Fans, media focus on Calipari after NCAA penalties

John Calipari
John Calipari

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - From newspapers to radio and television, former Memphis Tigers head coach John Calipari is taking a lot of heat.

"It was John's program, and it's John who was stripped from the Final Four," Commercial Appeal columnist Geoff Calkins said Friday. "Absolutely, he's to blame."

Some have been pointing the finger at Coach Cal since the men's basketball team was stripped of it's NCAA record 38 wins from the 2007-2008 season and forced to vacate its trip to the 2008 championship game for violations that occurred under Calipari.

"The notion that John Calipari would not know what Derrick Rose is doing to get himself eligible a month before he is to show up at the U of M campus is silly," Calkins said.

Eli Savoie, host of Sports 56 WHBQ, said he was getting an earful from listeners.

"The fact that he gets off Scott free, he's in Kentucky, his program vacates wins and he takes no penalty - that upsets a lot of people," Savioe said.

Even Kentucky newspapers are hearing from readers.

The Louisville Courier Journal said, "the NCAA could pin nothing on him, but in this move, it does appear to have stuck it to him.  It now has scrubbed away both of his greatest coaching accomplishments.  It has relegated his best career highlights to the cutting room floor."

The Lexington Herald Leader wrote, "to think the reputation of the University of Kentucky is not affected by news that Calipari has vacated two Final Fours is silly."

And, while the university does plan to appeal, "I don't think it makes a lot of sense to appeal, because I really believe the university was to blame here," Calkins said.

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