By LARRY VAUGHT
ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale took time on a call with national media members Teusday to blast those who accuse Kentucky coach John Calipari of cheating or breaking NCAA rules Ã¢â‚¬Å“when he has not ever been charged with cheatingÃ¢â‚¬Â by the NCAA.
Vitale pointed out that Derrick Rose was declared eligible twice at Memphis when Calipari was there before being ruled ineligible a year after the Tigers reached the Final Four. The NCAA made Memphis vacate its wins from that season.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What school in America would not play Derrick Rose if they (the NCAA) tells you he should play? Then come back and vacate the Final Four and knock off all theÃ‚Â wins. Give me a break. You told that kid he can play. I have a problem with that,Ã¢â‚¬Â Vitale said,.
He also wondered why many blistered Calipari when Massachusetts had to vacate its Final Four berth after it was revealed that player Marcus Camby had an agent and the same barbs have not been aimed at football coaches Nick Saban of Alabama or Urban Meyer of Florida for similar situations.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yet John is crucified,Ã¢â‚¬Â Vitale said.
Vitale also took a few shots at the NCAA for not making a decision on Kentucky freshman Enes KanterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eligibility.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have a real problem with that. I cannot understand or comprehendÃ‚Â decisions that drag out as long as they do. But to drag it out all this time and affect kids, schools, alumni? You do not have to be a Rhodes Scholar to analyze material and see if a kid is eligible. l think it is a joke and comical. It is a joke. It is an embarrassment to our sport.Ã¢â‚¬Â