Hey guys… KSR here. Long time, no talk, am I right?
I guess the last communication we had was our little tiff in Indianapolis following the Wichita State game. What a day that was. Hopefully we’re good now.
We know you have a lot on your plate and we haven’t been the best of friends lately, but I figured it was necessary to discuss the chrome pole in the room.
Today’s verdict sent shockwaves throughout the nation, and we feel the need to thank you for that. It gave us a plethora of content on the site, radio, and TV, along with an infinite supply of created memes and jokes to last us quite some time. We’re not the fondest of those guys an hour down the road, and neither is the Kentucky fan base. You guys helped spark that tension yet again.
You see, we’ve been on the tail end of jokes since Coach Cal arrived at Kentucky. Calipari was seen as a slime ball by opposing fans, a travesty waiting to happen in the recruiting department. There’s no way he could rake in all these five-star prospects legally, right? If you ask the average fan, good ole “PayPal Cal” was certainly going to put the Wildcats back on probation and any success “earned” would be erased from the record books.
Rick Pitino, aside from some replaced tablecloths at Porcinis, was seen by UofL fans as a guy that did it the “right” way. The Cardinals won games because of their relentless work ethic and energy. They were the blue-collar, “bring a lunch pail” guys you had so much respect for. The UofL program would never stoop so low to, dare I say, cheat.
Even Pat Forde wrote an elegant post following Calipari’s introductory press conference at UK talking about how we’d all see vacated wins and banners taken down in the near future. (You can read it here if you want to take a stroll down memory lane.) Who knew the Cards would be on the receiving end of said punishment, eh?
Eight years later, we’re the good guys. The UofL fanbase can never say a harsh word about the Wildcats again, it’d be like bringing a bendy straw to a knife fight. The only two words ever discussed again will be “strippers” and “banners.” The “Cal-8, Pitino 2…err 1” jokes aren’t even necessary anymore. The content has written itself.
Above all else, you laid the hammer on an absolutely disgusting matter that deserved exactly what it got. The NCAA reports showed 16 and 17-year old kids were pressured into these actions by Andre McGee. An assistant coach called out players for a bad practice because they had been with strippers all night. When you read through the entire NCAA report on the specific activities in Minardi Hall, it’s impossible not to shake your head in embarrassment and disgust. In my time discussing this verdict with UofL fans, the common statement sent my way was, “You wouldn’t be this hard on the matter if it was your team.” The thing is, I absolutely would. The majority of the Kentucky fanbase would. I would expect the book to be thrown at my program, the same way it was thrown at UofL. It was unequivocally one of the most repulsive matters in NCAA history.
All regular season and postseason wins from 2010 through 2014 that included any ineligible players will be erased. Two banners in the Yum Center will be coming down. Any and all trace of said victories in the form of trophies, record books, and media guides must disappear.
You guys certainly made the right call today and we appreciate you for that.
With that, I’ll admit it, you guys have screwed up horribly on some of your past decisions. Enes Kanter’s eligibility, not allowing active military members come back and compete in the college ranks, the nitpicky violations on insignificant matters, etc. Hell, the entire idea that college athletes should be paid is one of the most heavily debated topics in the world of sports. There’s still some ground to make up.
Today’s decisions, however, proved the new leadership on NCAA violations and punishments handed down isn’t messing around, and rightfully so.
After the dust settles on this matter, there are some folks in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that could use some serious attention. Over two decades-worth of academic fraud-type of attention.
You’ve done great with the UofL verdict, but let’s keep it going.
With deepest love,