Black Public Scholars

August 24, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins on Sports: John Calipari and Kentucky

Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

After reading about Kentucky Coach John Calipari being found guilty of cheating by the NCAA, I wasn’t surprised in the least. Calipari has never been known for producing the most highly educated athletes in the world (his graduation rate among African American athletes is 44 percent), and he seems to want to win above anything else. The idea that my alma mater, The University of Kentucky, would immediately step in to pay tens of millions of dollars to a coach that has been proven to be a cheater makes a powerful statement about the ethical disposition of this university. Kentucky is like many NCAA institutions in their mass pillage of African American athletes for the sake of their multi-million dollar fortunes.

John Calipari and his old school, The University of Memphis, have been charged with having an SAT exam taken for a player on the basketball team (believed by many to be Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls). According to several published sources, the SAT exam was falsified during the 2007 – 2008 season. The team has been required to give back 38 wins from that season, costing the school millions in revenue. These kinds of abuses don’t just occur at The University of Memphis. The University of Kentucky’s basketball program has nearly received the death penalty for its long list of violations in the past, so it is only fitting that they hire yet another arguably unethical coach to continue their storied tradition. Here are some quick thoughts about John Calipari and The University of Kentucky:

Click to read.


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