Mike Strange: Martin deserving of honor, but Calipari hard to ignore

Mike Strange

Winning isn't everything.

Eight years ago, South Carolina's Dave Odom was voted SEC basketball coach of the year by his peers. His Gamecocks finished 8-8 in the league, tied with three other teams for the third-best record.

In 1992, Lon Kruger's peers voted him coach of the year. Florida went 9-7. Four other teams did better.

Two years earlier, Auburn's Tommy Joe Eagles shared the honor with Georgia's Hugh Durham. Durham's Dogs won the league. Eagles' War Eagles finished 8-10.

In 1980, Kentucky's Joe B. Hall hoisted the team championship trophy. Bob Weltlich of 9-9 Ole Miss hoisted the coach of the year trophy.

All of which suggests there is precedence for Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin to be recognized for the outstanding job he's done with the Vols in his first season.

Picked to drag home anywhere from eighth to 12th, Tennessee, with a win today over Vanderbilt, would finish 10-6 and likely claim the No. 2 seed in the SEC tournament next week in New Orleans.

Even if the Commodores prevail, the Vols will check out at 9-7, far surpassing anyone's expectations.

Especially if the Vols celebrate a win today before a packed house at Thompson-Boling Arena, Martin has a strong case for coach of the year.

It would take a special circumstance, something out of the ordinary, to deny him.

And that's the problem.

John Calipari has done something special.

It's one thing to be picked to win the SEC and then win it. If that's all Kentucky had accomplished this season, it would be easier to make a case that some other coach might have done more with less.

The Wildcats, however, have gone beyond SEC criteria. They're one Indiana buzzer-beater from being

undefeated on the last weekend of the regular season.

I hear you: Kentucky was supposed to be good and Tennessee wasn't. I hear you: If Martin had Calipari's players he'd win the SEC title, too.

But Calipari should get credit for assembling those players. Coaches aren't evaluated merely on their ability to attack a 2-3 zone. Recruiting is a big piece of the equation, maybe even the biggest.

And like him or not, Cal has coached up this team. Starting three freshmen, Kentucky leads the nation in field-goal defense and ranks in the top 15 in rebounding margin, field-goal percentage and scoring offense.

Still, anyone who knows basketball must applaud Martin's work. If the coach of the year vote should go his way, he could accept it with head held high.

From where the Vols have come since December — or even January — to now is a tribute to a clear vision and a steady hand.

"We weren't very good at the beginning of the year,'' said point guard Trae Golden, "and now ... it shows our resilience as a team. It shows how great Coach Martin is.''

He has indeed done a great job. It was an award-winning job, barring an extraordinary accomplishment by one of his peers.

This year, there was.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 59

GreerVol22 writes:

am i the only one that throws up a little when I hear the name Calipari?

volguy#211935 writes:

GreerVol, you are NOT the only one who hurls at even the thought of Calipari, but if the kittens go 16-0 in the SEC, that's pretty special. But, I would vote for Cuonzo Martin, obviously. He's done a pretty special job himself. GBO!!!

Dalton writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

am i the only one that throws up a little when I hear the name Calipari?

Excuse me...I missed that...I was gargling!

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

am i the only one that throws up a little when I hear the name Calipari?

Yes. Most humans with any element of honor and fair play experience convulsions and severe paralysis.

Cheating Cal of the Cheating ‘Cats can’t be considered for any less achievement than the honor of making Tark the Shark, Eddie Sutton, et. al appear to be choir boys.

vollaw writes:

Strange must be hanging out with Wes Rucker too much. Rucker was espousing this same nonsense the other night. COY is, and should be, for the coach who did the best job of "coaching" with what he had, not the best job of recruiting in prior years. I even think Cal is a good coach and he has done a great job of getting his NBA players to work together and check most of their ego this season. HOWEVER, Cuonzo Marting has done one of the best coaching jobs this year that I have ever seen in over 40 years of watching (including 15+ years of officiating) college basketball.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

HOW MANY INELIGIBLE PLAYERS HAS CALIPARI PLAYED THIS SEASON? Could he have cheated again? NO, NOT CAL....He's the DEFINITION of an unethiCAL coach that has two Final Fours vacated and is a proven cheater...That's why he shouldn't ever be allowed to win ANYTHING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

HOW MANY INELIGIBLE PLAYERS HAS CALIPARI PLAYED THIS SEASON? Could he have cheated again? NO, NOT CAL....He's the DEFINITION of an unethiCAL coach that has two Final Fours vacated and is a proven cheater...That's why he shouldn't ever be allowed to win ANYTHING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. With all the cheating and Final Fours that he's had vacated, shouldn't he have won a National Title by now? I mean he's cheated to get there every time and still hasn't won one...

golfman1975 writes:

IF Martin wins coach of the year...Calipari will pop a capulary.

tnvol4ever writes:

I guess if you can blame one and
done players year after year for your lack of
succcess, (aka national title) then you can surely claim coach of the year when/if you finally
have some success.(aka national title)
Playing 6-7 players pretty much every minute
of every blowout will get Cal again this year.
Tired legs and/or injury. Really cool that he
never tries to develop his bench players.

wigmeister writes:

in response to tnvol4ever:

I guess if you can blame one and
done players year after year for your lack of
succcess, (aka national title) then you can surely claim coach of the year when/if you finally
have some success.(aka national title)
Playing 6-7 players pretty much every minute
of every blowout will get Cal again this year.
Tired legs and/or injury. Really cool that he
never tries to develop his bench players.

He doesn't need bench players. An NBA farm team brings in new recruits every year. Wonder how many of his front line players graduate with a degree in the time they are playing for the university?

iowavol writes:

I can't think of anything but UT playing Vandy and wish others would as well. We have to focus on our task at hand. Hating on Cal, as much fun as it is, must wait.

eb502us#225637 writes:

I can't stand Calipari and Martin has done a good job, but really this race isn't even close. I don't care how talented Calipari's freshmen are, they are still FRESHMEN and getting them to play together the way they have this year is a major accomplishment.

Also, 13 losses including ones against Austin Peay, Oakland, and College of Charleston don't merit coach of the year.

Best way to look at it is if Calipari was coaching the Vols and Martin was coaching KY, what would the teams records be? I don't need to speculate becuase it's obvious one would be better and the other would be worse.

Not saying Calipari is the better coach, but the comparison this year is no comparison at all.

makelemonade writes:

Quit giving calamari so much credit. There is only one person that deserves credit for uk's success this year and that is Anthony Davis. He's that one player that comes along ever so often that makes that big of a difference. There are at least a dozen teams that if Davis was added to their roster, they would be just as good or better than uk right now. 2 years ago uk had 5 first round NBA picks and still couldn't win a championship. They didn't have an Anthony Davis. I hate the kittens as much as anyone but I've watched alot of bball in my time and it will take a total collapse for uk not to win a national championship this year. That doesn't mean the squid should win SEC COY, that honor clearly should be Coach Martin's.

wigmeister writes:

in response to makelemonade:

Quit giving calamari so much credit. There is only one person that deserves credit for uk's success this year and that is Anthony Davis. He's that one player that comes along ever so often that makes that big of a difference. There are at least a dozen teams that if Davis was added to their roster, they would be just as good or better than uk right now. 2 years ago uk had 5 first round NBA picks and still couldn't win a championship. They didn't have an Anthony Davis. I hate the kittens as much as anyone but I've watched alot of bball in my time and it will take a total collapse for uk not to win a national championship this year. That doesn't mean the squid should win SEC COY, that honor clearly should be Coach Martin's.

Agreed! Martin took a team that was supposed to finish 11th and put them in a possible top five finish! Calipari took a team that was supposed to finish 1st, and they are 1st. Big deal! Martin deserves the COY!!!!!

voltan30 writes:

Calipari has the best team that $$$ can buy. He should win, he just has to keep the ego's in check. Cuonzo has done more with less. Cuonzo should most def get coach of year.

FanNotSheep writes:

I'm sorry, but I disagree. Find out how Calimari gets the top players every year and how much Kentucky pays these kids -- and the refs. Then we can talk about your journalistic credibility. So they came close to an undefeated season – half the players will be in the NBA next year, or soon thereafter. What Martin has done is so much more impressive. They lost to Austin-freakin-Peay at home, dude. And then he signed a kid against all odds who could have played for the Squid or any other headline coach and program in the country, and he has built a team out of mostly haven't-done-much-to-justify-their-scholarship players and reeled off a second-half streak that is hard to believe.

I was so mad about losing Coach Pearl and his staff a couple months ago, I didn't care if Martin was one-and-done. Now I will be the first to say that he has matched Pearl's stunning first season in my opinion.

I wish I had a vote on this award, because Cuonzo Martin would get it. The only vote I'll give Cal is that he go on and coach in the NBA. See how he does when he doesn't have the only pro players on the court every night.

UkJarhead writes:

Shew. The jealousy in the room is overwhelming. To hear all the UT fans scream about cheaters when they are on probation in 3 sports for cheating makes me choke a lil. Even the swim team is under investigation. Cal has never been accused or found guilty of anything. NOTHING. If your opinion meant anything, I guess it would matter. I suppose if Anthony Davis, John Wall, Cousins, Knight, Gilchrist, had wanted to come to UT, you would have said no? Your too talented. We don't want players that good.

Anyway, pathetic aside, Martin does deserve COY. Nobody expected UK to be this good. But the job Martin did was very nice. Hope he gets it.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to voltan30:

Calipari has the best team that $$$ can buy. He should win, he just has to keep the ego's in check. Cuonzo has done more with less. Cuonzo should most def get coach of year.

Please submit your proof that he buys players. You know like all the proof of UT cheating in at least 3 sports. Proof? Do you know what that is?

SummittsCourt writes:

There is no argument at all Strange, Coach Martin has to win this award. Cheater cal has all americans who are NBA worthy on his squad (not to mention already professional athletes playing for cal). Coach Martin has coached a team picked 11th to a possible 2nd place finish. Strange you are an idiot for even writing this trash.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

There is no argument at all Strange, Coach Martin has to win this award. Cheater cal has all americans who are NBA worthy on his squad (not to mention already professional athletes playing for cal). Coach Martin has coached a team picked 11th to a possible 2nd place finish. Strange you are an idiot for even writing this trash.

Please submit proof of paying or cheating. Thanks

UkJarhead writes:

This is how you do it.... You accuse, then you research and post proof. Go ahead with yours now. Waiting for proof Cal cheats and pays players. Below is your NCAA report.

Men’s Basketball Team Violations:
◦Impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes resulting from a cumulative total of 96 impermissible phone calls over a 24-month period (Aug. 1, 2007 through July 29, 2009).
◦By the head men’s basketball coach: impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes during an unofficial visit, acting contrary to the principles of ethical conduct, failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches within the men’s basketball program.
◦By the head men’s basketball coach and associate head coach: impermissible contact with a prospective student-athlete at his high school.
◦By the three members of the men’s basketball assistant coaching staff: failure to furnish full and complete information relevant to the investigation.
◦Additionally, the University is alleged to have failed to monitor the men’s basketball coaching staff’s telephone contacts with prospective student-athletes and their relatives in order to ensure compliance with NCAA telephone contact legislation (from Aug. 1, 2007 – July 29, 2009).

Football Team Violations:
◦By former members of the football coaching staff: impermissible telephone contact (16 total calls) with prospective student-athletes from Jan. 3-9, 2010.
◦By a former assistant football coach: allegations relating to impermissible contacts with prospective student-athletes.
◦By a former head football coach: failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant coaches have also been made against a former head football coach, and permitting a football recruiting intern to make impermissible contact with high school staff during a recruiting visit.

UkJarhead writes:

http://i.usatoday.net/sports/college/...

Here is the full PDF of all findings by NCAA if you would like to read about cheaters. Warning: Set aside hours to read. Its lengthy.

Aussievol writes:

Can you clarify the 3 sports we are on probation for? Serious question. I really didnt think we were on probation for any??

gbojrj writes:

I disagree. As much as I like Martin, the S E C sucks in BB and he has benifited from that. There will b only 3 teams in the dance this year from the S E C. Bring on spring practice and let's see what Martin can do in year 2.

Aussievol writes:

And for you to come onto a Vols website and be surprised that there is a bias towards our own coach for COY and dislike toward another teams coach?? Really??!! But I have figured out how we can help you not have to put up with all these irrational people bad-mouthing your coach with no supporting evidence - DON'T COME HERE! And thanks for your vote for Martin as COY (if your opinion meant anything).

Sir_Spanky writes:

I'll have to disagree with the writer on this one because I don't find it all that difficult to ignore not only this basketball-school's head coach but also the numerous clowns in its fanbase.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

This is how you do it.... You accuse, then you research and post proof. Go ahead with yours now. Waiting for proof Cal cheats and pays players. Below is your NCAA report.

Men’s Basketball Team Violations:
◦Impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes resulting from a cumulative total of 96 impermissible phone calls over a 24-month period (Aug. 1, 2007 through July 29, 2009).
◦By the head men’s basketball coach: impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes during an unofficial visit, acting contrary to the principles of ethical conduct, failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches within the men’s basketball program.
◦By the head men’s basketball coach and associate head coach: impermissible contact with a prospective student-athlete at his high school.
◦By the three members of the men’s basketball assistant coaching staff: failure to furnish full and complete information relevant to the investigation.
◦Additionally, the University is alleged to have failed to monitor the men’s basketball coaching staff’s telephone contacts with prospective student-athletes and their relatives in order to ensure compliance with NCAA telephone contact legislation (from Aug. 1, 2007 – July 29, 2009).

Football Team Violations:
◦By former members of the football coaching staff: impermissible telephone contact (16 total calls) with prospective student-athletes from Jan. 3-9, 2010.
◦By a former assistant football coach: allegations relating to impermissible contacts with prospective student-athletes.
◦By a former head football coach: failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant coaches have also been made against a former head football coach, and permitting a football recruiting intern to make impermissible contact with high school staff during a recruiting visit.

Most of the fans on here don't really know much about history and go over the top with wild accusations. See posted below some historical facts about Wildcat basketball. In all of college athletics Kentucky basketball is the most corrupt. From Rupp in the 50's, to almost receiving the death penalty in the 1980's. As far as Cal is concerned, no proof that he is doing anything wrong, except in the case of Eric Bledsoe's paid rent, just going off what he has done in the past. Bumping into recruits, having an illegal barbecue, or making too many phone calls would not be classified as cheating, it would non compliance. Paying players like UK did from 1950-1990 and committing academic fraud is what most consider cheating.

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/fe...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vaul...

tnvol4ever writes:

Questions for JugHead??? How many times has Ky basketball and football been on probation before cheating Cal showed up. Has he ever gotten his 500th win "AGAIN" or is UK still confused on how many the NCAA took away?

UkJarhead writes:

in response to Aussievol:

Can you clarify the 3 sports we are on probation for? Serious question. I really didnt think we were on probation for any??

http://www.wate.com/story/15277687/ut...

http://www.bgsfirm.com/college-sports...

There is your 3 sports. Basketball, football, baseball. And for good measure, there is article on swim coach.

http://www.wkrn.com/story/16453264/po...

tnvol4ever writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Most of the fans on here don't really know much about history and go over the top with wild accusations. See posted below some historical facts about Wildcat basketball. In all of college athletics Kentucky basketball is the most corrupt. From Rupp in the 50's, to almost receiving the death penalty in the 1980's. As far as Cal is concerned, no proof that he is doing anything wrong, except in the case of Eric Bledsoe's paid rent, just going off what he has done in the past. Bumping into recruits, having an illegal barbecue, or making too many phone calls would not be classified as cheating, it would non compliance. Paying players like UK did from 1950-1990 and committing academic fraud is what most consider cheating.

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/fe...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vaul...

You are being way too kind my friend on the "Eric Bledsoe's paid rent" thing. Just research how Bledsoe got the grades to even attend UK. WOW

UkJarhead writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Most of the fans on here don't really know much about history and go over the top with wild accusations. See posted below some historical facts about Wildcat basketball. In all of college athletics Kentucky basketball is the most corrupt. From Rupp in the 50's, to almost receiving the death penalty in the 1980's. As far as Cal is concerned, no proof that he is doing anything wrong, except in the case of Eric Bledsoe's paid rent, just going off what he has done in the past. Bumping into recruits, having an illegal barbecue, or making too many phone calls would not be classified as cheating, it would non compliance. Paying players like UK did from 1950-1990 and committing academic fraud is what most consider cheating.

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/fe...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vaul...

Finally at least someone who does research. But it is flawed. Your first article is merely someones opinion. Its not much different than yours. I could find a sportswriter that hates John Wooden I'm sure. Secondly, the SI article was awful, and mostly true. Although a lot of writer opinion was prevolent there. It was a dark time for us and no doubt we did things wrong. I don't deny the 40's. However, this topic is about your fans calling Cal a cheat when their own program is a wreck. This is current. Find a NCAA investigation accusing Cal of wrongdoing. Its all public. I just posted yours. Find one that says Cal or UK in the past 20 years has transgressed. Did Cal know about stuff he shouldn't? Who knows? But he has never been found guilty or even accused. UT has about 20 years before its shame is gone.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Most of the fans on here don't really know much about history and go over the top with wild accusations. See posted below some historical facts about Wildcat basketball. In all of college athletics Kentucky basketball is the most corrupt. From Rupp in the 50's, to almost receiving the death penalty in the 1980's. As far as Cal is concerned, no proof that he is doing anything wrong, except in the case of Eric Bledsoe's paid rent, just going off what he has done in the past. Bumping into recruits, having an illegal barbecue, or making too many phone calls would not be classified as cheating, it would non compliance. Paying players like UK did from 1950-1990 and committing academic fraud is what most consider cheating.

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/fe...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vaul...

Ad I'm waiting on your proof on how Cal pay's players rent?

tnvol4ever writes:

You are being way too kind my friend on the "Eric Bledsoe's paid rent" thing. Just research how Bledsoe got the grades to even attend UK. WOW!!!
Questions for JugHead??? How many times has Ky basketball and football been on probation before cheating Cal showed up. Has he ever gotten his 500th win "AGAIN" or is UK still confused on how many the NCAA took away?
Still waiting Jug Head

UkJarhead writes:

in response to tnvol4ever:

You are being way too kind my friend on the "Eric Bledsoe's paid rent" thing. Just research how Bledsoe got the grades to even attend UK. WOW!!!
Questions for JugHead??? How many times has Ky basketball and football been on probation before cheating Cal showed up. Has he ever gotten his 500th win "AGAIN" or is UK still confused on how many the NCAA took away?
Still waiting Jug Head

Not ure what you are waiting on. I deal in facts. See above. I don't know that Cal pays rents and takes tests. I've never seen proof of that. And I never said UK was squeaky clean. We had our share. But this article was about COY. I even said Martin deserves it. I say many kind things about the Vols when warranted. I enjoy a healthy rivalry. I come on here and congratulate for big wins. However, Cal was attacked in this article, our players were attacked. Just defending my team and coach. like you do. Currently, UT is in no position to call people cheaters, especially with zero evidence to support. That is all.

tnvol4ever writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Not ure what you are waiting on. I deal in facts. See above. I don't know that Cal pays rents and takes tests. I've never seen proof of that. And I never said UK was squeaky clean. We had our share. But this article was about COY. I even said Martin deserves it. I say many kind things about the Vols when warranted. I enjoy a healthy rivalry. I come on here and congratulate for big wins. However, Cal was attacked in this article, our players were attacked. Just defending my team and coach. like you do. Currently, UT is in no position to call people cheaters, especially with zero evidence to support. That is all.

Didn't really expect an answer. Good luck tomorrow.

johnlg00 writes:

Whether Vol fans agree or not, Calipari's achievement IS remarkable. We all know about UK's history, both the good--numerous national championships, countless All-Americans, vast numbers of SEC championships, one of the top all-time victory totals--and the bad--numerous REALLY serious violations of NCAA rules--but none of that has anything to do with what Calipari has done THIS year, nor does it add to or detract from what Martin has done.

It does Vol fans no credit to come on here accusing Calipari of cheating and all the rest, since he personally has never been directly accused let alone convicted of any major violation. Maybe it IS just a case of not having been caught YET, but unless or until it happens, all we are doing is trying to convene our own kangaroo court, waving the noose before the trial begins.

The whole country knows by now what a great job Martin has done. Some national commentators will make the argument for him for COY; others will join us in sympathizing with him if he doesn't get it. I made my argument for Calipari on another thread. Not that I WANT him to win, I merely summarized the points in his favor, as did Strange. Either one would be a worthy recipient of the COY honor, and all of our venting against Calipari does Martin no good in the race and us no credit as fans.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Ad I'm waiting on your proof on how Cal pay's players rent?

I'm sure as a UK fan you are familiar with the subject. Bledsoe's High School coach paid his family's rent so he would be eligible to play at his high school of choice. It can't be proven but many question where the coach got the money, and the family was dirt poor.

Cal is perceived as a cheater because of what has happened at UMASS and Memphis and as I mentioned in my earlier post many of the claims by UT fans of cheating are unsupported. You have to realize that most of the nation perceives Cal in this manner. As far as UT fans go, we hated Cal at Memphis and now he is at our most hated rival.He has done a good job no doubt about it but my vote for coach of the year is CCM.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/st...

UkJarhead writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

I'm sure as a UK fan you are familiar with the subject. Bledsoe's High School coach paid his family's rent so he would be eligible to play at his high school of choice. It can't be proven but many question where the coach got the money, and the family was dirt poor.

Cal is perceived as a cheater because of what has happened at UMASS and Memphis and as I mentioned in my earlier post many of the claims by UT fans of cheating are unsupported. You have to realize that most of the nation perceives Cal in this manner. As far as UT fans go, we hated Cal at Memphis and now he is at our most hated rival.He has done a good job no doubt about it but my vote for coach of the year is CCM.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/st...

I know the story, but as you said, no proof. No doubt a booster or friend or maybe even his high school coach helped. I just seriously doubt Cal paid a rent check with his check card.

You seemed well informed. And I agree, Martin deserves COY. I like our rivalry healthy without the mud.

peerlessvolfan writes:

in response to iowavol:

I can't think of anything but UT playing Vandy and wish others would as well. We have to focus on our task at hand. Hating on Cal, as much fun as it is, must wait.

Well stated, iowavol!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No need to condemn Martin with your faint praise to make Calipari look good. You know perfectly well that Martin has exceeded every possible expectation for this year's team and in any other year except when UK has an almost unblemished record, the COY discussion would already be over in Martin's favor. UT has not been inconsistent the whole season, they have been on a steady upward track ever since the SEC season started. They did have to learn how to win on the road, which is the biggest lesson any inexperienced team under a new coach has to learn. I think they have learned that now. You can be sure that MSU or UGA would not AT ALL look forward to a rematch on their courts NOW. There is no reason why they would not continue to get better the longer they keep playing.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The "cheating" by Pearl was nothing but secondary violations, of which every program in the country has all the time. The offense was the lying about it, which was rightly punished. You continuing to call what Pearl did "cheating" is nothing but a case of "protesting too much" to counter the equally unfounded allegations some UT fans have made. Give it a rest. Enjoy the season you are having and stop trying to make it look better by putting us down.

FanNotSheep writes:

Can I prove Calimari cheats? No, of course not. If I could, believe me you would know. But it is strange how every place he leaves immediately goes on probation. And Kentucky has been caught cheating in the past. Go ahead, Blue fans, say every team does it, just like 'Bama fans said after Fulmer caught on to their little $200,000 game with Albert Means.

Some say that happened only because 'Bama broke an unwritten rule and bought a high school in another school's state. Might be true. Has Tennessee had boosters who did unethical things? Sure. It's human nature and these people are competitive to the extreme. But I believe when UT officials found out they put a stop to it if possible. I may be naive. But UT has never been caught buying recruits or paying players.

I am confident that certain Kentucky basketball boosters and certain Alabama football boosters have been among the worst and most brazen examples of what is bad about college athletics. And it is my opinion that past administrations of those schools felt a sense of entitlement because of who they are. I do not know what the current officials do or believe. But I will tell you this: I have never seen home cooking like they have at the basketball games in Lexington. If somebody ain't paying those refs they ought to at least send them a nice Christmas card, because UK sure gets a lot of gifts all season long.

jamgod writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

http://i.usatoday.net/sports/college/...

Here is the full PDF of all findings by NCAA if you would like to read about cheaters. Warning: Set aside hours to read. Its lengthy.

Well...lets see...none of our coaches have had to vacate wins or final fours or whatever....so obviously there's some proof in there somewhere. Just a UK fan that is defending his teams coach....can't say I blame him.

jamgod writes:

in response to johnlg00:

No need to condemn Martin with your faint praise to make Calipari look good. You know perfectly well that Martin has exceeded every possible expectation for this year's team and in any other year except when UK has an almost unblemished record, the COY discussion would already be over in Martin's favor. UT has not been inconsistent the whole season, they have been on a steady upward track ever since the SEC season started. They did have to learn how to win on the road, which is the biggest lesson any inexperienced team under a new coach has to learn. I think they have learned that now. You can be sure that MSU or UGA would not AT ALL look forward to a rematch on their courts NOW. There is no reason why they would not continue to get better the longer they keep playing.

Of course not...that is what money does for you. He somehow miraculously gets others to take the blame for him...don't worry, in a couple of years when everything comes out we will see how Kentucky has to vacate some wins and final fours or whatever. Bruce Pearl was really an idiot because he panicked over a secondary violation...but he dang sure wasn't throwing money at players because ther great friends with a nike representitive or agent hiney licker. So don't worry, we'll see it soon enough.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

how can anybody say martin is deserving of a honor,he deserves to go back where he came from.He cant even spell coach much less be one.Lets see how many 4-5 starr guys come here??? Yeah everybody is going to say Stokes but martin didnt have nothing to do with that

UkJarhead writes:

in response to jamgod:

Well...lets see...none of our coaches have had to vacate wins or final fours or whatever....so obviously there's some proof in there somewhere. Just a UK fan that is defending his teams coach....can't say I blame him.

Well if Aaron Craft had chosen UT instead of OSU, you would have vacated. He would have been ineligible. The problem is, UT doesn't have much to offer so even with free BBQ, nobody of value wants to go to Knoxville.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

No one deserves this award more than Cuonzo Martin.

No one.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Well if Aaron Craft had chosen UT instead of OSU, you would have vacated. He would have been ineligible. The problem is, UT doesn't have much to offer so even with free BBQ, nobody of value wants to go to Knoxville.

As a UK fan, what can you tell us about value? What is the going rate to sign these guys? Do you all really promise them racehorses or just pay cash?

UkJarhead writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

As a UK fan, what can you tell us about value? What is the going rate to sign these guys? Do you all really promise them racehorses or just pay cash?

Until its proven otherwise, they are promised the best venue to play in, chance to win championships, and great training on how to reach their goals of NBA millions.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Until its proven otherwise, they are promised the best venue to play in, chance to win championships, and great training on how to reach their goals of NBA millions.

Just messing with you dude. But you all do get every call.

And I do think Stokes will be a great player, but hope he gets to stay in Knoxville long enough to get this thing going the way Pearl had it working. Look forward to UT being more competitive against Big Blue very soon.

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