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Narrative about Calipari ruining college basketball with one-and-done players needs to change

By RENE CORNETTE

It’s long been the narrative of most sporting media that Kentucky coach John Calipari is ruining college basketball by recruiting one and done players. John Calipari has turned into the whipping boy for a rule he never put in place. A rule that other top coaches like Bill Self, Roy Williams and even the untouchable Mike Krzyzewski use. A rule that benefits the NBA. A rule that just by recruiting one and dones ties Calipari’s hands every year.

 Calipari doesn’t keep most of his players for three or four years, but instead after pushing them to grow and develop in only one year he sends them on to the NBA to better their lives and their families. That’s not the makings of a selfish, evil coach. That’s the makings of a coach who is bettering and changing generations of families just by changing one 19- year-old kid’s life first. That doesn’t fit the narrative the sports media wants you to believe about Calipari though. That’s the John Calipari they ignore and leave out of their articles and talking points on television. That’s the John Calipari that doesn’t get clicks on their links or hundreds of mentions on Twitter. That’s the John Calipari that’s more beneficial to ignore than acknowledge because every good story needs a bad guy and the media decided long ago, Calipari would be theirs.

John Calipari’s players have been called “rent-a-players.” Rent-a-players who donate millions back to the university they attended for only one year. Rent-a-players who return every summer back to Lexington to play in an alumni game for charity. Rent-a-players whom Calipari refers to as his sons. Sons he flies to watch play in their NBA games. Sons he counsels when it’s needed. Sons he tweets about constantly while sounding like the proud father he is. Sons who he welcomes back to Kentucky with open arms because what the sports media doesn’t understand is it only takes one year for players to become family. There’s not a timeframe for that. There never was and there never will be.

Four of the top 10 recruits in the 2014 class, Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Stanley Johnson and Cliff Alexander announced Friday afternoon where they’d be attending college on ESPNU and none of them chose Kentucky. Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor were good to their word and chose Duke, going as a package deal. Cliff Alexander picked Kansas while Stanley Johnson chose to stay on the West Coast and attend Arizona. They are all expected to be one and dones yet shockingly they chose to go somewhere other than the University of Kentucky. I think it’s time to get a new narrative, sporting media. The old one’s not working anymore.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/narrative-about-calipari-ruining-college-basketball-with-one-and-done-players-needs-to-change/

33 comments

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  1. TheProfessor

    It has been one of those lies that when repeated often enough, becomes the perceived truth. Those who peddle this lie have done so because of their underlying anti Calipari and/or anti Kentucky agenda. When the facts should direct the same type of attention to the prized programs such as Duke, Kansas, Arizona, UNC, … the purveyors of the lie ignore the facts yet again.

    One and done is not a Calipari rule, it is not even an NCAA rule. Neither Kentucky nor Coach Calipari worked to get this rule. Yet, it is Calipari and Kentucky who are the cause of the damage the rule works on college basketball.

    Business as usual with the press and the NCAA

  2. ruppsrunt

    Another obvious LIE–that tobacco road schools are pristine and pure!!

    puke gets by with magette after magette admits to accepting $$$ prior to college. media and ncaa IGNORE the rules infraction.

    lance thomas “puchases” $100,000 of jewelry with just $30,000 doan payment. nary a media concern wHERE the first $30,000 came from–and nary a worry when the “LOAN” is made obvious because it was not paid on time. All the media and the ncaa ignored the obvious rule breaking–left puke and needlenose as not guilty.

    unccheaters run bogus classes, change grades to assure eligibility, supply cars for players–and media and ncaa turn and ignore the blatant rules breaking.

    where are tipton, clay, vaught, story, forde, goodman, and the biggest mouth of all–vitale? They all ignore the blatant cheating, pretend with the ncaa that puke and uncch are upstanding and clean.

    Where is the outrage from espn, cbs and rivals and scout and all the other basketball entities?

    I know–all the above(especially the Lexington gang of snipers) are waiting to attack UK and Cal for some insignificant meaningless petty mistake.

    What we have in the case of puke and unccheaters is a complicit media and ncaa—both devoid of integrity, decency and reasonable standards for their positions.

    WHY do the media of Lexington attack UK–yet ignore puke and unccheaters?

    rr

    1. King Ghidora

      Why did you include Vaught in that list? You have missed his many comments about how things are run by the NCAA and the national press is all I have to say. It’s not his beat to cover UNC and Duke. I guarantee he knows about the dirty tricks going on there.

  3. Larry T Clemons

    Perfect for Our Coach and for Our BBN Brothers who walk on that Court….Even, Enes Kanter is beloved by Coach and BBN. ” How can that be wrong “….can you imagine, feeling that loved by so many, at such and unsure/unknown time of your life, where many are hovering around you, to become takers & Vampires….Protect Our Young Men Coach, it’s one of the reasons We Love You Coach……You are a great Father Figure to these Young Men, regardless of When they leave…..And, YOU are The Best COACH FOR KENTUCKY & BBN !

    1. Kokamo Joe

      I suppose that jealousy is what is behind the anti Calipari/one and done thing. Calipari is getting it done and those that cannot recruit with him complain. It really does not matter. Recruits that want a quick trip to the NBA are still are going to commit to the sure path in spite of the jealousy.

      I cannot buy the unsure/unknown period of life idea. Our kids have been special for a long time. They have known love since they were discovered in middle school. I know that they appreciate the rock star status but they don’t need our protection. They are going to be fine. Future millionaires most of them will be.

      UK is a proud program. Calipari is an excellent recruiter and coach. It does not matter if people criticize his recruiting. We are the New York Yankees of basketball . Ever hear of the Broadway musical production “Damn Yankees?” People dislike winners. Others dislike UK and Calipari just like we dislike Duke and Coach K. That comes with success. Ignore it.

      1. King Ghidora

        The media has had it in for UK since Rupp stormed MSG in the 40’s and showed them where the best basketball is played. They have lied about him since then. Their favorite lie was about him being a racist and not recruiting blacks. They don’t seem to get that Rupp wasn’t even allowed to play blacks in those days. They weren’t allowed to attend UK much less play basketball there. It wasn’t Rupp’s fault but you’ll never hear a talking head from the national media mention the Day law in Kentucky. It was 1950 before that law ended. The mythology of Rupp the racist started in the late 40’s. He was of German descent (important to many in those days), he shared a name with Hitler and he didn’t have blacks on his team. The propaganda practically wrote itself. Too bad it wasn’t true. That didn’t stop them from printing their lies though.

        http://randomthoughtsonhistory.blogspot.com/2009/05/kentucky-historical-wart-day-law.html

        I’ve seen news articles from that time period making Rupp out to have Nazi tendencies. What an ugly thing that was to say. They haven’t stopped saying ugly things about UK since then.

        1. Kokamo Joe

          There is not one published or proven word that came from Rupp’s mouth that proved that he was racist. IMO Rupp would have played the Frankenstein monster if he could have helped him win.

          People who grew up prior to Brown vs Bd of Education have little or no understanding about what life was like before schools were integrated. Some states which had teams in the SEC had laws which forbad them from playing teams that had black players. Our local high school integrated in 1956 which was two years after Brown vs Bd of Education. it took the 1966 defeat of UK by Texas Western to convince the South that if they wanted to win basketball games that they would have to integrate their teams.

          Rupp took the brunt of the racism criticism because the SEC would not allow him to recruit black players and because UK was then and still is at the apex of college basketball.

  4. Dan simon

    Cannot wait now to see coach kryryryryski and self join Cal as ruiners of college basketball-as stated earlier who will be the “first sports journalist” to tackle this problem?

  5. grant

    I just can’t blame Calipari for the one and done rule, he did not make it up out of thin air. I would suggest if Cal could and there is nothing to suggest he wouldn’t , get the same caliber of recruits should there be a minimum 3 year stay time for college basketball , then when UK starts winning more championships in bunches and UK passes UCLA in a hurry , woah boy , more pissing and moaning . I shutter to think what the landscape of college basketball would look like should Cal have one of these thoroughbred classes to stick around for 3 or 4 years . Yikes. Turn out the lights.

  6. Kokamo Joe

    Be thankful for Calipari’s use of the one and done rule. If the rule is ever changed so that players would have to stay 3 to 4 years the talent would be equalized among the better college players. You cannot have the number one recruiting class every year if you can only recruit a limited number of recruits.

    We need to hope that it stays the way it is now. One way to look at our skill level and turnover would be to think of the team as a plug in program. When one leaves, Calipari simply plugs in another. We don’t get to watch the players grow and develop because they are already special. Those who oppose the one and done system could simply think of the program as the thing that continues and the players as temporary parts who will perform and move on to better things.

    1. King Ghidora

      Cal can still recruit the best players who know he will give them the best chance at playing for pay. If he got to keep players like Cousins, Wall, Bledsoe, Davis, MKG, Randle, etc. for more than one year he could win a whole string of titles IMO.

  7. King Ghidora

    This is just one more hit from the UK hating press. They can’t stand for UK to look good on anything. I know some don’t believe the press really hates UK but I have a prime example I just found. I saw an article on the “best final 4’s”. UK has won the title 8 times. The best USA (who put together the article) could rate any UK victory was 47th. That’s right. Out of just 74 final 4’s 8 of which UK won the best one they were ranked at was 47th. Of course the Texas Western game was #2. And the championships that UK did win, where they finally had to rank them somewhere since they ranked every single final 4, they had to throw in stuff like “Kentucky’s first title of 8 for better or worse”. They picked out every game UK lost in to make it sound great and they ranked every UK victory about as low as it gets often insinuating cheating and other vile actions. If you can read through that article and not know that the sporting press “hates” UK you just aren’t paying attention. Read the article yourself at:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2013/04/02/final-four-rank-experts-best-1-to-15/2044593/

    Note that almost every top ten listing was won by an ACC team or a Big Ten team. And extra points were given when UK was beaten like the 1984 event when G’town played a UK team that missed every open shot they had but of course it was the defense that caused that. I saw that game. Defense doesn’t make you miss wide open shots from 5 feet.

    The national sports media stinks to high heaven and this Calipari bashing is just another example of how they treat UK. It’s funny how almost nothing has been made of the incredible UNC scandal but Cal was “voted” the dirtiest coach in America and for what? Turning in his own player? Not knowing another player cheated on a test before he got to Memphis? If it’s UK related they hate it and that includes the one and done players. Never mind that every school in the country tries to land those same players.

    It’s a rotten shame how they treat the Cats. I don’t patronize those “media outlets” unless I am doing a favor for a friend. I was doing research on a question asked to me today when I found that story. Believe me I ignore USA Today like the plague. Same goes for SI, ESPN, and several other outlets. You wouldn’t believe the propaganda ESPN puts out about Rupp like saying that he told everyone not team of blacks would ever beat his team and that he drug his feet on integration. I’m so sick of hearing that I just that one day in my life I get close enough to stick my fist in the ear of one of those talking heads. I’d hit them in the mouth but I may never see my hand again. I’m serious. I’m not generally a violent person but some people just really, really deserve it.

    1. King Ghidora

      That’s USA Today that wrote the story. I said it was just USA in my post. I guess I should be proofreading it better. ;)

  8. bryan mceuen

    If people would stop and think had all or some of the players had stay since he’s been coaching at ky, In my opinion the cats would be on a page to rival the UCLA days of dominating the game itself. Give this man a break!!!!

  9. Phillip Barker

    See where Dean Smith and the “Carolina way” is being honored in Washington…as the “Church Lady of SNL used to say, “isn’t that special”. How will any of those jokers be able to keep a straight face with the academic duplicity Deano operated under??????

  10. gpm61

    Great writing Rene!! Love the spark from the fanbase. It would be nice if it reached outside of us though.

  11. TheProfessor

    gpm has touched the core of this issue, it does not reach outside because those outside are the culprits who perpetrate the lies. It does not fit their script to reach the level of analysis (which is not particularly complex) to understand the basics driving this bias. I remember when I was young (high school and early college) just after I became a big blue fan, having relatives in ACC country ridicule Coach Rupp by intentionally mispronouncing his last name, and noting how he was simply another “Adolph”.

    As for reaching outside, the local press has an important role to play. First, they can write about the bias, the double standard, and perform the basic research to build that case, and second, they can point out the bias that their colleagues on the national or regional stages display when they tag UK with the “R” word, or as perpetual cheaters. Unfortunately, some members of the local press are among those that seem to want the ugliness to be true, and to be the one who exposes its most recent manifestations. Jerry Tipton is chief among this latter group, but he is not alone, and he is protected by those in the local press who clearly do not agree with his UK sniping but seem equally unwilling to speak out or write on the record about it.

    To be fair, and I think it is imperative that UK fans be above reproach in all areas, especially fairness, there are some in the national press who have attempted to speak the truth about UK, its history, and Coach Calipari. Gregg Doyel comes to mind, but for every Gregg Doyel, there seems to be 10 Pat Forde’s spewing the lies to justify their hatred.

    So Renee, the current anti-UK anti Calipari narrative about one and done is simply the most recent form of the broader anti-UK narrative that has been around for over 60 years, since Adolph Rupp and UK began winning those early national championships. The one and done business has simply been tagged onto the long litany of narratives. That aspect of the complete narrative won’t end, and it won’t disappear when these haters move on to the next narrative du jour.

    1. Kokamo Joe

      King: My point would be that he could have kept Cousins, Wall, and the rest of his first class there would not have been room for the likes of Davis, MKG, Randle. The roster will hold only so many players. The prize recruits would be divided up among the top programs. UK would still be dominant, but the talent would be more spread out.

      1. King Ghidora

        If Cal could have kept those first year players he wouldn’t have needed the long list of greats he has brought in. Cousins, Bledsoe, and Wall are all stars in the NBA. Patterson is a starter for the Kings also. Orton would have been great if not for the injuries. Cal could have kept a steady stream of greats coming into UK to replace the ones leaving by graduation. I know what you were saying. I’m just adding that he wouldn’t have needed so many greats to still have a great team.

    2. Kokamo Joe

      I don’t pay attention to negative press about UK unless the story is true. All anyone in the national media can say about Calipari’s one and done players is that he is taking advantage of a rule. He has broken no NCAA rules at UK and is not likely do do so. Why should he? He puts players in the NBA early and replaces them as fast as they leave. Jealousy will exist as long at Calipari keeps us on top.

      I mentioned Duke in an earlier post. Mention Duke and mamu UK fans will turn up their nose and begin to utter exactly what others say about UK.

      If a national media story reports a bare faced lie about UK, I would hope that local media persons correct the lie. if the national media ever prints a true story that reflects a real negative thing about UK, I would hope that the local press would not play the cheerleader and deny the obvious.

    3. King Ghidora

      Well said.

  12. Little Baron

    This sad fact pointed out by the Professor bears repeating:

    “Unfortunately, some members of the local press are among those that seem to want the ugliness to be true, and to be the one who exposes its most recent manifestations. Jerry Tipton is chief among this latter group, but he is not alone, and he is protected by those in the local press who clearly do not agree with his UK sniping but seem equally unwilling to speak out or write on the record about it.”

    Many fans wonder if we will EVER witness the day that JUST ONE media member will have the intestinal fortitude to publicaly ‘call out’ Tipt_ _ _ (as many refer to him) for his decades of fueling an anti-UK undercurrent in the media. The single most effective means to initiate a stopping of UK-hate and reversal of such bias, would be to see the Lexington Herald Leader be sold or close down. Who do you think instigated the attack on UK for the unproven $ in the Emory envelope? A civil lawsuit was won against Emory. But the NCAA & bias media (including LHL) NEVER highlight that lawsuit because it does not add to their attack against UK.

    1. Kokamo Joe

      The role of the press is not limited to exposing every little problem or acting as cheerleader. We need both. The Danville Advocate provides us with story after story about the inside workings of the Kentucky athletic programs. Parents are interviewed. Calipari’s words and events are reported. Ex players are written about. We can read story after story that is positive about UK. Yet, I am convinced that if we ever have a coach who cheats or a player who does something which would embarrass the University the Advocate would not sugar coat the issue.

      Tipton? I read many positive stories by him in the LHL. I read some where he questions the program. My question would be this. Has Tipton’s stories ever harmed recruiting or any UK program. I don’t believe that it has. Until that really happens, I could care less. Some seem to get bent out of shape because any thing that is not positive rubs the nerves raw.

      1. King Ghidora

        Oh absolutely he has hurt UK recruiting. He reports some positive stuff. But he is so anxious for a scandal he slobbers all over himself trying to create one. He wants to ride that scandal gravy train to a national sports reporter gig. He’s wanted it for decades. He’s never going to get it. As for his reporting hurting UK he wrote a story claiming that 4 schools set the standard for excellence in college basketball and UK wasn’t one of them. What an idiot. What a back stabber. That stuff gets read by recruits. Tipton definitely hurts UK. He does it deliberately and he tries very hard to get it done.

        1. King Ghidora

          BTW Tipton wrote that article in 2011. So he knew what Calipari was doing in Lexington. He just plain hates UK period. He called Duke and UNC the greatest programs. He continually berates UK for supposedly cheating yet never mentions the outrageous scandals on Tobacco Road. Both Duke and UNC have had mind boggling scandals in recent years but Tipton doesn’t notice just like his buddies in the national press. When you play people who aren’t eligible and don’t seem to care that’s bad. When you give out fake grades for fake classes you get a huge penalty from the NCAA – unless you’re UNC basketball. The funny thing is their football team got punished for the same thing but the NCAA said the whole scandal fell under university control. What a joke.

  13. David

    Rupp vs Bear Bryant…even after the Bear left UK, Bryant didn’t START recruiting black kids until the early 70s (after UK was the first integrated football squad and Rupp had suffered some black kids passing on playing at UK until 1969)…yet the national media blasted Rupp as a racist (quite unfairly) while giving a pass to Bryant and stating it was just his circumstance that precluded him recruiting black kids…when in fact Bryant once stated that black kids didn’t have the mental capacities to understand a complex offensive system…until his team got wiped by USC…what is forgotten is that Rupp not only had visiting teams come into Lexington with black players, but also replaced teams from the SEC that refused their NCAA bids because they would have to play teams that had black kids on their rosters…hmm…the national media is a propaganda outlet and should be treated with a grain of salt…if they can create lies around basketball and football coaches, what other lies can they propagate?…Many…but Rupp coaching black kids in the 30s always gets pushed aside…and don’t forget….Don Haskins of UTEP was derided by some in the black community for “using black kids for his own success” (a sly nod to slavery)…lose lose situation for coaches back then…the media continues with Calipari and building him up to be the bad guy…

    1. King Ghidora

      What other lies? How about “you can keep your own insurance plan.” I know it’s a different area but they helped perpetuate that one and it was a whopper. They had to know there was evidence that plans would be cancelled. Obama did. He knew in 2010. I don’t like either political party BTW but the media sure does.

  14. Little Baron

    If anyone does not think that Tipton has had a negative impact on UK – whether recruiting or influencing other media members or fueling the NCAA with fodder for an unjustified penalty – there is no need to even try to help that person understand or see the truth.

    1. King Ghidora

      Probably right LB.

  15. Little Baron

    This article really got the responses. If anyone missed it, just read the article, the first 2 posts and the most recent posts by The Professor & GPM. You will have the essence, he facts and the truth highlighted. Nearly every post is on target, but those few hit on all cylinders.

    A great article to initiate a major topic about UK! Thanks to VV for posting it!

  16. LoveCB

    In all fairness and full disclosure, I am not a UK fan. Respect them and greatly miss the annual december game between IU and UK, but do not like UK. However, I am here to say that vilifying Coach Cal is not fair or warranted. The rule is the issue. Cal is working well within his rights. With that said, I think UK fans should avoid getting too defensive here and over compensating by saying that Cal is providing a service to these kids. Saying that Cal is taking these kids and helping them better their lives is a bit much. They would likely get drafted if they went to ANY schools since they would possibly get drafted right out of HS. No, in reality, Duke, Kentucky and now UK are maximizing their opportunities by taking advantage of a rule. Nothing more, nothing less. Not worthy of praise or punishment. It is what it is.

    It does come with a cost though. KU has slowly turned into UK-lite (not my line. It came from my buddy Barney who is a KU grad/fan). Last year, KU had a very, very good team that was a title contender. However, with one and done misses with Josh Selby and Xavier Henry, KU robbed itself of having two much needed veteran leaders on that team last year. In the place of Selby and Henry, KU could have very easily gotten top 50 four year players for those scholarships.

    I have also had some of my good friends that are UK fans tell me that they love winning, but they miss the connection with the players. That it doesn’t feel the same when you’re turning over wholesale every year. Last week, Victor Oladipo, a three and done with a degree, hosted the IU Alumni Association in Orlando at the Magic’s arena. I think that type of connection and pride is what makes college basketball great. Titles are titles and they are great, but I think some of our best programs are trying to short cut to get more of them. I think we all deserve better, especially the fans of those teams.

    I hope they remove the rule and make it more like college baseball. I think it will help college basketball and also help improve the quality of the NBA.

    Enjoyed the discussion.

  17. Anonymous

    Just so accurately describing Tipton, in case you missed it, or forgot it…
    King Ghidora says: Oh absolutely he has hurt UK recruiting. He reports some positive stuff. But he is so anxious for a scandal he slobbers all over himself trying to create one. He wants to ride that scandal gravy train to a national sports reporter gig. He’s wanted it for decades. He’s never going to get it. As for his reporting hurting UK he wrote a story claiming that 4 schools set the standard for excellence in college basketball and UK wasn’t one of them. What an idiot. What a back stabber. That stuff gets read by recruits. Tipton definitely hurts UK. He does it deliberately and he tries very hard to get it done.

  18. Gene T.

    Funny how Kansas, Duke Louisville, Indiana, Mich St etc: all recruit the same elite players, but when they go to UK they blame Coach Cal for the One and done. It really is only the stupid fans and the media. those Coaches know they tried, but were beaten out by Cal. look at the recent recruits at Kansas, and Duke, they got some one and done players finally. Let’s see what is said about those cry baby coaches now. Louisville is still trying to get the elite, but still come up short.

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