Sports

Dan Shaughnessy Should Be Punched For Taking Steamy Dump On John Calipari And UMass

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One of the defining moments of my childhood was watching UMass makes it’s run to the Final Four in 1996. It was awesome. And none of it would’ve happened without Coach John Calipari. He took a somewhat irrelevant college basketball school and got them to #1 in the country. Of course he left for the NBA the next year, sucked, came back to coach Memphis, did the same thing there, left, and now coaches at Kentucky. And all he’s done at those schools is recruit the best of the best and make Final Fours.

Naturally then Dan Shaughnessy at the Boston Globe has a problem with thisin light of the fact this week in Amherst and Boston:

“Our guys are going full steam ahead with the two-day event to honor a man who oversaw a program that broke rules and treated academics as an afterthought.”

Stop the presses!!! Are you telling me that a division 1 basketball school didn’t make academics a priority????!!!! You’re telling me that a coach participating in a multibillion dollar industry, that profits off of free labor, treated academics as an afterthought??? How is that even possible?

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“That was one of the more thrilling sports stories of 1996 and it remained a wonderful memory right up until it was learned that star player Marcus Camby already had turned professional while he was still playing for UMass. Camby had a couple of agents and had been the recipient of cash, thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, and the services of prostitutes while he was playing for coach Cal.”

OK, point me to the part where Calipari did something wrong. Newsflash – LeBron James had a hummer in high school. Did he pay for it then? Nope. But everyone knew he was going pro anyway, so no one had a problem fronting him for a hummer. Same exact thing with Camby. He’s repaid every penny he ever took from boosters, because those boosters knew he was going to be a top 5 overall pick making millions of dollars by that time next year.

But none of that is Calipari’s problem. Did Calipari know Camby was getting paid? Yea, you’d have to be a moron to think he had no clue. But it’s not his job to care or ask. It’s his job to recruit and coach basketball. It’s the NCAA’s job to investigate and make sure that they are the only ones profiting off of Marcus Camby’s immense talents.

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“There was more. UMass players’ transcripts obtained by the Globe in 1994 indicated that there was a significant problem in the classroom: Camby and three teammates played while they were on academic probation. Last March, Steve Satell, a former tutor for the UMass basketball program, told the New York Times, “Coach Calipari could have created a great academic program, but he ruined it. And the university was absolutely complicit.’’ A Connecticut AAU coach who delivered many players to Calipari at UMass told the Times that Coach Cal’s recruiting philosophy was, “If you qualify, we want you. If you don’t, we still want you.’’”

Oh wait, you mean these athletes, who specifically are brought to the school to play sports and make money for the university, aren’t as academically qualified as the rest of the student body? Go figure. But yea, this stiff is right – UMass could’ve created a great academic program, that would’ve had a great rivalry with Columbia and Brown.

Most importantly, Calipari exposed these kids to a world they’d never seen. Marcus Camby was from the mean streets of Hartford. His NBA career is done, but because of college basketball he was placed in an environment that was completely new to him. Now he’s a well spoken, seemingly educated man with a lot of money. How is this a bad thing?

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Newsflash – Nick Saban, Jim Calhoun, and Jim Boeheim don’t give a shit about academics either. Their job is to make sure these guys sign up for the most basic classes they can, get tutors who help them out, and make sure they don’t get arrested.

A lot of people criticize Cal for coaching a “one and done” factory at Kentucky. Highly recruited NBA prospects come to Kentucky for a year to get exposure and maybe win a national championship. But they hardly ever graduate. So….who gives a shit? As we’ve seen from all these protests all over the country and some of the wackjob professors teaching at them, a college degree might be the most overrated thing going right now. Would you rather they major in women’s studies and occupy Wall Street after they graduate? Or how bout they focus on doing what they need to do to enter the industry that can make them multi-millionaires – professional basketball. Nah, that makes too much sense.

I would say that Calipari cares more about his kids then some of these self righteous coaches who focus on graduation rates. Cal knows the NCAA is exploiting them. He knows they have a shot to become financially stable for the rest of their lives if they get paid to play instead of working for a twin bed and free cafeteria food. So he tells them to do what is best for them – come to Kentucky for a year and go pro. He uses them, and they use him, and the UK fans benefit as a result of it.

I wish this is what UMass was like. Instead the team I love makes one NCAA appearance in 16 years, then goes right back to sucking again. Because at the end of the day it’s not an easy sell to get some star recruit to come to Amherst. But somehow Calipari made that possible and Dan Shaughnessy is taking a steamy dump all over him. Shut up Dan.

 

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5 Comment(s)
  • tim
    December 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Cal takes five kids a year, and they’re basically all sure things. There’s no risk that the KY guys are going to end up exploited and broke. Even Donta Bright from UMass ended up playing abroad for years (third best player on the team) and Cal didn’t have his model tuned up yet

  • anon
    December 15, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    So what you are saying is Coach Cal is ok because he is a better scumbag than the other scumbag coaches. He was corrupt but that is just dandy because he coached the team I like.

    You are correct, they would not have come to UMASS unless they were getting paid. We know Camby was paid well and the others were probably getting a nice handout. The payouts went down after he left so the quality of the players declined.

    Worked in the athletic department at a high major hoop/football school right out of college in the mid 90’s and no school is 100 percent clean but UMASS basketball was one of the worst at the time. Do a little research on why Calipari got in trouble when he was an assistant at Pitt if you want to learn about what type of person he is.

    • Chris Curtis
      December 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      If you could point me to the “scumbag” part, that would be great. He’s helping poor kids get to the NBA and coaching basketball. What an asshole.

      • Um
        December 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        Where is the 1996 championship banner? I didn’t see it at the last UMass game I was at.

        Oh, wait…

  • Spankster
    December 15, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED to find that schools make money off of their sports programs!!!

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