So here’s an article by ESPN’s Dave Telep today touting Kentucky’s 2013 recruiting class as possibly the best ever–he’s got the best player coming at 4 of the 5 positions, and 6 of the nation’s top 11 players. It also gives him the 4th year in 5 that he had the top recruiting class in the nation.
I’m not here to criticize, but Telep’s article is all positive–the only caveats he raises are whether the team will pan out as well as expected. (he focuses on their talent, not on the fact that Calipari’s coaching remains questionable–he just lost to Robert Morris in the NIT). I am wondering what mention Telep should give of the following fact: that Calipari’s last two college coaching jobs ended in scandal, leading him to be the only coach in NCAA history to have 2 different final 4 appearances vacated. CBSsports.com did a survey last year of 100 basketball coaches–Calipari came out on top in the answer to the question “who is the biggest cheater?” Moreover, the last ‘best recruiting class ever’–Michigan’s Fab 5–ended in scandal (again something that Telep doesn’t mention).
So, the question is whether Telep should mention this in his article. I’m not positive as to what the answer is. Calipari himself has never been personally implicated. Kentucky has not been found cheating to date. And I’m sure Kentucky is hardly alone in all of this. But I’d think that at the least he could have mentioned that the last top recruiting class ended in scandal. He’s just celebrating the great recruiter.
We’ve just gone through Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, etc etc etc, and yet the media–ESPN isn’t some random blog and it reportedly desires at least some of the time to be not another US Weekly but an actual journalistic outlet–is just going to go through the same dance of willful ignorance, followed by inevitable ‘shock’ when the facts eventually come out. Its not even worthy of moral outrage. Again, as I say repeatedly, so many people cheat that its not worth pointing individual fingers. Especially in college basketball. Its more sort of a fascinating curiosity how we let these things continue to repeat themselves over and over without ever deciding enough is enough, and how every year we decide to just enjoy the Madness of March and the collegiate spirit and celebrate the inevitable winners in the same way that we watch each Bachelor and Bachelorette with the idea that true love has conquered.