Written by Jonathan Mathis

More troubling, in the NCAA are scandals. It normally results in coaches providing unlawful benefits that manipulate an appealing superstar to develop and assimilate spotlight with one of the premier programs, it normally correlates to coaches making illegal phone calls to recruit athletes, and it normally involves coaches tempering unjustly to obtain talented prospects.

Flirting with athletic stars is one issue, but violating academic rules are deceptions and embarrassment to hunt down and punish universities with traditional pride, discarding memories of magnitude, which was glorifying to the Memphis Tigers the past few seasons.

They celebrated. They amassed victories. They energized an entire community. And they were dominant, obviously pounding opponents in Conference USA in lopsided fashions.

But years ago, the program was forlorn and unstable, as a disengaged atmosphere weren’t spirited, until John Calipari instituted a superb program and changed dynamics with his clever-minded structure and charisma. One reason he allured recruits and built a compelling program was his charismatic influence.

Another reason was Memphis possibilities of advancing far in the tournament as they have the last few seasons. Unfortunately, these games were never won legitimately, meaning the Tigers weren’t as pure as advertised. So winning never happened. Winning games was a sleaze, and accomplishing a glorious Final Four appearance was an asterisk.

Take away wonderful memories of Derrick Rose, who had a dazzling freshman season, leading the Tigers pass their long-suffering Elite Eight lapses. More imposing was the Tigers didn’t come up short, but came up dirty, smearing the universities image and ruining Calipari’s and Rose’s legacy.

More embarrassingly, they were one of the premier programs and committed one of the most outrageous scandals in college basketball. It wasn’t point-shaving, illegal recruiting or bribing a player, but was academic-fraud that forces Memphis to vacate its Final Four and 38 victories in 2007-08 seasons.

That’s literally a shame, when a student athlete corrupts an entire program for disgusting blunders that shamelessly confirms an infamous reputation among a prosperous program.

And now, Memphis is being stripped of their flourishing season and makes you think no more of the record-setting year, when they went an entire season 38-2 to overwhelm the NCAA committee and bracketologists.

You can tear pages out of the history books and dispose of them. Sadly, Memphis erroneously infringed a policy that’s prohibited among NCAA rules in accepting the ineligible freshman sensation Rose, who shamefully had someone take his SAT test as a high-school senior in Chicago.

So now, Memphis administration is scapegoats, taking critical punishment of someone else’s fraudulent violations. At least, you would have had confidence that Calipari wouldn’t retrace his infamous background.

Thirteen years ago, Calipari was identified as a con artist at Massachusetts. He never carefully evaluated the program, and acknowledged that he had no notion star player Marcus Camby was taken improper gifts from a sports agent until he admitted that he received imprudent benefits.

The NCAA was investigating UMass when Calipari opted to avoid further issues, joining the Nets as a coach and director of basketball operations. Instead of standing up, he ran from the scandal and cast shame on the Minuteman. Once again, Calipari was unaware of scams unlawfully pampering explosive guard Rose, who was named NBA Rookie of the Year and emerged into a well-rounded product.

If he can revive the Chicago Bulls, Chicagoans will forget academic-fraud was ever committed by the star-studded player. But, of course, the infractions remain eternally with Memphis athletics. They’ll face the most scrutiny, after never managing to take full accountability of fraud smearing its reputation. And for the rest of his life, fraudulent testing will hunt Rose.

Meanwhile, Calipari should have learned more about Rose’s eligibility and confirmed if he was acceptable academically. As investigators unmask facts of Rose’s sneaky habits to cheat on exams, his brother received $1,713.85 in forbidden benefits from the university. It’s tough to pull one over on the NCAA, particularly when suddenly Rose was granted college eligibility to take the SAT in Detroit.

Um! That’s strange, and hard to affirm after he repeatedly failed the ACT. It’s obvious he wasn’t a genius at test-taking, but a floor general who qualified to play after shaming himself to fulfill a life-long dream. And Calipari could’ve known and eluded the ramifications that were involved.

Besides standing up to wrongdoings, he rather forget about the infractions and not worry about past. Then again, maybe he had no indications that fraud was smudging the program. Spirited fans in Lexington will probably let depravity slide, understanding Calipari is an ambassador and savior in reviving aspiration at Kentucky, one of the premier college programs in the nation.

He might finally have a clear message for bypassing and staying conscious of what develops. He’s now running a much-demanding program with high expectations and traditional values. After all he’s the ambassador in Kentucky. But unfortunately, infractions were severe enough to vacate a miraculous season and Final Four memories.

Sometimes, you have to learn the hard way. And Calipari is one of them.

See more of Jonathan's work at SportsNation.


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