the last bit of academics that is left in big time college sports and all you are is "disheartened?"

I guess you didn't have time to offer more now than you are the star of a national powerhouse and have a top recruiting class to produce.  As long as it's in the top five, we won't care.


Derrick Rose, the third person involved in the scandal has been quoted in a statement by his attorney saying, "I think it is important for people to understand that I complied with everything that was asked of me while at the university, including my full participation in the university's investigation of this issue, and was ultimately cleared to play in the entire 2007-08 season by the NCAA clearinghouse and the university."

Not even speaking for yourself Derrick? That's really going to give you a lot of credibility in an educational scandal. Rose must not have learned how to write his own statement during his stay at Memphis.

And last but not least there is the NCAA clearinghouse. An institution in which their sole purpose is to check academic eligibility.  They cleared Rose and Dozier twice. 

They missed it twice!

Its alright though, Memphis won 38 games, more then they ever had!

In order for this win-at-all-costs culture to change, it has to be more than just the NCAA board taking action.  

Players, fans, and coaches must has themselves how far they are willing to sink to win.  Is it as far as recruiting one-and-done's?  Giving a good player apparel to influence his decision? Or changing his academic scores altogether?

High School students all over the country struggle every month to pass this test. They study, they pay for tutoring, they stress day and night about the exam.  But Derrick Rose can jump higher then them so he gets to go to college.

Seems pretty fair to me.


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