Sliding scales of justice for Tennessee in NCAA hearing

Predicting Committee on Infractions' punishments 'increasingly difficult'

There’s a system and precedents, but predicting what punishments Tennessee will receive is still anyone’s guess — including the Committee On Infractions'
New Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and his wife Kim accept a Tennessee Jersey from UT President John Petersen while he is introduced during a press conference to name him as the new coach at Thompson-Boling Arena in March 2005.

Photo by Jeff Adkins / News Sentinel

New Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and his wife Kim accept a Tennessee Jersey from UT President John Petersen while he is introduced during a press conference to name him as the new coach at Thompson-Boling Arena in March 2005.

Former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, left, accepts a UT jersey from former UT president John Petersen while Pearl is introduced as the Vols basketball coach at a news conference in March 2005 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The NCAA never has seen a major infractions case like the one that has University of Tennessee officials, Bruce Pearl, Lane Kiffin and a number of others headed to Indianapolis for next week's long-awaited meeting with the Committee on Infractions.

The phone calls. The barbecue. The lies. Orange Pride. The self-imposed sanctions. The bump. The dismissals.

No case in the NCAA database has all of these particular moving parts wrapped into one all-encompassing enterprise.

At least that's what the COI, a group comprised of law professors, active attorneys, league executives and athletic administrators from across the country, will lead you to believe when it finally hands out its penalties to the various parties involved.

"The committee decides penalties case-by-case," according to the NCAA's recently revamped enforcement website. "Each case is unique, and applying case precedent is difficult (if not impossible) because all cases are different. Each case has its own aggravating and mitigating factors, and the committee considers both sides in assessing penalties."

Michael Buckner, a prominent Florida-based attorney who has represented coaches and universities in NCAA infractions cases, doesn't see it that way.

In response to the NCAA's approval of recommendations presented by a task force to clarify roles of its infractions and appeals committees, Buckner recently sent a letter with his own recommendations to college sports' governing body. Most notably, Buckner raised concerns about the task force's recommendation to inform the NCAA's institutions that "Committee on Infractions and Infractions Appeals Committee reports in prior cases are not binding in future cases."

Potentially violating institutions' rights in an "unlawful, arbitrary or malicious manner" could lead to intervention from outside courts, Buckner wrote.

"The Task Force's recommendation may lead to widely inconsistent and arbitrary decisions - which could be seen by the membership, media and the public as the committees using favoritism for certain schools or coaches," Buckner wrote.

The appeals committee's recent decision with the University of Southern California football program to uphold a slew of severe penalties, which included massive scholarship reductions and a two-year postseason ban, did just what Buckner predicted. A number of prominent national columnists slammed the NCAA for blatantly "sending a message" at the Trojans' expense, while USC president C. L. Max Nikias said he was concerned that "the historical value of case precedent and the right to fair process in the NCAA adjudicative process" had been "substantially eroded."

"They want to give these committees wide discretion," Buckner said. "It allows them to basically treat the one university differently from another. I don't think that's fair."

What's to be expected?

So what kind of treatment should be expected for UT, pinpointed specifically in just one major violation for failure to monitor the phone calls of its former men's basketball staff?

Will it mimic the unprecedented penalties handed down on Southern Cal? Or will it be viewed as a "slap on the wrist" to outsiders like the recent verdicts passed with the University of Michigan, for its violations in football, or the University of Alabama, for its department-wide violations for a text book scandal?

"I don't think there's ever been an institution that thought that their case needed to be the one through which a message was sent," said Mike Ermert, a Birmingham (Ala.)-based attorney who represented Alabama in a 1994 case against the NCAA. "It's often frustrating for an institution that feels like it's been punished for somebody else down the road even though no one has ever felt that kind of penalty with the same kind of infractions."

Pearl could potentially see his future as a college basketball coach hindered by a lengthy show-cause penalty. Or, he could get off with a relatively light sentence like University of Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun, who recently was hit with a three-game suspension for his involvement in a major violations case.

Kiffin, who already is hampered by the sanctions he inherited upon taking over at USC, could see his life as a coach become even more difficult. Penalties stick with the coach from one job to the next and can vary from minor annoyances to full-blown inhibitors.

The 10 members of the COI, who currently are poring over the exhaustive details of UT's response to the 12 major violations it received in February's Notice of Allegations, will have to balance all sorts of variables when they ultimately decide how to reprimand the guilty parties.

"I think sometimes institutions are blindsided by the penalties they receive because they look at what they consider to be other, similar cases and they didn't see the same level or type of penalties," Ermert said. "Those issues can often be so different from one case to the next.

"I think it has troubled the committee and made it difficult for them to come up with a set of guidelines to follow in assessing penalties."

A guideline - not a manual - does, in fact, exist.

The NCAA typically tailors its penalties - which should be "sufficient to deter an institution from breaking the rules again and should remove any competitive advantage that may have been gained by cheating to the violations," according to the NCAA's website - to the offense that was committed. Because none of UT's violations involved ineligible players seeing the field, one of the NCAA's most common, retrospective punishments - the vacation of wins from a previous season or seasons - likely is off the table.

Also out of consideration is a TV ban. A posh penalty in the 1980s and early 1990s, TV bans have all but vanished because of the difficulties encountered with new, billion-dollar league contracts. The penalty hasn't been used in Division I since 1996, when Maine hockey was slapped with it.

"It would affect not just one school, but multiple schools," Buckner said.

The only given is probation, which is all but standard in any major violations case. A public reprimand and censure also are commonplace.

Where the committee will have to use its discretion most is in the department of scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions.

The latter is inevitable because UT feasibly gained an advantage in recruiting in both men's basketball and football. Both the former football and men's basketball staffs made impermissible phone calls to prospective student-athletes. The controversial barbecue with unofficial visitors at Pearl's home and the "bump" violation committed by Pearl and assistant Tony Jones with a prospect just four days after UT's news conference to announce it received a Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA also fall under the recruiting umbrella.

The NCAA has the power to limit official visits, prevent coaches from recruiting off campus and hinder schools during initial contact periods when phone calls are essential. The lengths and strengths of those respective penalties are up to the committee members, who can use previous cases as guidance for the one currently in front of them.

Or they can't.

"When I've represented universities and coaches in the past, I pretty much could guess or estimate within some reasonable certainty on the vast majority of the penalties and where they may come down," Buckner said. "Within the last year or two, that's been increasingly difficult to do so."

The NCAA typically follows a two-for-one formula when it takes away scholarships. For every one player involved in a violation, two future scholarships will disappear.

Because UT's violations largely involved its coaches and high school players, it's unclear how the NCAA will justify applying this type of penalty, if it chooses to do so. According to the multiple parties involved, scholarship reductions are very much in play.

Postseason bans rarely are applied, but also remain a possibility for UT men's basketball. At a Tipoff Club meeting last month, new coach Cuonzo Martin said the Vols can "weather the storm" as long as it doesn't receive a postseason ban because of the unquantifiable stigma that comes with it.

"That's one of the things (recruits) constantly talk about," Martin said Tuesday. "We sell them and sell them and now it's a matter of 'OK, coach, once we hear this, then we can make some moves.' And I think it will really help us, one way or the other, to solidify some things."

According to NCAA protocol, "language" during enforcement proceedings advises that "the interests of innocent individuals should be taken into account when imposing penalties."

At some point, though, someone and something has to be punished.

"The simple fact is that the punitive nature of NCAA-imposed sanctions make it unavoidable that the penalties imposed on institutions as a result of their involvement in major infractions will have some negative effect on innocent student-athletes," the NCAA writes.

How harshly UT, as an institution, is hit with penalties ultimately will come down to how culpable the department is viewed for the actions of Pearl, who was fired in March, and Kiffin, who resigned in 2009 after one season with the Vols, and their respective staffs.

Josephine Potuto, a Nebraska law professor who served on the COI from 2000-08, said an institution's separation from a coach who committed violations is considered a "corrective action."

That UT waited through the 2010-11 basketball season before it fired Pearl, rather than do it immediately after it learned he and his assistants misled NCAA investigators during their initial interviews, adds a wrinkle to how the COI will view the strength of UT's "corrective action."

"It goes to how you're going to insure it doesn't happen again," Potuto said. "It is imperative to the assessment of the penalty.

"Nobody expects perfection. If you have a cheater, he's going to be smart enough to get away with it for a while. That's just the way it is. The issue is should the school have known and it's not should the school have known if it had bad policies in place, it's if they have the right appropriate policies in place, would it have picked it up?"

Charges of unethical conduct and show-cause penalties go hand in hand, so prior precedent would indicate that Pearl will be kept away from college basketball for at least a season or two.

His assistants also could be subject to the penalty, though it's all but certain their sentences would not be as severe as Pearl's. Of the past 20 cases that involved an unethical conduct charge, all but one resulted in a show-cause penalty.

How the COI determines the length of a show-cause penalty is much like how it determines its other penalties. Precedent can be utilized as guidance, but nothing says it has to be followed.

"We make the best judgment based on the information," Potuto said. "It's how culpable you think the actor was and how severe the violations were."

A tough, thankless job

Even though he recently has hammered at some of the Committee on Infractions' and Infractions Appeals Committee's flaws, Buckner conceded that, more often than not, the penalties that come out of these hearings are fair and justified.

Ermert said he is sympathetic to the committee members, whom NCAA president Mark Emmert described as the "ultimate volunteers" because they're not paid for their services, because the violations they're penalizing against now differ significantly from those of a decade ago.

"You've got new technology that's impacted the way people communicate and the way people get information," Ermert said. "That has resulted in the NCAA having to address areas that 10 years ago were not even contemplated because the opportunities to have violations in those type of circumstances didn't even exist."

Emmert recently suggested that the NCAA break up its violations into five different categories, a move that, in theory, would provide clearer precedents during the penalty phase. Currently, violations fall into just two categories: major and secondary.

"I do worry we have too much of a bivariate model," Emmert said. "I personally would like to see whether we can have two, three or five different sort of categories and maybe that would make the cases go a little more expeditiously."

The NCAA is expected to roll out numerous changes to its enforcement infrastructure later this month.

That, of course, doesn't do anything for UT and its former coaches, who will make the transition from one waiting game to another after the hearing.

"We'll have to go see," UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said this week. "Certainly we have thoughts of what it might look like but you don't know until you go through the process and see what might come out."

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 54

Pepe writes:

That was actually an informative, well-written article. Unfortunately, I still don't have a clue how severe our penalties will be. I have seen a lot of "inside source" bs that claim to know, but I would bet that even the COI doesn't even know yet. *fingers crossed* We will survive most penalties they would probably throw at us without too much of a problem.

Katphan29 writes:

Just say Calipari is a big cheater, or how the NCAA has double standards, or how UK is the greatest cheat in history, or Alabama cheats in football, or....whatever, and you'll find a way to rationalize "The NCAA never has seen a major infractions case like the one that has University of Tennessee officials."

PdxVol writes:

in response to Katphan29:

Just say Calipari is a big cheater, or how the NCAA has double standards, or how UK is the greatest cheat in history, or Alabama cheats in football, or....whatever, and you'll find a way to rationalize "The NCAA never has seen a major infractions case like the one that has University of Tennessee officials."

Heh? Not sure what you're getting at there... could you please present your point in a more clear and coherent manner?

ericshoskins#523684 writes:

Leave it to a Kentucky fan to completely miss the context of the line he quoted.

The NCAA has never seen a case like this because no other institution in history has ever been before the COI with neither coach responsible for the violations still under the employ of the University. Of course, it would be ridiculous to think that a fan who believes that his coach is clean, despite being to his first Final Four three separate times, can understand something as subtle as "context".

dvhill100 writes:

You do the crime, you do the time. Simple as that. Hopefully, the punishments won't be too severe for the other players who are the innocent bystanders in this train wreck.

writer#358485 writes:

Agree, this was a well-written story laying out all the variables. Ultimately, the result is dependent upon the judgment and fairness of individual human beings. Some humans exercise good judgment and fairness and some don't. If all did, then we wouldn't have wars and other unpleasantness. We're victims of the old Chinese curse, we live in "interesting times". There's not much to be done but wait and see.

fprex writes:

Wonder if the NCAA will take into consideration the deal that Fulmer cut with them in turning in Bama? The deal where the NCAA looked the other way on Fulmer's transgressions???????

paradisetaxi writes:

we'll see !

cloudodust writes:

Never second guess a judge or jury and in the case of a NCAA sactions decision, a second opinion is mostly for naught. May the gods of sport be on the side of the University of Tennessee, it's athletic dept and us, it's fans...GBO

collegegrad writes:

If Coach Pearl is banned from anymore coaching positions, then his career is over. However, he can begin a new career. Let's see, he can get a job as a grill cook for McDonald's or other fast food restaurant, dishwasher,grill cook, or busser for Cracker Barrel or Shoney's, door greeter, stock person, or sales clerk at Wal-Mart, bagger, stock person, or grocery clerk at Food City or Kroger, assembly line associate at a factory, stock person for a warehouse, luggage expeditor (bell hop) for the Holiday Inn, custodial engineer (janitor) for one of the local schools, businesses or hospitals, sanitation specialist (garbage man) for the landfill/dump, used car salesman, gas station attendant, or ditch digger for the public works department. He'll have a bright future in one of these careers and Lane Kiffin can join him there as well.

TommyJack writes:

Good work, Gribble.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to jmr68ut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

well, look at the other article bucko, because he isn't going anywhere

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Katphan29:

Just say Calipari is a big cheater, or how the NCAA has double standards, or how UK is the greatest cheat in history, or Alabama cheats in football, or....whatever, and you'll find a way to rationalize "The NCAA never has seen a major infractions case like the one that has University of Tennessee officials."

So lets see....In his 1st yr, Calapari is in hot water over the Eric Bledsoe scandal. They TO THIS DAY still haven't recovered some of Bledsoe's HS transcripts. Kinda funny don't ya think? In his 2nd yr he tries to act like he didn't know he couldn't recruit a professional athlete to play for him (Enis Kanter). Hell, that would be like UT recruiting Kobe Bryant...After all, he has 4 yrs of eligibility. Lets not forget him having Larry Brown in to coach a practice, but he didn't know he couldn't do that either. Oh yeah, the likes of LeBron James, Majic Johnson, and World Wide West being in the stands and in the locker room as well. I remember USC allowing famous people to mingle with their players during and after games, wasn't long until they got hammered. Calapari has ALWAYS skirted the rules and ALWAYS gotten caught. And it's a matter of time until he gets caught again.

What's funny is that you and the other UK fans sound like UT fans did during the Kiffin and Pearl eras. "It's a witch hunt", "it's us against the world", "espn hates us" even though they televise 90% of our games. Truth is, Kiffin and Pearl were slimy little M-F'ers who should never have been hired. And unfortunately since UT brought them in and Mike Hamilton let them run wild, we deserve what we get. But don't you think for one damn minute that Calapari isn't a cheat. Don't think for one minute that he won't get caught. Don't think for one minute he won't bail on you a## as soon as he gets you hammered. Don't think for onr minute that you won't be the 1st one to have it SMEARED all in your face when it happens.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think he meant that the guilty coaches are no longer there. That's the way I took it, but could be wrong. HOWEVER, I can't help but agree with you as I normally do Naval...Looking at some of the other cases ours doesn't even seem that bad. Atleast the infractions committed doesn't compare. HOWEVER the lying to the NCAA is where one gets in serious trouble. Both Kiffin and Pearl did so, along with David Reaves. The punishment for that should follow them. What scares me is what they might do to The Athletic Dept, or should I say Mike Hamilton. They have shown in the past that they have NO TOLERANCE for ADs who have 0 control of their dept. I HOPE AND PRAY they have mercy on us.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to AF1A4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Someone who completely DESTROYS a proud and historic Athletic Department shouldn't be allowed to resign. His resume should read FIRED!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Katphan29:

Just say Calipari is a big cheater, or how the NCAA has double standards, or how UK is the greatest cheat in history, or Alabama cheats in football, or....whatever, and you'll find a way to rationalize "The NCAA never has seen a major infractions case like the one that has University of Tennessee officials."

The statement you quoted was in the context of the subsequent statement that EVERY case is unique. It simply meant that there are different elements combined into every investigation, not that UT's case is uniquely BAD. But by all means, feel free to pick out the meaning that fits your point.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to collegegrad:

If Coach Pearl is banned from anymore coaching positions, then his career is over. However, he can begin a new career. Let's see, he can get a job as a grill cook for McDonald's or other fast food restaurant, dishwasher,grill cook, or busser for Cracker Barrel or Shoney's, door greeter, stock person, or sales clerk at Wal-Mart, bagger, stock person, or grocery clerk at Food City or Kroger, assembly line associate at a factory, stock person for a warehouse, luggage expeditor (bell hop) for the Holiday Inn, custodial engineer (janitor) for one of the local schools, businesses or hospitals, sanitation specialist (garbage man) for the landfill/dump, used car salesman, gas station attendant, or ditch digger for the public works department. He'll have a bright future in one of these careers and Lane Kiffin can join him there as well.

Didn't you post this exact same drivel on some other thread? If not, you copied it practically word for word from someone else. It wasn't particularly clever, funny, or profound either time.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor been up all night shredding documents and burning photos...almost ready to get this thing over with...oh youre talking about the NCAA..Witch Doctor say never mind.
Bones never lie.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think that is one reason why the NCAA is contemplating going to as many as five different categories of violations instead of the two--major and minor--that they use today. I would tend to agree with you that cases involving academic fraud or paying players are or should be seen as worse than excessive phone calls or BBQ's for high-school juniors. It was Pearl's lies about those things that elevated rather minor infractions into major ones. However, under the present setup, the NCAA only has two categories to contain every possible combination of infractions. I hope the COI is smart enough and ethical enough to recognize that their current investigative instrument is too blunt a tool to make such distinctions and will temper their rulings accordingly. I guess we'll just have to see how it all comes out.

johnlg00 writes:

BTW, Navalorange, I was responding to Katphan's attempt to make UT's case look like the worst one ever rather than to your post. I was pretty sure you had simply misunderstood context of the statement, since you are a long-time loyal Vol fan. Katphan, while capable of reasoned discourse, occasionally likes to twist the knife just for the heck of it.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

If the University of Tennessee does not fire Mike Hamilton and Jimmy Cheek after this is all over then they deserve what they get. How such an inept AD stays through all of his bumbling and mistakes is beyond me. What else does he have too do to get fired. Geez

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nav, Grib's point was about the uniqueness, not that it was the "worst." From your later posts you acknowledge and recant some of this but still linger on the comparison to cases involving money or academics with which there is no comparison. Grib's point is it is hard to determine where the COI will rule since the UT case falls somewhere between the minor and most egregious cases on several levels. For example, of the three HS players involved in the BBQ, only one came to UT, and he was allowed to play after the NCAA agreed. Of the players involved in the Orange Pride scandal, only one came to UT, and no one said he wouldn't be eligible. So is that 2 scholarship redux for 1 as suggested or some other ratio?

BlueManToo writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

So lets see....In his 1st yr, Calapari is in hot water over the Eric Bledsoe scandal. They TO THIS DAY still haven't recovered some of Bledsoe's HS transcripts. Kinda funny don't ya think? In his 2nd yr he tries to act like he didn't know he couldn't recruit a professional athlete to play for him (Enis Kanter). Hell, that would be like UT recruiting Kobe Bryant...After all, he has 4 yrs of eligibility. Lets not forget him having Larry Brown in to coach a practice, but he didn't know he couldn't do that either. Oh yeah, the likes of LeBron James, Majic Johnson, and World Wide West being in the stands and in the locker room as well. I remember USC allowing famous people to mingle with their players during and after games, wasn't long until they got hammered. Calapari has ALWAYS skirted the rules and ALWAYS gotten caught. And it's a matter of time until he gets caught again.

What's funny is that you and the other UK fans sound like UT fans did during the Kiffin and Pearl eras. "It's a witch hunt", "it's us against the world", "espn hates us" even though they televise 90% of our games. Truth is, Kiffin and Pearl were slimy little M-F'ers who should never have been hired. And unfortunately since UT brought them in and Mike Hamilton let them run wild, we deserve what we get. But don't you think for one damn minute that Calapari isn't a cheat. Don't think for one minute that he won't get caught. Don't think for one minute he won't bail on you a## as soon as he gets you hammered. Don't think for onr minute that you won't be the 1st one to have it SMEARED all in your face when it happens.

**FACT CHECK ALERT**
1. Bledsoe's transcripts were reviewed by an independent law firm, headed by a retired Federal Judge. They ruled that the transcripts were valid. In other words...no scandal.
2. Cal recruited Kanter knowing that he may have difficulties becoming eligible. He requested approval and never played or practiced him contrary to NCAA regulations.The only risk was using a schooly on a player that would not play. Do you know who else thought it was ok to recruit Kanter? Have you ever heard of NCAA President Emmert? You probably know him as the man who is about to become a hugh thorn in the side of UT. Before that he was President of the Univ. of Washington when they received a verbal commit from Kanter to play for them. Doesn't look like he was too concerned.
3. What is wrong with famous people being sports fans? You don't see anything wrong with David Keith roaming the sidelines or Dolly prowling the locker room in her spandex.
4. One more time......Cal has never been accused or convicted of a single NCAA violation!

As Dicky Vitale said earlier this year, "There are only two reasons why some people do not like John Calipari---envy and jealousy."

Haters will be haters.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to fprex:

Wonder if the NCAA will take into consideration the deal that Fulmer cut with them in turning in Bama? The deal where the NCAA looked the other way on Fulmer's transgressions???????

Fire Fulmer again . He's move than likey feeding the fire . He's proved he's a rat ......

HtownVol writes:

The question how much would the penalty differ if UT had a Heisman front runner?
Or perhaps if either the basketball team or football team was a front runner to win a national championship.
It is so obvious that the NCAA does ONLY what is best for the bottom dollar.
The football team is on the rise and judging by the UT-UF game being picked up as the 1st national SEC game, I think that the NCAA knows they are about to benifit off of UT football, basketball is on the decline right now. We may very well have what we need in a coach that demands effort and execution but that is yet to be proven.
In the end the football team is not yet on a championship caliber so the NCAA will attempt to lay the hammer on UT.

However OSU has just came out and labled themselves as the dirtiest school in the country so if UT gets nailed then OSU will have to be punished 10 times worse.

Even a OSU fan must admit that not one violation at UT compares to the liar that is Jim Tressel.

I actually find it very hard to believe that the unbiases fan can say that UT did much worse than UCONN. It is slightly more but given the UCONN punishment and the already served ban BP faced I seriously do not see UT being able to be punished much more if at all.

Like I said it all comes down to "what have you done lately", and UT is not exactly lighting up the ESPN top 10 plays or the Heisman hopefuls.

I am afraid to see what the dirty NCAA does.
BTW- the NCAA is such a JOKE (Cam Newton and the 5 OSU players being able to play in the bowl game) The system is FLAWED!

GO VOLS!

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to BlueManToo:

**FACT CHECK ALERT**
1. Bledsoe's transcripts were reviewed by an independent law firm, headed by a retired Federal Judge. They ruled that the transcripts were valid. In other words...no scandal.
2. Cal recruited Kanter knowing that he may have difficulties becoming eligible. He requested approval and never played or practiced him contrary to NCAA regulations.The only risk was using a schooly on a player that would not play. Do you know who else thought it was ok to recruit Kanter? Have you ever heard of NCAA President Emmert? You probably know him as the man who is about to become a hugh thorn in the side of UT. Before that he was President of the Univ. of Washington when they received a verbal commit from Kanter to play for them. Doesn't look like he was too concerned.
3. What is wrong with famous people being sports fans? You don't see anything wrong with David Keith roaming the sidelines or Dolly prowling the locker room in her spandex.
4. One more time......Cal has never been accused or convicted of a single NCAA violation!

As Dicky Vitale said earlier this year, "There are only two reasons why some people do not like John Calipari---envy and jealousy."

Haters will be haters.

Yeah, except from what I've heard from other UK fans, Kanter did practice, once Cal and Co. filed for an appeal on the original verdict. Also, which coach has 2 Final Fours vacated, (at least one, don't know much about the UMASS one) for having ineligible players under his watch? Oh, wait, that's Calipari. The Blue Nation is going to be heartbroken when Calipari abandons ship in the middle of the night before the NCAA starts prowling around, just like Memphis fans were.

kabulvol writes:

The NCAA should absolutely hammer Ohio State after they lied multiple times. The short term lie that bothers me the most is lying and pleading to allow Pryor et al to play in the Sugar Bowl where they beat Arkansas. That was absurd.

I don't know if the winner of the Sugar Bowl gets a bigger cut than the loser but if they do then O$U should have to pay Arkansas the difference. That was criminal. I know they wont get the death penalty but I hope they get hammered.

BlueManToo writes:

in response to Futurecoach16:

Yeah, except from what I've heard from other UK fans, Kanter did practice, once Cal and Co. filed for an appeal on the original verdict. Also, which coach has 2 Final Fours vacated, (at least one, don't know much about the UMASS one) for having ineligible players under his watch? Oh, wait, that's Calipari. The Blue Nation is going to be heartbroken when Calipari abandons ship in the middle of the night before the NCAA starts prowling around, just like Memphis fans were.

Kanter did practice, but only under the approval of the NCAA, during the approval request and appeal process. He no longer practiced after the final appeal was denied. After that the NCAA granted him approval for a student coach category.

It has been well documented that the vacating of wins was the fault of the actions of two students, without the knowledge of the schools or coaching staffs.

I am always amused at the posters who make predictions. If any of them had powers of prognostication, surely at least one of them would have warned Pearl to CANCEL THE FREAKING COOKOUT!!!! lol

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to BlueManToo:

Kanter did practice, but only under the approval of the NCAA, during the approval request and appeal process. He no longer practiced after the final appeal was denied. After that the NCAA granted him approval for a student coach category.

It has been well documented that the vacating of wins was the fault of the actions of two students, without the knowledge of the schools or coaching staffs.

I am always amused at the posters who make predictions. If any of them had powers of prognostication, surely at least one of them would have warned Pearl to CANCEL THE FREAKING COOKOUT!!!! lol

And you really believe that? It was just coincidence that Calipari escaped right before the NCAA started investigating, twice, right? UK fans are as dense about Calipari as UT fans were about Kiffin. It's going to be fun to listen to the excuses that you all will make when it happens. But, until that happens, we all have to sit here and listen to you talk about how that will NEVER happen to Kentucky. Think Memphis fans didn't say that? Think Calipari didn't tell Memphis fans that he loves the school and won't ever leave? Tsk tsk.

DutchOrangeVolsOrange writes:

Look, after reading this article and reading responses, We still do not know what might happen. This could get very nasty in both football and basketball. Several things are certain:

#1 Is that there is really no certainty of what might happen.

and #2 I wish some of You would stop calling Hamilton, "Hammy". It just makes me want to puke!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BlueManToo:

Kanter did practice, but only under the approval of the NCAA, during the approval request and appeal process. He no longer practiced after the final appeal was denied. After that the NCAA granted him approval for a student coach category.

It has been well documented that the vacating of wins was the fault of the actions of two students, without the knowledge of the schools or coaching staffs.

I am always amused at the posters who make predictions. If any of them had powers of prognostication, surely at least one of them would have warned Pearl to CANCEL THE FREAKING COOKOUT!!!! lol

Witch Doctor tried! Witch Doctor say never send howler monkey with message during mating season. Witch Doctor say we all have no choice but to grow in that wisdom now.
Bones never lie.

hueypilot writes:

One of the most severe penalties a school faces, and maybe the NCAA wants it to be that way, is the specter of uncertainty hanging over a program while the NCAA moves at a glacial pace. Of course rivals use that uncertainty on the recruiting trail, which can easily sway an 18 year old who has visions of "the league" and Final Fours in his head. In that regard, any ideal when the COI is likely to issue its findings and assess the penalties. Until that happens, Martin is hamstrung and football has a cloud hanging over its head as well.

The_Real_Orange writes:

in response to mountainViews:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You do realize the schools are the NCAA......right?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I think my thumb is stuck in this dam and if I move it the whole thing will go. well maybe not. Ahhhuuuggh! Run. Run for your lives.
Leave the game alone and go be lawyers or something if they ain't payin' you. Let Slive handle things. lol

VOLliven2it writes:

There really should be NO Surprises at all the Surprises in the way the NCAA does things. They have virtually no accountability. No one makes them come clean about how a coach(ie Calhoun)can have major violations and still coach and have his team win the national championship. No one can really question their judgment only appeal and by they way, you appeal to them. That says it all. So we will be stuck with what we get. But regardless of the outcome, no one can convince me that our AD is not responsible for a lot of the violations. But that is just my opinion and does not reflect Gribble, the KNS, CTFP in Chattanooga, the Tennessean, nor the COI of the NCAA.

Steve_2 writes:

in response to collegegrad:

If Coach Pearl is banned from anymore coaching positions, then his career is over. However, he can begin a new career. Let's see, he can get a job as a grill cook for McDonald's or other fast food restaurant, dishwasher,grill cook, or busser for Cracker Barrel or Shoney's, door greeter, stock person, or sales clerk at Wal-Mart, bagger, stock person, or grocery clerk at Food City or Kroger, assembly line associate at a factory, stock person for a warehouse, luggage expeditor (bell hop) for the Holiday Inn, custodial engineer (janitor) for one of the local schools, businesses or hospitals, sanitation specialist (garbage man) for the landfill/dump, used car salesman, gas station attendant, or ditch digger for the public works department. He'll have a bright future in one of these careers and Lane Kiffin can join him there as well.

Hey College Grad, Do you have a problem with any on these jobs? Sounds like to me you are demeaning some good citizens who work every day in some capacity. At least they work. It takes a lot of people to make the world go around. By the way what do you do?

UkJarhead writes:

in response to BlueManToo:

Kanter did practice, but only under the approval of the NCAA, during the approval request and appeal process. He no longer practiced after the final appeal was denied. After that the NCAA granted him approval for a student coach category.

It has been well documented that the vacating of wins was the fault of the actions of two students, without the knowledge of the schools or coaching staffs.

I am always amused at the posters who make predictions. If any of them had powers of prognostication, surely at least one of them would have warned Pearl to CANCEL THE FREAKING COOKOUT!!!! lol

Freakin hilarious. It never fails, every article on here that talks about the trouble UT fittin to be in, Cal is mentioned. Facts mean nothing to UT fans. According to UT math, we really haven't lost 26 in a row in football. The way I see it, we should have won at least 10 of those games. So I'm gonna say we are 10-16 last 26 years.

Cal and UK did everything right with Kanter. If there was a chance Kobe could play college ball now, would UT recruit him? If UT was told that they could burn a scholly on him but it would be a few months to determine if he was eligible, you think they would sign him?

Take your lumps Little Orange Nation, keep showing your envy to our program, and keep twisting facts as you wish. There is always 11th place in the SEC to aim for next year in B-Ball.

osbymartin75 writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Freakin hilarious. It never fails, every article on here that talks about the trouble UT fittin to be in, Cal is mentioned. Facts mean nothing to UT fans. According to UT math, we really haven't lost 26 in a row in football. The way I see it, we should have won at least 10 of those games. So I'm gonna say we are 10-16 last 26 years.

Cal and UK did everything right with Kanter. If there was a chance Kobe could play college ball now, would UT recruit him? If UT was told that they could burn a scholly on him but it would be a few months to determine if he was eligible, you think they would sign him?

Take your lumps Little Orange Nation, keep showing your envy to our program, and keep twisting facts as you wish. There is always 11th place in the SEC to aim for next year in B-Ball.

With all due respect..katphan (a uk fan) was the first to mention calapari..3rd post..so for once we didnt bring him up..a cats fan did. 10-16 really? uk has beaten UT only 10 times since 1955 by my UT math thats 55 years. Good luck in the upcoming season...

Vol43 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor been up all night shredding documents and burning photos...almost ready to get this thing over with...oh youre talking about the NCAA..Witch Doctor say never mind.
Bones never lie.

WD, you're funny beyond funny!

Vol43 writes:

in response to AF1A4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You go boy! I'm right there with you!

volfaninutah writes:

in response to collegegrad:

If Coach Pearl is banned from anymore coaching positions, then his career is over. However, he can begin a new career. Let's see, he can get a job as a grill cook for McDonald's or other fast food restaurant, dishwasher,grill cook, or busser for Cracker Barrel or Shoney's, door greeter, stock person, or sales clerk at Wal-Mart, bagger, stock person, or grocery clerk at Food City or Kroger, assembly line associate at a factory, stock person for a warehouse, luggage expeditor (bell hop) for the Holiday Inn, custodial engineer (janitor) for one of the local schools, businesses or hospitals, sanitation specialist (garbage man) for the landfill/dump, used car salesman, gas station attendant, or ditch digger for the public works department. He'll have a bright future in one of these careers and Lane Kiffin can join him there as well.

Kiffy can always pump gas at the 7-11!!!!

BlueManToo writes:

in response to Futurecoach16:

And you really believe that? It was just coincidence that Calipari escaped right before the NCAA started investigating, twice, right? UK fans are as dense about Calipari as UT fans were about Kiffin. It's going to be fun to listen to the excuses that you all will make when it happens. But, until that happens, we all have to sit here and listen to you talk about how that will NEVER happen to Kentucky. Think Memphis fans didn't say that? Think Calipari didn't tell Memphis fans that he loves the school and won't ever leave? Tsk tsk.

Just stating the facts, which apparently are a difficult thing for some, such as yourself, to accept. When "it" happens? Making a prediction? Are you the one who sees the future and forgot to warn Pearl to CANCEL THE FREAKING COOKOUT!!!

volvann writes:

So much whining/complaining here. Too funny. No matter what happens, the UT fans, including me need to suck it up and deal with it. But with that said, ESPN will be spinning faster than a washing machine spin cyle. They love to see UT get any thing negative. Many of their talking heads are former under-performing coaches and players that have caused their own issues in the past and now found their niche. Example: Craig James, Steve Lavin and yes Dick Vitale (an under performing coach in the 70's). ESPN is sometimes worse than political channels, spouting info without facts. The only fact we know at this time is the NCAA is determining punishment, and probably already has determined using the hearings as nothing more than a justification for the penalties to be imposed. It is what it is....

DonK37920 writes:

in response to fprex:

Wonder if the NCAA will take into consideration the deal that Fulmer cut with them in turning in Bama? The deal where the NCAA looked the other way on Fulmer's transgressions???????

Wonder if fprex realizes that Nick Saban turned in Bama also while he was at Michigan State along with several other SEC coaches?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BlueManToo:

**FACT CHECK ALERT**
1. Bledsoe's transcripts were reviewed by an independent law firm, headed by a retired Federal Judge. They ruled that the transcripts were valid. In other words...no scandal.
2. Cal recruited Kanter knowing that he may have difficulties becoming eligible. He requested approval and never played or practiced him contrary to NCAA regulations.The only risk was using a schooly on a player that would not play. Do you know who else thought it was ok to recruit Kanter? Have you ever heard of NCAA President Emmert? You probably know him as the man who is about to become a hugh thorn in the side of UT. Before that he was President of the Univ. of Washington when they received a verbal commit from Kanter to play for them. Doesn't look like he was too concerned.
3. What is wrong with famous people being sports fans? You don't see anything wrong with David Keith roaming the sidelines or Dolly prowling the locker room in her spandex.
4. One more time......Cal has never been accused or convicted of a single NCAA violation!

As Dicky Vitale said earlier this year, "There are only two reasons why some people do not like John Calipari---envy and jealousy."

Haters will be haters.

**FACT CHECK ALERT**

He requested approval and never played or practiced him contrary to NCAA regulations.

You posted this, not me, you.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BlueManToo:

Kanter did practice, but only under the approval of the NCAA, during the approval request and appeal process. He no longer practiced after the final appeal was denied. After that the NCAA granted him approval for a student coach category.

It has been well documented that the vacating of wins was the fault of the actions of two students, without the knowledge of the schools or coaching staffs.

I am always amused at the posters who make predictions. If any of them had powers of prognostication, surely at least one of them would have warned Pearl to CANCEL THE FREAKING COOKOUT!!!! lol

Kanter did practice

Which was it?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Freakin hilarious. It never fails, every article on here that talks about the trouble UT fittin to be in, Cal is mentioned. Facts mean nothing to UT fans. According to UT math, we really haven't lost 26 in a row in football. The way I see it, we should have won at least 10 of those games. So I'm gonna say we are 10-16 last 26 years.

Cal and UK did everything right with Kanter. If there was a chance Kobe could play college ball now, would UT recruit him? If UT was told that they could burn a scholly on him but it would be a few months to determine if he was eligible, you think they would sign him?

Take your lumps Little Orange Nation, keep showing your envy to our program, and keep twisting facts as you wish. There is always 11th place in the SEC to aim for next year in B-Ball.

A UK fan brought it up.

collegegrad writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Didn't you post this exact same drivel on some other thread? If not, you copied it practically word for word from someone else. It wasn't particularly clever, funny, or profound either time.

Maybe it was outrageous and dirty of me to post this. I think in seriousness, that Coach Pearl should be given another chance, if not as a coach, then he could take over the athletic director position if UT does give Hamilton the sack. As for Kiffin, I still think he'd be a fine gas station attendant.

collegegrad writes:

in response to Steve_2:

Hey College Grad, Do you have a problem with any on these jobs? Sounds like to me you are demeaning some good citizens who work every day in some capacity. At least they work. It takes a lot of people to make the world go around. By the way what do you do?

Nothing against honest workers. Maybe writing this is an insult to them. I regret this and wish the best for Bruce Pearl. If the university does remove Hamilton as athletic director, then they should bring Bruce Pearl back. Kiffin though, can eventually end up in the 7-11.

collegegrad writes:

in response to volfaninutah:

Kiffy can always pump gas at the 7-11!!!!

That's a good one, Kiffin pumping gas. Maybe Bruce Pearl should get another chance. If Hamilton is fired, then Bruce Pearl should be hired as the next athletic director and hopefully he'll remember this, "Honesty is the best policy."

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