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Bloomberg examines Cal’s “grand experiment”

First, it was Forbes, then the Wall Street Journal, and the New Yorker. Now, Bloomberg is talking about how Cal has changed the sport of college basketball and how it has made him a target for the NCAA. Bloomberg’s sports editor Jonathan Mahler describes how the success of Cal’s “players-first” approach is making him enemy #1 in Indianapolis:

Rather than rethinking the collegiate model, the NCAA prefers to try to prevent Calipari from continuing to exploit an exploitative system. The organization has been after Coach Cal for years, and has almost got him on more than one occasion. Two of his four Final Four appearances have been erased from the record books: once when one of his players was found to have taken money from an agent, another time when one was discovered to have submitted fraudulent SAT scores. In both cases, Calipari himself was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The centerpiece of the organization’s latest rulebook overhaul, intended to make coaches more accountable for their players’ behavior, seems to have been written with him in mind. It’s hard to believe there aren’t pictures of Coach Cal and his top recruits thumbtacked to a large bulletin board inside a conference room at the NCAA’s Indianapolis headquarters.

Calipari knows he has a target on his back, as do his nominal superiors, who take every precaution they can to protect him. Kentucky’s assistant athletic director for compliance doles out tickets to the team’s games, vetting designated recipients to make sure they have no connections to prospective recruits or their coaches. Meanwhile, whatever classes Calipari’s players are taking, they’re passing them. Kentucky’s basketball program continues to meet the NCAA’s academic requirements.

Mahler, who recently authored a book about Joe Paterno’s tragic legacy in Happy Valley, called Cal’s approach a realistic “grand experiment” that is the total opposite of Paterno’s “school-first, sports second” view of college athletics. The comparison rings a bit odd after the Paterno scandal, and the piece has some serious sarcastic undertones about Cal’s methods (“Whatever classes Calipari’s players are taking, they’re passing them.”), but it does bring to light the NCAA’s hypocrisy and the need for change. Give it a click.

[Bloomberg: John Calipari’s Grand Experiment]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

28 Comments for Bloomberg examines Cal’s “grand experiment”



  1. Han
    12:34 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Hmm, players at another school are taking fake classes, but Cal catches heat (and outright lies from the likes of Bobby Knight) that his guys are supposedly taking easy classes.

    Even non one-and-dones usually take easy classes, especially their first year.



  2. NBA league pass
    12:38 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    “Paterno’s school-first, sports second view” LOL.
    Anybody that would be dumb enough to think that statement is true, and then imply that Coach Cal in some way is a worse person that a coach that allowed child molestation to go on under his nose for 10+ years…can kiss my a$$.



  3. Mack
    12:44 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Must of missed something in the article; didn’t seem all that positive toward Coach.



  4. ROBBIE
    12:45 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    I took easy classes when I could and I’ve got a doctorate. Who wouldn’t? I’m not clicking the link b/c I don’t want to give his site a hit when he clearly adores a guy who turned his back on child molestation. I don’t give a flying monkey’s arse what good things he did if he let that go on b/c his friend/assistant coach was involved



  5. Dear UL and IU fans, We are national champions; you are not. The end.
    12:48 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Not clicking that article.



  6. CliffFrankLou
    12:55 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    And the NCAA has as its first priority the student athlete? Riiiight…..that’s why they increased the number of games in the tournament and added more on class days, and send teams farther away from their campuses for greater travel…they are thinking of the student-athlete’s benefit from all this (not their ever deepening pockets). As for labeling what Cal is doing as a “grand experiment,” well, I’d say last year produced some significant results to confirm his hypothesis. It is no longer an experiment.



  7. I Say
    12:56 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Haters gonna hate



  8. BurnerTurner5
    1:00 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Caught a portion of the radio show this morning. Matt,Ryan and some callers were talking as if Ryan Harrow does indeed have mono. Yet new story after new story keeps coming up on this sight with no mention of it. WTF? Does he or doesn’t he?



  9. HarrowEnquirer
    1:15 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    @#8, Burner, I too would like to know for sure. Can’t find anything, anywhere on any of the UK websites. Looks like the UK staff would put out something so inquiring fans can know for sure and what to expect for the next game.



  10. Linda Taylor
    1:17 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    8 – I don’t think there has been any official word on that yet. People were just speculating and talking about if that is what he has what it might mean for him and the team.



  11. tyson
    1:25 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    I walked by Coach Cal at Dunkin Donuts this morning and he was giving an interview to a reporter. Get ready for another “It’s great for the fans if we win an NC, but if nobody gets drafted…” quote. I almost stopped and repeated it with him to the reporter.



  12. Andy
    1:29 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    I absolutely agree with the notion that the NCAA specifically tries to nail Cal……Cal and the NCAA do not like each other at all.



  13. U-Mass&Memphis
    1:38 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    What about those VACATED FINAL FOURS??????? Oh yeah, Cal had NO idea what was going on….must be the dumbest man alive.



  14. JungleFoot
    1:39 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    #12 – Why do you think Cal gets targeted by the NCAA? I am not so sure it’s a case of the NCAA picking on Cal since day one as much as it is the trail of destruction he’s left in his wake – whether we was involved in it directly or not – and the NCAAs desire to make sure everything is on the up and up. I am not a UK fan, but I know it has to be hard on him, the college, his players, to always face that scrutiny. Hard for his players to justify playing for a coach like that. I feel for them the most, regardless of how I feel about his one and done players. Deep down these kids are just trying to the best thing for their careers, the families. Blame the system, not them.



  15. theSkinny81
    1:42 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    13 – its common knowledge that haters post drivel without actually reading/observing/listening first. thank you for helping to reiterate the point.



  16. Dustin
    1:43 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    I understand wanting to show this guys ignorance to the BBN but why give him the clicks he is wanting, especially from a huge UK site?



  17. Dustin
    1:45 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    You are giving all the duchebag trolls that comme.t on this site more of a chance to do so



  18. Drakesrake
    1:48 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    14) “It must be hard for his players to justify playing for a coach like that.”

    Word. So many of them end up being multi-millionaires and NBA All-Stars. Gosh I feel so sorry for those guys!



  19. Drakesrake
    1:50 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    13) Nope- look one post below yours to find that person.



  20. Andy
    1:56 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    @14 the NCAA is a lot like the Republican Party, the nation has changed it is time to revamp the system. College atheletics has changed and to suspend a player because a “booster” gave someone a discount on a hotel rental that the player had no idea about is absolutely absurd.



  21. Kiddekat
    2:19 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    You know? All of this guilty because he can’t prove his innocence crap is unfair. I get so tired of hearing that Cal was run out of uMass and Memphis. Put yourself in his place and assume his innocence for just a moment. After the Camby incident came to light (whether he knew about it and hoped it would go away, or whether he was shocked by the disclosure, we do not know), he knew there was sure to be repurcussions. He left. Did he leave to dodge a bullet or simply to save the University embarrassment as well as his own career? We can only speculate. But the worst part is how many people think he left Memphis to avoid another scandal. Folks he left Memphis to coach at one of his dream schools. No other reason. If the job at Kentucky had not been offered, he would probably still be at Memphis to this day. He had already recruited Wall, Cousins and other great players for 2009-10 – they followed him to UK. Plus, the group he signed the following year did so to play for him – not Kentucky. Had he stayed at Memphis, that group would have given the Tigers a Final Four appearance. And last year’s team might very well have gone undefeated and given Cal his 40 and 0 year at Memphis (no Indiana and no Vandy on the schedule). Until the NCAA can prove that he did something to be ashamed of, I shall continue to give him the benefit of the doubt. Let the haters be negative, I am glad that UK helped him fulfill a dream, as he has helped me to fulfill mine. That being, UK once again atop the Mount Everest of college basketball.



  22. Bob Loblaw
    2:22 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Not sure why everyone thinks these guys should be taking classes like organic chemistry. I know for a fact that Deron Feldhaus took mostly PE classes.



  23. JungleFoot
    2:44 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    21… I don’t think he was run out of those towns. I think he left for bigger and better opportunities, which we all do. I was just responding to #12 who said the NCAA was on a witch hunt, out to get him. I simply offered some reasons why they are on him, why they investigate stuff with Noel and others when there are whispers of foul play, improper benefits, contact, etc. I’m glad you have faith in your coach and his innocence, but deep down in your KY blue heart, you have to feel just a tad worried.



  24. Jughead
    3:22 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares? Everyone knows they are here to play ball. This Bloomberg nimrod wants to play pretend and crap on Cal?



  25. CliffFrankLou
    4:05 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    #20 not a valid comparison. Remember, it is the NCAA that wants to extract everyone’s money to be their own and supposedly to serve the greater good. Now, that sounds like…..



  26. Yngvie Malmsteen.
    4:09 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    People will keep writing these chit articles as long as you keep linking them and generating hits.



  27. goUKats
    4:32 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t compare NCAA Football and Basketball.The NFL does not have a one and done rule.Footballers have to stay in school three years,so their academics have to be a little tougher unless they are at that bastion of higher learning UNC Chapel Hill.



  28. kycatman
    10:37 pm November 15, 2012 Permalink

    @21, Very well put my man, I am with you 100% on your opinions and dream. Whenever I watched the movie titled “The Hunger Games”, I thought of Mark Emmert and and how he could be running something like this in the future. He is a sad man that does not belong in his position at all. I wish we could vote in Jay Bilas for president of the NCAA so we would have someone with intelligence. Just my .2 worth.
    Go Cats!!!!!!!! Go Cal!!!!!!!!