Before I go any further, I’m not trying to clear John Calipari’s name. No one will ever do that. The country, for the most part, has made up their mind. They see what they think to be the facts and jump to one conclusion or another. Steve Kelley did this as well. I just hope to plant the seed of doubt in the minds of everyone who thinks they have all the information.
Kelley, of the Seattle Times, has a column about John Calipari. And of course like all John Calipari articles, it’s lopsided. This one chooses to focus on the ethical side of recruiting. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s not a relevant quote in the article to back up his stance.
Sure, he quotes Rick Majerus from Mark Pope’s recruitment, saying Utah had no chance when facing Kentucky for the services of Pope. He also quoted Bob Knight’s infamous rant about John Calipari, talking about integrity.
Pot, kettle, etc.
Kelley brings up the phone call between Calipari and Terrence Jones. He actually states that Jones called Calipari, which goes against what rival fans and some media would like to say, so that’s a plus. But then he says Jones called Calipari to inform him of his decision to attend Washington. But wait, where’s the quote from the Jones conversation? Where is the quote of Jones telling Kelley or the media in general he called Calipari to inform him of his decision?
There isn’t one.
It’s all assumption based on preconceived notions about Calipari. Here’s a thought the media (doing the popular thing and jumping on the bash Calipari bandwagon) will never bring up. Maybe Terrence Jones called Calipari to profess his doubt about his decision? He said himself, after all, that he had not made a decision and ended up picking Washington at the last second. Maybe he thought about it and wanted to make sure the offer was still available? In this day and age, word gets around quick, especially since the press conference was being streamed live on that newfangled internet thing. Perhaps he was afraid Calipari had already moved on to Marcus Thornton?
“Pish posh,” you might say.
“Calipari is a cheater and even though I have no idea what was said during the conversation or why the call was made, I’ve made up my mind and Calipari was wrong to be involved with a highly touted recruit that is having second thoughts about his decision.”
People like to bring up ethics. And in the same breathe they will bring up Calipari’s two vacated Final Four appearances. But maybe the good side of ethics lead to the first vacated season? Yes, Marcus Camby became ineligible when he was in discussion with and received money from an agent. Yes, Calipari was the coach and Camby was under his tutelage. Yes, this does somewhat make Calipari responsible for Camby and his actions. But, no one wants to bring up that allegedly Calipari was the one that brought attention to the improprieties. Calipari found out what was going on and knew it was wrong.
Oh no, John Calipari did something ethical.
Now, maybe Calipari did know what was going on at Memphis. He knew about Camby’s situation. Who’s to say he didn’t know about (allegedly) Derrick Rose and his SAT? I’m not going to profess him innocent since I don’t have all the details, like some will profess him guilty with the same lack of information. All they see are 2 vacated Final Fours and jump on the bandwagon.
But to jump into the conversation of bashing John Calipari with pure speculation and no relevant quotes is unprofessional. And that’s exactly what Steve Kelley did.
Hopefully we’ll get to read another Steve Kelley article once all the information comes out about why Terrence Jones is balking at his verbal commitment. Then again, maybe it will just be a retraction buried deep in the website.