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NCAA Vacation of Records Penalty


All the hoopla that arose from UK’s celebration of Calipari’s 500th win caused a lot of discussion on why NCAA chose this specific incident to finally enforce the rule regarding vacated wins and coaches records on this specific coach and school.  As has been noted here several times, UK fans have made sure to point out the others schools that have went against the ‘official’ record, and noted there hasn’t been notification that they need to correct everything because of the vacation of records penalty levied against the coach and/or program.

An article (linked below) took the time to examine this issue, even catching up with a former NCAA committee member to get the scoop.  While the current NCAA members have been withheld from discussing the issue with the media, there was a statement regarding how and why this penalty (as in the letter to UK) is used:

It is designed to punish the direct perpetrators of rules violations (often current or former coaches or athletes) instead of their successors and innocent bystanders, as many argue that other penalties — such as reduced scholarships or postseason bans — do.

Josephine R. Potuto, a constitutional law professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a former chair of the Committee on Infractions, spoke with this site regarding the issue.  She had this to say:

“The committee kept on hearing a lot that taking away scholarships was unfair and that taking away competition was unfair because they punish kids who weren’t there at the time of the infraction,” Potuto said. “By the way, I don’t like that argument. Penalties will always hit people who weren’t there at the time. Still, we asked if there were penalties that would focus on the conduct of the wrongdoers, and we found vacation was one of those penalties.”

“It’s absolutely imperative that when a body imposes a penalty, it ensures that those penalties are followed,” Potuto said. “Suppose a school was told that it should limit the number of scholarships by five for a season, but it went ahead and filled those five scholarships anyway. That wouldn’t be acceptable…. If a school flouts a penalty, it’s extremely troubling.”

The article also noted that Potuto was strongly in favor of enforcing the penalty no matter what it took.  That’s fine.  Good.  Great.  Grand.  Everybody on the bus?  Okay, now let’s see some letters to ensure enforcement and acknowledgement across the nation so that the NCAA can at least attempt to correct some hypocrisy.

Sidenote: the article features quotes from another former chair of the Committee on Infractions, Gene A. Marsh.  I found this hilarious:

“In my part of the country, way down here [in Alabama], folks still just care, ‘Did we beat you on the field?’ Then, if X number of years later there’s an asterisk in a media guide, they just don’t care: ‘We still whupped you.’ Some people who are more fastidious, maybe nerdy, might pay more attention to what the paperwork says, but other people operate more by gut and just care if they whupped you on the field.”

My view on this goes a little something like this:  When UK celebrated Calipari’s 500th win, no matter what the NCAA says, Coach Cal was the coach of the team who had the higher score when the final buzzer sounder 500 different times.  That is reason enough to celebrate and can’t be taken away, even if it doesn’t go down in the record books as such.

full article here: “Pretending They Didn’t Happen”

Article written by Chris Thomas

19 Comments for NCAA Vacation of Records Penalty

  1. tdogg4033011
    5:44 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Calipari still won the games, HE DID NOTHING WRONG ….. not his damn fault!!!

  2. Han
    6:13 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    God, I hate it when people, usually players and coaches at schools under probation, complain that they’re being punished for the mistakes or transgressions of people who aren’t even there any more.

    Case in point, ESPN had USC’s quarterback all over the place this offseason, and he used this whine, and commentators agreed with him. Well, first of all, let’s all agree that Reggie Bush being blamed as being the only cheater and doing it behind the back of all the coaches is silly. Even if he’s the only one they caught, odds are either he wasn’t alone, or the coaching staff knew.

    Second, USC dominated football during that period. They dominated for a decade. Pete Carroll has largely skated on blame, as have most of the other people involved (does anyone think current coach Kiffin, with his history of breaking rules, didn’t do some things while there?). But what is important is that everyone still remembers USC was dominant, and that’s part of the reason they still recruit well. The recruits they have are there because they grew up watching Bush and others on TV, and they were on tv all the time because of how good they were. The school still benefits from those games, vacated or otherwise, bonuses returned or otherwise. Players that come to schools under probation usually know something’s about to go down, or already has, and they go anyway.

    Anyone who goes to Ohio St right now knows there’s a real risk of major penalties. Sure, the coach is gone and so is the scapegoat Pryor. Sure, the school may be doubling compliance personnel, but the program still broke rules and has irrevocably benefited because of it. (By the way, Compliance can only do it’s job if the coaches aren’t lying and keeping things secret. They aren’t detectives.)

    You punish the school going forward, and everyone associated with it or who joins it, because they allowed the rules to be broken and benefited from it. You want people there now to know what happened and not repeat it. They came there because of the tradition, more often than not, and the tradition includes rule breaking. Deal with it.

  3. George McCollom
    6:14 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Only problem with the enforcement in this case is that Calipari was one of the innocent bystanders… Seems like protection of the innocent is another one of those things that the NCAA does only if it feels like it.

  4. matthew hh
    6:37 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    national lampoon’s vacation is a classic! one of my all time favs! clark griswold rules

  5. Dave
    6:43 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Potato, Potuto. Bet she gets that a lot.

  6. Mr Schwump
    6:45 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    It’ll be a cold day in hell before OSU and UT get major penalities, just won’t happen.

  7. pccatsfan
    6:48 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    As most of the BBN has said, we just want the NCAA to enforce the rules equally. Unless they address this with the many other “violators” that have been identified, it was a Calipari witch hunt, plain and simple.

  8. jim
    6:52 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Duke says “we don’t need no stinkin’ vacates. NCAA rules don’t apply to us!”

  9. Bob Loblaw
    7:02 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    It’s time for the NCAA and tipton to disappear. This has become childish on the NCAA’s part.

  10. Han
    7:19 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    7) Most people have already forgotten about that issue and moved on, hoping for recruiting news. The NCAA, by ignoring the tons of examples produced in letters and by sports columnists, just had to wait til our attention spans gave out. No one’s clamoring for the NCAA to follow-up on this now. They won as usual because no one can hold them accountable.

  11. Scratchingmyhead
    7:37 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    If Coach Cal was never found guilty of the violations then why must he be punished with vacating wins? If Josephine R. Potuto arguments are correct “It is designed to punish the direct perpetrators of rules violations” then it looks like the NCAA missed the mark again. Coach Cal was found not “a direct perpetrator of rules violation”. So the NCAA went out of it’s way to punish an innocent man.

  12. Larry
    8:02 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    N ever
    C aught
    A cting
    A stute

  13. cracka
    8:33 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    shouldn’t the ncaa clearinghouse be docked a win or something here???

  14. schwing
    8:45 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    her argument’s stupid. if i get a speeding ticket, who else is hit with a penalty who wasn’t there at the time?

  15. FattyMcButterpants
    10:18 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    # 10 and 11, your well stated logic made me hungry. Excellent points. Ice cream time.

  16. Megan
    1:18 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    If you cheat on a test to get an A, you can claim you got an A. And you can celebrate. But that makes you a liar. And you look rather pathetic every time you defend the accomplishment and its celebration.

    Keep that in mind whenever KSR argues, as it does here, that a win is a win “no matter what the NCAA says.” That every win is worth celebrating no matter how it was won. It’s that kind of willful blindness and perverse reasoning that lets baby killers go free.

  17. Musehobo
    6:14 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    Megan) If this was a steroids issue your metaphor would make sense. For example, Marcus Camby taking money from boosters doesn’t help him win basketball games. Come up with one that fits the situation more accurately.

  18. Johnny Boy
    9:26 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    These vacation penalties are useless. They do not hurt a coach. They do not hurt the player. They do not hurt the agent. They hurt no one.

    The only real outcome is that the NCAA looks idiotic and petty.

    This is nothing more than a slap in the back of someone’s head as they’re walking away. And one that misses the marks, just barely causing the hair to move as the winds caused by the swing passes.

    The NCAA can’t think of a better idea than this? Truly? Then they are more worthless than even I thought.

    The only way to cause the Schools pain is to enforce monetary penalties. That’s it. There is no other way.

    School gets caught cheating. School pays a fine. That will make the school pay closer attention to enforcement.

    In cases like Maggette, Camby, Rose and that guy at Kansas whose name I can’t remember, it would help if the NCAA were to be consistent. Those three cases are virtually the same. Someone paid them or helped them become eligible.

    I don’t think that the NCAA knows that a word such as consistent exists.

    They let Duke off the hook while slamming UMASS and Memphis and altogether ignoring the Kansas affair. Consistent?


    In the end, how can you blame a school or a coach for the deeds of agents. Camby was paid. He wasn’t paid by Calipari. Wasn’t Calipari the person who reported that Camby was paid. Rose was assisted in becoming in eligible. He was cleared by the NCAA. The NCAA turns around and penalizes Memphis for this. Who in the NCAA was penalized for clearing Rose in the first place. Apparently, they did no investigation on Rose before they cleared him. They should have penalties levied against them as well.

    The NCAA punishes only those who are not darlings. They penalize only those who will cause a public outcry of support for their actions. They will never go up against K or Roy/UNC. The Boosters at Duke are totally out of control and everyone knows it. The NCAA closes their eyes to it.

    Until the NCAA cleans up their own house, I don’t see how they can judge anyone.

    But that’s never been the way of the Good Old USA. We tend to do what the Muslim Dictators do. We turn all eyes outward away from our iniquity in order to keep anyone from realizing that the problem is actually us or in this case the NCAA itself does this. Camouflage, cover and concealment. That’s all most of this nonsense is.

    Follow the money…

  19. Johnny Boy
    12:45 pm July 11, 2011 Permalink

    megan, that was so idiotic that you must be a Duke fan.