Some of life’s truisms:
1. Don’t ever, ever run from the cops. It ticks them off.
2. Don’t ever lie to the NCAA. Ask Tennessee about this one. And don’t spit in the NCAA’s eyes by disregarding NCAA policies.
3. When you get a new boss, make sure that he or she doesn’t inherit a mess.
That last one brings us around to the University of Kentucky. It is absolutely unbelievable that UK’s Athletics Department, which always seems to be skating on thin ice in some form or other, would deliberately – deliberately! – defy the NCAA.
It would be an embarrassing shame if UK’s new president, Dr. Eli Capilouto, had to start his tenure by having to go to Indianapolis and answer questions because some genius at UK who went out of his or her way to spit in the eye of the NCAA.
Here’s what happened. And trust me, I’m not making this up.
You probably know the story: UK decided to honor its basketball coach, John Calipari, for his 500th victory. Mission accomplished. But then the NCAA got wind of the ceremony. The NCAA, see, had ruled some years ago that some of Coach Cal’s victories had been vacated, both at Massachusetts and Memphis.
The NCAA demanded to know why that salute to Coach Cal happened. It was kind of like defying the cops.
Thanks to his predecessor, UK’s new boss is saddled with an athletic director for life. One of the A.D.’s key employees is a woman who is supposed to watch all coaches and other people in the athletic department to see that they obey NCAA rules.
I suggest that President Capilouto demand that his A.D., and the woman charged to see that NCAA rules and policies are obeyed, should do their jobs – or else. He should tell them that he doesn’t want to see them or hear from them. Tell them. “I have enough really important problems to solve.”
UK finally came to its senses and did what the NCAA wanted, a public apology.
Some UK fans are still miffed. If UK is, all it has to do is withdraw its membership and go it alone.
What does it mean?
The Lexington Herald-Leader announced the end of what it called, “After months of debate with the NCAA, the University of Kentucky accepted the NCAA’s decision that the recognition of John Calipari’s 500th coaching victory was in error.”
Here is The Herald-Leader’s headline:
UK acquiesces to NCAA on 500 wins
Acquiesces? Wow! That’s a big word. I had to get my dictionary, which told me that acquiesce means: “To yield to. To agree or consent quietly without protest, but without enthusiasm to a decision.”
That’s UK to a T.
Sharing for kids
Thanks to U of L, UK, Western and all other colleges that welcome our high school athletes for playoffs at their splendid facilities – especially to U of L and its donors.
The Lexington Legends also make their field available for the State Baseball Tournament.
I just wish that Tom Jurich, the nation’s unsurpassed director of athletics, could arrange for the Big East Conference to clear one weekend so that the football playoffs could return to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Congratulations to Owensboro’s Darrell Waltrip for being voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It should have been done last year. The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame inducted him in 1999 and his brother Michael in 2010.
Welcome back, Chris
Please join me in welcoming Chris Evert’s return as a tennis TV announcer. Speaking of tennis, all of us who love the game really miss the late Sam English who had an “in” with the top rung of tennis and could bring some of the top pros here for at least exhibitions.
One of Sam’s best was when Chrissie and Martina Navratilova staged an interesting exhibition at Freedom Hall,
Of course, Sam’s top contribution to the sport was the pro tournament at the Joe Creason Tennis Center across from the zoo in which the world’s absolute best played.
When former UK basketball player Rodrick Rhodes was hired to coach at Cordia High, at least three of our daily newspapers reported that Cordia is in Hazard.
Not so. Cordia is in Knott County. Hazard is in neighboring Perry County.
The KHSAA record book lists the postal address of its schools and Cordia does have a Hazard address, but is NOT in Hazard.
I’ve been in all 120 counties and things like that jump out at me. As a matter of fact, my high school, Irvine, played Hazard High each year in both football and basketball. Fans of both schools would ride one of two L&N trains that traveled each day between the two towns.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Earl Cox, Sports Columnist
Earl doesn¹t just write about sports legends, he counts many of them as his
friends. A member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been writing
about sports for 60 years. Incidentally, that¹s about how long it’s been
since he¹s cleaned his desk but he knows where everything is.