ESPN continues its “All SAT, All the Time” phase by reporting that Robert Dozier’s SAT score was invalidated before his impending entry into the University of Georgia. The column by Marc Schlabach (a Georgia grad incidentally) goes into detail about how Dozier’s score was flagged (by an absurdly high score) and the SAT board ended up determining it was not legitimate. The test happened while verbally committed to Memphis, but he changed that commitment and ended up signing with Georgia. Who is to blame then, Memphis or Georgia? Schlabach seems to suggest Memphis, even though they only admitted him after he had attended a prep school and taken a new SAT. Thus the SAT taken by Dozier never went through the Memphis admissions staff. But hey, who cares about facts?
This much is true to me. If anyone provides proof that Calipari, or even a member of his staff, had a role in the decision for players to cheat deliberately on the SAT, then that would be grounds for harsh NCAA penalties and even dismissal as a coach. That is simply not something that can be tolerated. But linking the Rose and Dozier incidents to Calipari still hasnt been done and all reporters are engaging in a logical fallacy….”because these are the only two we know about, then these must be rare and showcase Memphis had a role.” It could be the case (unfortunately) that hundreds of kids cheat on the SAT (they do) and that many of them are athletes (likely). It could also be the case that if you shine a light on a program the way the NCAA (and ESPN) has in recent months, you could find such issues at many other schools. It could also be the case that in the situation of Rose, Memphis didnt do enough due diligence in its admissions department and in the case of Dozier, should have made a different decision (even though Dozier was cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse) considering Georgia’s initial decision (which by the way was made because they had just been investigated for, and found guilty of, academic fraud by the NCAA…a fact that the Georgia grad conveniently left out of the ESPN story and its praising of the Georgia admissions staff). Or it could be the case that Memphis coaches set up a system for their incoming players to cheat on the SAT. In theory any of those could be true.
To some commentators (Forde, Bayless, Cowherd), it seems that not only is the last option the only plausible one, it is the correct one…whether factually supported or not. That is their story and they are sticking to it, and Calipari’s name (and UK’s by implication) will be dragged through the mud in the process.