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Jay Bilas Joins the Calipari Defender Camp


See a lot of times you folks defame the Duke Law graduates of the world and blame me for people like Wojo and Laettner that make our collective skin crawl. But sometimes we have good insight and utilize our abilities for the good. Take this great (Insider) article from ESPN by a fellow alum and friend of KSR, Jay Bilas. He takes many of Calipari’s critics to task, including implicitly his fellow Bristolite Pat Forde. I cant reprint it all (although I wish I could), but here are a few highlights:

So far, the biggest target in this saga has been Calipari. Because we have this ridiculous notion that the head coach is responsible for everything that goes on in his program, Calipari is taking the blame even though his name is not even mentioned in the Notice of Allegations. Remember, the Notice mentioned the name of a representative of Memphis’ athletic interests over a single phone call. If the NCAA had anything on Calipari, it would have unloaded it in the Notice. It does not.

And later…

Call me old-fashioned, but I require established facts and evidence before I call someone a cheater. I am not naive about the way things work in basketball, because I see it every day. But there is a difference between the problems with the culture in the game and making specific allegations of academic fraud against an individual. We all share the blame collectively for what is going on in the game, but we should require more evidence and hard facts before we indict any individual.

So far, the only “evidence” against Calipari is that he was the head coach, and the head coach is responsible for everything that happens on his watch, that he was the head coach at UMass when Marcus Camby accepted money from an agent and the head coach is responsible for everything that happens on his watch, and he’s at Memphis and he lets Worldwide Wes and the FedEx CEO hang around his program.

And later…

And to continue to discredit Calipari with references to wrongdoing he played no part in is simply wrong. If there is evidence that Calipari knew about or participated in the alleged academic fraud, then bring it forward. Just mentioning Camby and a vacated Final Four appearance does not tell us anything about the current situation.

Maybe Calipari and Memphis had a part in this alleged wrongdoing. But maybe, just maybe, they did not. As reasonable people, we should establish the facts first. Just because the NCAA alleges something doesn’t make it true.

Until then, a deep breath and some perspective wouldn’t hurt.

Get em Jay! You are exactly right and once again show why you are the best in the business….

Article written by Matt Jones