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Vitale defends Calipari, blasts NCAA over Kanter delay


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 “when he has not ever been charged with cheating” 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.

“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 the  wins. Give me a break. You told that kid he can play. I have a problem with that,” 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.

“Yet John is crucified,” Vitale said.

Vitale also took a few shots at the NCAA for not making a decision on Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter’s eligibility.

“I have a real problem with that. I cannot understand or comprehend  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.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/vitale-defends-calipari-blasts-ncaa-over-kanter-delay/


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  1. Patrick Williams

    D*** Vitale still has a long way to go before I want to hear his opinion. Sure he’s all about UK and the players and coaches and fans now, but what about when Tubby left? He was brutal, unfair, and shallow. Like a reed blown in the wind, his opinion changes with the seasons.

  2. bigbluefans4uk.com

    He simply wants to be marching at the front of the parade that left without him 3 years ago.

  3. Eric

    I’m glad that the delay is getting some headlines, as it should. The season starts in two days!

    Vitale has what I call the ‘ratchet-effect’. Anything he says, you have to ratchet down two or three notches. By being loud and boisterous, he is able to draw attention to himself, which appears to be the job of the modern day journalist (except Larry, of course).

  4. LindaS

    Vitalis talks with forked tongue. If this was his favorite, puke, he would be standing outside the NC2A headquarters demanding action. GO CATS! FREE ENES, PLEASE. Someone get Josh his own poster! Neuter Thamel!

  5. King Ghidora

    I’m shocked and amazed! Now he’s only 6,244 points down and what he has said about UK. If he keeps this up we might let him come back to Lexington again. ;)

  6. Jim Boyers

    Dickie V is now and always has been a lover of front runners. He is all about praising Crapolina, Puke and any other team that is influential in the world of college basketball. He has always praised UK, except for the comments about the Tubby situation. He is often TOO loose with complimentary adjectives, when speaking about players, coaches, teams and schools. I take everything he says for what it is…An attempt to get in good with whoever he is talking about at the time. I don’t hold it against him.

    The fact that he shows some common sense and support for Cal is a good thing. He has access to a lot more info than most of us. So for him to defend Cal, really shows that others are being unfair and ignoring the facts. But we already knew that.

    Looking forward to Friday night, with or without Enes. But the time has come to let the young man get on with his career, whether it be in college or getting ready for the pros.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  7. gmoyers

    He avoided even answering a Duke question on the teleconference. Made Bilas do it.

  8. Wheatgerm

    We’re about to test the rumor reported here recently, by someone claiming a source close to the team, that word on Kanter will come within a day of UK’s first game. The poster claimed that Calipari was concerned. So the watch begins tomorrow on whether this guy was simply blowing smoke or his source close to the team knew anything at all. Linda, stop calling for Thamel’s castration. Please. It’s not funny, it’s sick.

  9. Eric

    I wonder if the Cam situation, which makes the NCAA look inept, will effect the Kanter decison. Hopefully, the NCAA can separate the two and not let public perception influence them.

  10. Quash

    I am a steadfast optimist on this issue. It is always impossible to even so much as glean a prediction on what the NCAA will do. But after reviewing all of the publicly available information on the subject, I just won’t believe Kanter will be declared ineligible until it happens.

    All of the negativity surrounding the situation comes from reporters who have proven themselves to be sub-par and outright dishonest on occasion. I hold firm that due to the rule change Kanter will be cleared to play, and won’t sit any more games than he does waiting for a decision. How long will that scenario take to play out? No one knows, but that is just my uninformed optimistic opinion.


  11. LindaS

    @Wheatgerm, I am not calling for that, it is meant to take away his pens, paper, pencils and recorder. We have been through this before and I’m not going to get into it with you again. Don’t read my comments if you don’t want to see it. I’m an American Citizen and as such have my right to free speech, as well as he and the rest of the USA. He can write any lies, slander and rumors he wants. You too are covered by the same rights, and I appreciate your opinion but it will not change my mind. I will discuss this with you again. I also hope you thank a Veteran for those rights. There has been much worse written in comments and on the internet. GO CATS! FREE ENES, PLEASE! Someone get Josh his own poster. NEUTER THAMEL!

  12. LindaS

    that was suppose to read, I will not discuss this with you again.

  13. Jim Braun

    You say to much to frequently with to little content, Linda. It is no wonder you are being critiqued.

  14. Suziecat2

    Jim Boyers, I agree. Vitale is under the misconception that being in the winner’s circle somehow makes him a winner.

  15. Beth

    No wonder everyone thinks UK fans are ridiculous. Even when you have a talkin head like Dick Vitale who is supporting our team and Cal, you still ridicule him. So what if he blasted the fans when Tubby was ran out, they deserved it. People were puttin stuff in his yard and everything saying he should be fired, that’s just ridiculous. While we weren’t happy with Tubby’s recruiting and team’s performance, the man did not deserve the treatment he received. He had been nothing but a good figure to the UK program and outstanding citizen of Lexington and of KY. I am happy that someone with the standing like Vitale is publicly blasting the NCAA and everyone else who feels Cal is a cheater. It sure is a helluva lot better than what Forde and Thamel have to say. Whether you like him or not, Vitale is greatly respected in the college basketball world. So to have a Hall of Famer side with us, I’m happy about it. Yeah his love for the ACC is annoying at times, but at least he’s no Billy Packer or one of the CBS guys…avid UK haters. He loves comin to Rupp and he says that everytime he is there doin a game. Hate him or love him, he’s on UK’s side and that’s all I care about. Go Cats!

  16. King Ghidora

    Wow people have come unglued all of a sudden. Vitale absolutely did not limit his criticism of UK to those at the end of the reign of Smith. Does anyone else remember Vitale giving Cousins the label of “thug” last year and going out of his way to prove he was right despite massive evidence to the contrary? I could go on for hours. But what he did hurt Cousins badly and it was nearly as bad as what Thamel did. In fact it might be worse. Kanter will be able to move on with his life without the stigma of being known as a thug. Do you realize how much money that will cost Cousins in promotional money? Vitale got that ball rolling. Cousins put up with more junk than any 3 college players I’ve ever seen and he handled it incredibly well. He got punched in the privates deliberately and he didn’t throw a punch in response. Let me tell you that’s self control. Yet Cousins is still known as a hot head. From what I’ve seen he’s the absolute opposite of that. Vitale is no friend of UK period.

    BTW I’ve seen lots of comments that offered very little content here including those blasting another poster. How much UK content was in your post Jim? I won’t stoop to this level again and I apologize to Larry but sometimes people should stand up.

  17. Beth

    I’m pretty sure NBA scouts did not base their draft pick on what Vitale said. And Jay Bilas was the first to say he was uncoachable because of his experiences with him at a camp. In the beginning Cousin showed to be a hot head, but over time he showed he could handle himself by walking away from situations like Josh McFarland. Everyone had their own opinion of Cousins based on what they had heard from high school days, and Calipari and him yellin at each other on national tv didnt help to change anyone’s opinion. And from reports in Sacromento, he has butted heads with asst coaches already. UK fans know that Cousins is a good hearted guy, but people who were not involved with the team like our fans did not see that. So you’re giving Dicky V too much credit. I also recall him calling during the Hoops for Haiti to donate money and to praise Cal and UK for what they were doing. Isnt he honoring Calipari this year for his good works? He isn’t an avid UK hater like Seth Davis and Brando of CBS.

  18. gmoyers

    Vitale is indeed honoring Cal this year. Dick is a good guy. Trust me on that. He just likes to talk and is not afraid to voice opinions. He’s a great ambassador for players and coaches. Heck, they all love him. And he is taking up for Cal and Kanter here.

  19. Jim Boyers

    I’m with King on his final comment. We are ALL UK fans here and shouldn’t be blasting on each other because we don’t agree with someone’s opinion or style of writing. And I think that some of the funniest comments have no meaningful content. Linda is a true fan and doesn’t deserve derision for stating her opinions. I understand that some may have a problem with some of her statements, but she isn’t using vulgar language or trying to offend anyone. Bottom line is that Thamel has earned every bit of acid that is being spewed at him. Let her have her fun at his expense.

    This site has always been a place where people can state their views and not be made fun of or jumped on. Let’s try to keep it that way. I appreciate the comments and opinions that everyone leaves, but I don’t always agree with them. That certainly doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t leave them or care that I don’t like them. This site belongs to ALL of us.


    GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  20. Bryan.M

    I agree that it’s great to have Vitale standing up for Kanter and for Cal. As for him being a fan of the ACC, that’s his right. I enjoy listening to Vitale, even when I’m cringing as he speaks highly of Duke, partly because it reminds me that we have the right to freedom of speech. I’m reminded of the phrase “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

  21. KC

    I agree with the King. The day UK has to count on the likes of Bilas, Digger or Dickie V for any kind of support will be the day Kentucky has no real support.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!!!

  22. Beth

    Jay Bilas? He’s one of if not the only Dukie I can stand. He’s not biased towards UK like the rest of the Dukies. I loved what he had to say about UK in his post-college game day interview. Including that UK fans were better than any in the country, even over his Dukies.

  23. larry vaught

    Jay is very professional and unbiased as best he can be. It’s sort of like Larry Conley and UK. He can’t deny where he played, but I find Bilas pretty accurate with his opinions

  24. Tana

    Thanks, Larry, for sharing that Dick Vitale is ” a good guy” who is “a great ambassador for coaches and players.” That’s how I’ve always seen him. His love for college basketball and student-athletes, along with his efforts in fighting the dreaded disease of cancer, have always impressed me. Further, even though I don’t always agree with him, I admire his standing up for what he thinks is right, which is exactly what he’s doing here.

    Like Beth, I had been shaking my head as I had read some of the comments ridiculing Vitale. Here Vitale is going up against the popular Calipari bashing from some of his colleagues (yes, Pete Thamel, Pat Forde, etc.) and is staunchly standing up for our head basketball coach and one of our players. Then some of our fans bash/ridicule Vitale. Go figure.

    Too, while Vitale had passionately disapproved of what Beth had referred to, he had also praised Kentucky basketball fans’ passion. I had not agreed with everything he had originally said, but, again, he had been standing up for what he thought was right — something too few are willing to do.

    Again, thanks for your comments about Vitale, Larry. Vitale was treating Kentucky and its coach right here, and he deserved better than what he received in response, in my humble opinion.

    Finally, like Jim, I have enjoyed this site partly because of how people civilly express their opinions and do not insult or attack one another. Like Jim, I say that we are ALL UK fans and need to be united in that regard, rather than personally attacking individual fellow UK fans. Here’s hoping this site returns to those high standards.

  25. Earl Hensley

    Vitale likes a winner.

  26. King Ghidora

    Sorry guys but I still say Vitale is no friend of UK. I know Vitale didn’t originate the rap on Cousins. I never said that. What I said was he was the one who really got the ball rolling toward Cousins. He did the first national coverage game of UK last year and from the start he was on the case of Cousins. He made him out to be some kind of masher or something. And if he really knew basketball he would know that Cal has a long history of letting his players vent at him at times. That shouting match was not that big of a deal to Cal. Why should Vitale see it different than the coach? It’s the coaches job to discipline his kids. Don’t think for a minute that Cuz didn’t know what he could get away with.

    All I can say is did Cousins “ever” do anything to make people think he was a thug at UK? No he didn’t. They made a huge deal out of the deal with the knee to the head but they saw that a lot different than I did. Do they watch college basketball? They didn’t even notice the punch to Cousins’ head before the knee. In fact they didn’t notice that teams declared they were going to get Cousins ejected and none of them got it done. If you saw the Loserville game you know how terrible they treated Cousins. They rode him like a borrowed mule but Cousins never over-reacted. I’ve seen Pitino act far worse than Cousins ever did.

    Cousins took the biggest test of his self control any man can take. You women just wouldn’t understand. And he passed with flying colors. That’s a guaranteed fight 99% of the time but not with Cousins. He should have gotten a medal.

    And I never said that reputation would hurt Cousins with his salary. I said it would hurt his chances to be selling underwear somewhere down the road and it most certainly will. And just because he butted heads with some coaches means nothing. They could well have been trying to push his buttons to see what he would do. And don’t forget you’re talking about a league where players choke their coaches and attack fans in the stands. Getting irked at a coach is nothing. IMO Cousins has endurance issues and he has a lot of pride too. If he was pushing himself as hard as he could go and the coaches told him it wasn’t enough he could well get upset. I don’t know that story and neither does anyone here that I know of.

    Vitale has a long history of confrontations with UK btw. I wasn’t joking about him having an armed guard with him in Lexington once. He said some things and he had a lot of threats. I don’t hold with that but not many people get threats like that.

    I just don’t think Vitale is good for the game. He is so incredibly biased it’s insane. If you watched that video of him slobbering on about NC I don’t see how you could think otherwise. Sure he got paid to do it but why would they even think to ask him to do it? Does anyone think people in KY would choose him for a job like that? And the things he said about UK fans are just off the charts. I’m sorry but I don’t think anyone who tries to keep coaches from coming to UK is a friend of UK. He’s an enemy in my book and one mention of support for the Cats isn’t going to change that perception. I really think the national media has seen the writing on the wall with their biased coverage of the game. CBS got rid of Packer last year and now Vitale is taking up for UK. I think they started listening to the people who make college basketball what it is because Vitale has a horrible reputation among a LOT of fans. I don’t know the percentage. I don’t care. I just know what I think of him.

  27. LindaS

    King,I agree with you 100%

  28. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Dick Vitale is a friend of Dick Vitale. His love for Duke is completely transparent. Other than that, he has no love for UK or any other program, other than what he can take advantage of to draw attention to himself.

    He failed as a college basketball coach. He failed as a NBA basketball coach. His loud mouthed ranting and raving while novel at first have become more irritating that nails scratching on a chalk board. All of that has been true of his circus act before he decided to blast the Big Blue Nation, and before he decided to use his ESPN TV platform to tell all coaches that none of them should consider taking the UK job.

    Of course, we all see how effective that was, don’t we. Certainly with the great friendship that we are told exists between Vitale and Calipari, that Calipari would have at least been leary of the UK job, but that was not the case at all. After Tubby left, Calipari said he literally sat by the phone waiting for UK to call. When the news began to leak that Gillispie was toast, his people did not hesitate to let those who could decide at UK that Calipari wanted the job.

    The bottom line on Vitale is that he is a clown. He needs to paint his face before each broadcast that he does so that he can announce to all watching that his is nothing but a frivolous clown act, not to be taken seriously. In my opinion, the coaches around the land humor him, but that is the extent of their “public love affair” with Dick Vitale.

    Kentucky basketball does not need his support anymore than Kentucky basketball was damaged by his BS about the Tubby Smith situation. UK basketball is strong again because Tubby Smith is gone. UK basketball had slid into mediocrity while Tubby Smith was here.

    Now, Dick Vitale wants to march at the front of the UK parade with the members of the Big Blue Nation who have always wanted nothing but the best for this basketball program.

  29. TrueBlueJohn

    While I admit that sometimes Vitale gets under my skin, I can’t ignore that he is college basketball’s greatest ambassador. The man eats, drinks and lives college basketball.

    Things could be a lot worse. We could still have Billy Packer doing national broadcasts.

  30. gmoyers

    Professor, would love to see you and Dick in a boxing ring together. That would be fine.
    TrueBlue, love that last comment

  31. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Don’t know about a boxing ring, but a debate table, bring him on.

    Topic: Tubby Smith Was Good For UK Basketball.

    I have no doubt that I win that debate.

  32. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Of course, Tubby Smith was good for UK Basketball

    IF ….

    You are aligned with ….

    North Carolina






    The others in the SEC


  33. Bill Eversole

    Dick Vitale lost me when, on national tv, he called Kentucky fans “ignorant” because they were upset with Tubby the last few years he was at Kentucky. I felt that he, along with others, did not want Kentucky back doing what they were in the 90’s simply because he is first an ACC, and most especially, a Duke fan and secondly, because he would like to see Florida the dominant school in basketball in the SEC. Just my humble opinion and it will not changed even though I applaud Vitale for all he has done for many worthy causes.

  34. LindaS

    Larry, thought for one of your radio shows, The Professor and Dick Vitalis, even if Vitalis had to conference in!

  35. Suziecat2

    I am going to reiterate what has already been said. I would like to see more comments on the lead story and less about people who post their OPINIONS here.

    This time, Vitale is standing up for Cal and Kanter, have to give credit where credit is due.

  36. alwaysblue

    Linda, your “castration” comment is discrimination. You are a woman. If a man were to make a similar remark, he would be hauled into court and found guilty of sexual harassment. I despise what Thamel is but to advocate a John Wayne Bobbitt be performed on him (same thing) IS sick. Don’t ever go to Africa and see what they do to women. It will make you barf. For sure.

  37. Tana

    Perfectly stated, Suziecat2 — short and sweet. The lead story is about the present, and it surely seems to me, too, that credit is due here. Thumbs-up, Girl.

  38. King Ghidora

    But Vitale supporting UK is the lead story. Dog bites man isn’t a story. Man bites dog is a story. This is mad dog doesn’t bite Cats. Yep. He is the story IMO.

  39. ClassyCatFan

    The message the NCAA is sending to international players is very simple, “if you are good and want to play in the US at the college level, you had better sign with Dook University and our good friend Coach Krzxyskhfrwomntrski.”

  40. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Or west virginia, or oregon, or washington, or …

    But not UK

  41. gmoyers

    Let’s stay optimistic — as hard as that is to do

  42. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Larry, you are without a doubt the most optimistic person I have met about Kanter. I admire that.

    My optimism has turned to cynicism. I hope that you are right.

  43. bigbluefans4uk.com


    Take this for what it is worth, and given the source, it probably is worth less than the time it will take you to click on this link.

    Without going there, Marc Maggard says that Kanter can now practice with the team, and that a ruling on his eligibility will come by the end of November.

    I can’t find any primary source on the Kanter able to practice part, and I would think that UKAA would make a press release if that were the case.

  44. bigbluefans4uk.com


    Jeff Drummond, who I find totally reliable, is saying that Kanter has been given permission to practice. JD also says in a comment following this news item at BigBlue247 Sports today the following:

    “it sounds like they may have cleared him to practice with a decision pending on how many games he’ll have to sit out. I still get the vibe he will get to play at some point.”

    Larry, it does appear your optimism may prevail in the end.

  45. gmoyers

    Looks like I was wrong. Hard to believe $33,000 ended this

  46. bigbluefans4uk.com

    Well, the wait is over. Kanter is permanently ineligible.


    INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff has ruled University of Kentucky men’s basketball student-athlete Enes Kanter permanently ineligible for receiving benefits above his actual and necessary expenses while playing for a club basketball team in Turkey.

    The university will appeal the decision to the Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee at the end of the month. The reinstatement committee is the final appeal opportunity in the initial-eligibility process. It is independent and comprised of representatives from NCAA member colleges, universities and athletic conferences and can reduce or remove the conditions, but it cannot increase the conditions imposed by the staff.

    Actual and necessary expenses are defined by NCAA rules and generally relate to a player’s expenses directly necessary for practice and competition on a team. Some examples include meals and lodging directly tied to practice or competition, coaching, medical insurance and transportation tied to practice or competition.

    Kanter played three seasons with the Turkish sport club Fenerbahce from 2006-07 to 2008-09. Although he competed primarily for the club’s under-18 junior team, he did compete on the club’s senior team in 2008-09. According to facts agreed to by the university and the NCAA Eligibility Center, Kanter received $33,033 more than his expenses for the 2008-09 season.

    The new NCAA rule that allows prospective student-athletes to compete on teams with professionals while maintaining their amateur status prior to college applies; however, the bylaw states any such benefits cannot exceed actual and necessary expenses, which was the case here.

    “Enes took advantage of an opportunity to play at the highest level available to him, but the consequences of receiving payments above his actual expenses is not compatible with the collegiate model of sports that our members have developed,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs.

    The reinstatement staff considers a number of factors when deciding each case. These include the nature and seriousness of the violation; any impermissible benefits received; the student-athlete’s level of responsibility; any mitigating factors presented by the university; applicable NCAA guidelines; and any relevant case precedent.

    “We appreciate that the NCAA has an appeals process to allow this young man to defend the uniqueness of his circumstances,” said Mitch Barnhart, University of Kentucky director of athletics. “Enes is a great kid who is working hard in the classroom and enjoying being a college student. It is our hope that he will be allowed to continue his academic and athletic career at Kentucky.”

  47. Flacatz

    Kanter is ineligible and we will move on…. Personally I am extremely happy to have Big Josh in the middle with Vargas backing him up.. Between the 2 we will be deep into the season before we realize that oh yeah, Kanter would have been here too. Remember, Cal cleaned house when he arrived, by making it known that he will recruit over you and you need to earn the right to stay here and fight for it….. Big Josh EARNED from Cal the right to be here and he has shown incredible improvement in his, foot speed, shooting and ferocity around the rim. Vargas as a Cal recruit shows that with only 2 years left after transfer, he is what Cal anticipated to fill a need.

    We will be alright, we will be fast and we will kick some serious buttocks… FREE BIG JOSH and let the Big Man Run!!

  48. gmoyers

    Big Josh is indeed Free now and will have his chance to shine

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