Hey, John Calapari! I know you were very eager to pack up your stuff and get down to your new, better gig at Kentucky, but I think that in your haste you may have left something behind in Memphis. An NCAA investigation into a fraudulent SAT test!
So that's what he was hiding behind The Door. The allegations include "knowing fraudulence" (that's really a word! I looked it up.) or "misconduct" on an SAT exam by a player on the 2007-2008 team, and that they also provided over $2,000 in free travel to an "associate" of that same player. The player's name is redacted in the letter sent by the NCAA to Memphis and obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, but he only participated in that one season—which included 38 wins and a national championship appearance—so that pretty much narrows it down to one-and-done Tiger hero Derrick Rose.
There are many people out there who are of the opinion that Calipari is a slimy no-good swindler and this just makes his convenient shuffle on down to Kentucky (more on them later) that more more slippery. Those people will be happy to know that Calipari was not named in the letter and will face no repercussions. Neither will current coach Josh Pastner or anyone one else on present or future Tiger teams. Rose is long gone, so they can't touch him. So what, you might be asking, is the point? Well, if the Tigers are found guilty it's possible that they will be forced to "vacate" their record 38 wins from that year, taking away the four-year win record that belonged to this year's senior class, give up a Conference USA championship, I suppose, and also take down any Final Four banners that they may or may not have. In other words, nothing.
As I've noted before, vacated wins and records are a common NCAA punishment that actually punishes no one. Remember, this is a "major" violation, but both Calipari and the Memphis athletic department were adamant that no one currently in college basketball will be scarred by this. So if the allegation is true, it means that Memphis helped a player who had no intention of ever graduating cheat so he could enroll in school for one year, then he helped the school to its greatest season ever and skipped town with no repercussions to anyone except the stat guy who has to buy more erasers. The Memphis golf team (which is also part of the investigation) will probably suffer more.
Seriously, great job all around.
Report: NCAA accuses Memphis Tigers of violations [Memphis Commercial Appeal]
Geoff Calkins: Allegations like this come with the Calipari territory [Memphis Commercial Appeal]
Report: NCAA accuses Memphis men's basketball of major violations [ESPN]