John Calipari and the 16 Scummiest Coaches in College Basketball

David SolarCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2010

John Calipari and the 16 Scummiest Coaches in College Basketball

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    LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 11:  John Calipari the Head Coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to his team during the 81-62 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on December 11, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    All around college sports there's ethically questionable behavior. We've seen players being paid, coaches illegally recruiting and boosters overstepping their boundaries.

    Most recently, we've seen John Calipari's behavior cost Memphis a Final Four appearance, while Bruce Pearl cost himself more than a million dollars for lying to the NCAA.

    With so much corruption running rampant, we take this opportunity to examine John Calipari and the 16 scummiest coaches in college basketball history.

16. Mike Jarvis

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    LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 11:  Head coach Mike Jarvis of the St. John's University Red Storm watches the game against the the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins at Pauley Pavilion on January 11, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. St. John's won the ga
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Mike Jarvis was let go in December of 2003, leaving a legacy both on and off the court. The Uncle Phil look-a-like was accused of paying center Abe Keita a monthly stipend.

    Jarvis ultimately landed on his feet, taking over at Florida Atlantic in 2008.

15. Jim Calhoun

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    HARTFORD, CT - FEBRUARY 13: Coach Jim Calhoun of the Connecticut Huskies reacts to fans as he walks onto the court before a game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at the XL Center on February 13, 2010 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Ima
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    I’ve never been a fan of Jim Calhoun, and there was never a real reason to it. As a Boston College fan, I had seen Calhoun’s UConn Huskies consistently embarrass my beloved Eagles with an arrogance and attitude that was never appreciated.

    My resentment of Connecticut’s coach made it all the more sweet when it was announced that the coach had violated NCAA rules in his recruitment of Nate Miles.

    Miles was given accommodation, transportation, food and representation during his recruitment. Miles was represented by former UConn student Josh Nochimson, who Calhoun had significant contact with, including 16 calls—including a four-minute conversation the week Miles visited Storrs. 

    It should be interesting to see whether the NCAA levies any sanctions against the Hall of Fame coach.

14. Tim Floyd

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    NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 13:  Assistant Coach Tim Floyd of the New Orleans Hornets looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Arena on November 13, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges an
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    In 2007, Tim Floyd was accused of providing inappropriate benefits by giving money to Rodney Guillory, a Los Angeles event promoter and one of the handlers for O.J. Mayo, resulting in an NCAA investigation.

13. Jim O’Brien

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    CHICAGO - MARCH 14:  Head coach Jim O'Brien of the Ohio State University Buckeyes reacts to the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament against the University Wisconsin Badgers at the United Center on March 14, 2003 in Chicago, Illinois. Ohio State defeated W
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The former Boston College and Ohio State coach makes this list for illegal financial compensation he offered to players back in 2004. Aleksandar Radojevic's mother received $6,000 from O’Brien, and when this information was brought to light, O’Brien was immediately fired.

    O’Brien sued the school, claiming the school had improperly fired him, and was awarded a $2.4 million settlement. This despite the fact that the university was given three years' probation and ordered to pay back every dollar they received from the NCAA tournament while Radojevic was on the team.

    Not exactly justice.

12. Jan van Breda Kolff

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    19 Mar 2000: Jan van Breda Kolff of the Pepperdine Waves reacts on  the sidelines during round one of the NCAA Tournament Game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Cowboys defeated the Waves 75-67. Manda
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Former St. Bonaventure coach Jan van Breda Kolff had his college coaching career abruptly end when controversy broke late in the 2002-03 season.

    The Bonnies had admitted junior college transfer Jamil Terrell with only a welding certificate and were forced to forfeit every game that Terrell had played in.

    Van Breda Kolff denied any knowledge of the scandal, but reportedly pressure from his assistants is what kept school President Robert Wickenheiser from ruling Terrell ineligible.

11. Bruce Pearl

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 11:  Tennessee Volunteers head coach Bruce Pearl directs his team against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational at Consol Energy Center on December 11, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.The Volunteers defeat
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Back in September, a story broke that Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl had lied to an NCAA investigator. Pearl had made inappropriate contact with recruits, but denied these allegations when asked.

    Although Pearl was not fired, he was fined $1.5 million and suspended from coaching the first eight SEC games this season.

    This is not the first example of impropriety involving the flamboyant Pearl, who was photographed on a boat drinking with far younger college co-eds.

10. Todd Bozeman

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    5 Dec 1995:  California Bears' Forward Shareef Abdul-Rahim and Coach Todd Bozeman confer during a game against the University of San Francisco Dons played at Memorial Gymnasium in San Francisco, California.  The Bears won the game, 83-70. Mandatory Credit
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    While coaching at California, Bozeman was fired after it surfaced that he admitted paying $30,000 to the parents of Golden Bears recruit Jelani Gardner. As a result, Cal forfeited their entire 1994-95 season, and Bozeman was hit with an eight-year show-cause order.

    Ironically, immediately after the NCAA sanctions, it came out that Bozeman has been ordered to stay away from a student who had accused him of making lewd phone calls.

    Class act all the way.

9. Pokey Chatman

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    INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 3:  Head coach Pokey Chatman talks to Temeka Johnson #2 of the Louisiana State Lady Tigers during a break in the action against of the Baylor Lady Bears in the Semifinal game of the Women's NCAA Basketball Championship on April 3, 200
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Despite a career 105-19 record, LSU women’s head coach Pokey Chatman resigned in 2007 after reports surfaced that the university became aware of an inappropriate sexual relationship between Chatman and a former player.

    Her punishment? Chatman was recently named the general manager and head coach of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.

8. Larry Eustachy

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    18 Mar 2000: Iowa St head coach Larry Eustachy directs his players during the game against Auburn during the Second Round of the NCAA Midwest Regional at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Iowa State won 79-60. DIGITAL IMAGE.
    Elsa/Getty Images

    After Tim Floyd left Iowa State to become the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the Cyclones brought in Larry Eustachy. In his second year as coach, Eustachy led ISU to a school-best record and an Elite Eight appearance. Unfortunately he will most likely be known for his off-court tactics.

    On April 28, 2003, The Des Moines Register published a photo of Eustachy kissing a number of young co-eds while holding a beer at a party near the University of Missouri's campus. Eustachy originally stated he would appeal the school suspension, but opted to resign instead.

7. Kelvin Sampson

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    MADISON, WI - JANUARY 31: Head coach Kelvin Sampson of the Indana Hoosiers watches the action against the Wisconsin Badgers on January 31, 2008 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Indiana 62-49. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Ima
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Kelvin Sampson is to scummy college coaches what Muhammad Ali was to boxing: the greatest. Sampson had already earned Oklahoma a three-year probation for recruiting violations when he took over as the head coach of Indiana.

    The current Milwaukee Bucks assistant raised the ire of fellow coaches for his inappropriate behavior surrounding the recruitment of Eric Gordon. Gordon had already verbally committed to Illinois when Sampson swooped in to sign the 6’4" shooting guard.

    When the NCAA’s investigation wrapped up, it was revealed Sampson made over 550 illegal calls to 17 different recruits and had broken five major rules.

6. Jim Harrick

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    CHICAGO - MARCH 17:  Head coach Jim Harrick of the Georgia Bulldogs yells from the sidelines during the second round of the 2002 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament against the Southern Illinois Salukis on March 17, 2002 at United Center in Chicag
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    How many points are you awarded for a three-point basket? How many halves are in a basketball game? How many goals are on a basketball court?

    If you can answer those questions, congratulations! You could have passed Jim Harrick Jr.'s "Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball" course at the University of Georgia. 

    This makes a mockery of academic fraud. Heck, Rashad Wright and Chris Daniels both received A’s in this class despite the fact they never attended.

    Considering Harrick had already been fired from UCLA for falsifying an expense report, it’s probably for the best that Harrick was essentially blackballed from the college ranks for eight years.

5. Rick Pitino

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 22:  Rick Pitino the Head Coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the game against  Chattanooga Mocs at the KFC Yum! CENTER on November 22, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  Louisville won 106-65.  (P
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    On April 24, 2009, Karen Sypher, the wife of equipment manager Tim Sypher, was charged with the extortion of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.

    What was Sypher trying to blackmail Pitino with? Apparently back in 2003 the two had relations under the table of an Italian restaurant.

    When Sypher became pregnant, Pitino paid $3,000 for her to have an abortion. At the time she was not married to Tim, and he was also paid an undisclosed sum to marry her.

    This incident got even uglier as Sypher accused Pitino of raping her and stated that Pitino only lasted 15 seconds. But to be fair, I think he was just trying to beat the shot clock.

4. John Calipari

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13:  Head coach John Calipari and Eric Bledsoe #24 of the Kentucky Wildcats talk on court against the Tennessee Volunteers during the semirfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2010 in Na
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Coach Calipari’s list of indiscretions is long and illustrious. In fact, his rap sheet is so damning that it’s amazing the NCAA still allows him to coach. The Final Four berths he earned while coaching UMass were vacated when it was learned Marcus Camby had illegally received payments.

    Calipari took a job with the New Jersey Nets before returning to the college ranks to coach Memphis. There, Calipari would have an entire season voided after violations surfaced that Derrick Rose had cheated on his SAT’s and that Rose’s brother had travel expenses paid for by the school.

    How is that type of condemning behavior punished? With an eight-year, $31.65 million contract at Kentucky.

    Already Calipari has created controversy for the Wildcats, with the NCAA investigating Eric Bledsoe about academic fraud. He’s an embarrassment to the values that the NCAA is supposed to stand for, and should have been placed on probation years ago.

3. Jerry Tarkanian

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    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    "Tark the Shark" was the head coach of UNLV from 1974-1992, as well as the Fresno State coach from 1995-2002. In 1976, Tarkanian's long battle with the NCAA began when he was placed on two years' probation for what was termed “questionable practices.”

    In 1991, a photograph was published of three UNLV players in a hot tub with Richard Perry—a well-known gambler with ties to the Mafia. Although it was never proven that Tarkanian was involved in the shady gambling underbelly of Las Vegas, allegations dogged him through his career.

    He’s one of college basketball’s winningest coaches with 990 wins and four Final Four appearances, but his off-court antics may be his greatest legacy.

2. Clem Haskins

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    5 Mar 1998:  Coach Clem Haskins of the Minnesota Golden Gophers looks on during a Big 10 Tournament game against the Northwestern Wildcats at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  Minnesota defeated Northwestern 64-56. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The former University of Minnesota coach was forced to resign in 1999 after one of the worst academic fraud scandals NCAA history. Allegations stemmed from the manager of the school's academic counseling office, Jan Gangelhoff, that she had written more than 400 pieces of coursework over a five-year period.

    As it turned out, Haskins had paid Gandelhoff $3,000 to write papers for his players. Haskins had his 242 wins vacated, and the school was placed on four years' probation.

1. Dave Bliss

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Dave Bliss of the Baylor Bears signals to his team against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Big 12 first round game at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri on March 7, 2002.  Kansas State edged Baylor 74-73.  (P
    Elsa/Getty Images

    While coaching at Baylor, Dave Bliss broke more NCAA, legal and ethical rules than one can possibly imagine. Bliss resigned in 2003 after the NCAA investigated the circumstances surrounding the murder of former player Patrick Dennehy.

    Bliss was never criminally charged, but the allegations mentioned are absolutely devastating. Dennehy was murdered by another former player—Carlton Dotson—which Bliss allegedly tried to cover up by framing Dennehy as a drug dealer.

    So sickening are these allegations that his payment of players seems like a minor footnote.