Filed under: College Basketball, media, Players | Tags: CBS Sports, Coach Calipari, Corey Maggette, Derrick Rose, Gary Parrish, William Wesley
Over at CBS, Gary Parrish does his best to compare the recent Derrick Rose/Memphis situation to the Corey Maggette/Duke situation. He feels like the NCAA is using “selective enforcement” when they punish Memphis, but not Duke.
Gary is wrong though. These two situations are not the same and he should know better. However, my first question to Parrish (and Doyle for that matter) is, why use Maggette and Duke as your primary example? I know why…because hitting on Duke gets you a lot more hits on your “blog.”
Wouldn’t a better and certainly more timely comparison be Darrell Arthur and Kansas. If you don’t know this one, it has been reported that Arthur actually failed a class in high school (his grade was changed), which would have made him ineligible to play in the exact same game Derrick Rose was playing in (and was ineligible for).
However, since CBS Sports brought it up, let’s just deal with the Maggette/Duke situation.
COREY MAGGETTE/DUKE: A summer basketball coach, Myron Piggie, made cash payments to Corey while in high school. The money had been funneled to Piggie through “a revenue pool that included donations from at least two sports agents.” Years later, after an investigation, Maggette admitted taking the money.
DERRICK ROSE/MEMPHIS: Derrick Rose was a basketball star from Chicago, who would have gone straight to the NBA if he could. Of course, because of the NBA age requirement, Rose had to attend college for at least one year. However, Rose wasn’t a star student. In fact, he had failed his SAT three times. Rose had been committed to John Calipari and Memphis, but he needed to pass that SAT or else. Suddenly one month before he was due to enroll, someone, not Derrick Rose, took the SAT in Detroit (mind you, Derrick didn’t live in Michigan) and passed…and the rest is history.
Now let’s help out Parrish and explain the difference between the two. What Maggette did was wrong, however, Myron Piggie, had nothing to do with Duke University. The money had nothing to do with Corey’s decision to attend Duke. There is absolutely ZERO connection between Piggie, the money and Duke basketball. Sure, if it was discovered prior to Maggette joining Duke that he accepted cash, he would have lost his eligibility. You can also argue that the NCAA dragged their feet on the Maggette investigation. You always want this stuff wrapped up quickly, just because it looks better.
However, in the Rose/Memphis situation, there are two issues at play. First, all because all the dots can’t be connected, doesn’t mean that we have to ignore any and all evidence (this is not a court of law).
Let’s let Geoff Calkins explain:
On May 5, 2007, with all this at stake, someone — the Educational Testing Service has concluded it wasn’t Derrick Rose — showed up at a test center in Detroit to take Rose’s SAT.
Rose lived in Chicago, mind you. He traveled to Detroit to watch an NBA playoff game and — doesn’t everyone do this? — take the SAT.
Care to guess what significant friend of Calipari’s has deep connections in Detroit?
William Wesley a.k.a. Worldwide Wes, the most mysterious and connected man in college basketball.
Who knows how this all played out? But if you think Calipari didn’t know how his star player qualified to play basketball at Memphis, I have a 2007-08 Final Four banner I’d like to sell you.
Who is Worldwide Wes? Some have called him the most powerful man in sports. You can be the judge.
From Larry Brown Sports, who has done a fantastic job covering the whole Derrick Rose fiasco:
Worldwide Wes (William Wesley) is based out of Detroit and it’s long been established that he helped steer Rose to John Calipari at Memphis. Wes, whom most fans have never heard of, is considered to be one of the biggest powerbrokers in the NBA, one some players say is running the league. Wes helped bring prized recruit DaJuan Wagner to Memphis and Calipari obliged by hiring Wagner’s dad onto his staff. Since then, Wes has helped send Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Tyreke Evans to Memphis. Calipari has even called Wes a “goodwill ambassador” to the Memphis program, making you wonder if he’ll now be Kentucky’s ambassador. So now the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit together, and the dots between Rose, Calipari, the suspicious SAT test, and Detroit have all been connected. And just like I said three months ago, sounds like John Calipari helped Derrick Rose cheat on the SAT, or at the very least, knew exactly what he was up to.
This brings us to my second point, it’s all about a track record. Coach K’s record is crystal clear, Memphis and Coach Calipari’s aren’t. First, Rose isn’t the only player from that Memphis team with questionable SAT results and let’s not forget, Coach Calipari is now the only coach in NCAA history to have two Final Four teams disappear from the record books (and in both cases, he was gone by the time the punishments came down). The first case, if you recall was at UMass where Marcus Camby, while on campus, was taking money, jewelry and prostitutes from an agent.
Now granted, Calipari wasn’t the one that was throwing hookers at Camby and there is absolutely no proof that he set up the Rose/SAT situation, but at the very least, Calipari is the master of “plausible deniability.”
Another fact lost on Parrish was that the cheating on the SAT wasn’t the only infraction.
From Dana O’Neil at ESPN:
In regard to this specific investigation, (Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson) agreed to let Reggie Rose (Derrick’s brother) on (the team) plane. By the letter of the law it was OK. NCAA rules say a player’s family can ride on the team plane so long as that opportunity is afforded to the general public.
But it turned out to be a slippery slope to disaster. One missed payment — or in this case, more than $1,700 worth — and Memphis had itself a violation (and by the way, how could Reggie Rose be unaware that he didn’t pay? That’s not exactly chump change for a man who isn’t a Rockefeller).
So let’s see where we stand.
In one case, we have Corey Maggette, who took cash from a high school summer coach that has ZERO affiliation with Coach K and Duke University.
In the other case, we have a player who cheated on a SAT test (after failing his first three tries) in a different state from where he lived, in a city where Worldwide Wes (the man who had brought half-a-dozen players to Coach Cal) lives, just to be accepted by a school that had other players with questionable SAT scores, by a coach who has run afoul with the NCAA in the past…oh and then gave a free plane ride to the player’s brother (who most believe was the one who actually took the SAT test).
Now on top of all that, the big difference, the one fact that separates Maggette/Duke from Rose/Memphis is that, according to the NCAA, Memphis found out DURING Rose’s freshman season that there might be issues with his SAT scores and they did nothing to investigate. In fact, the school didn’t even tell Coach Calipari about the possible infractions (which should make UK fans happy). This means, Memphis knowingly let Rose play games, despite knowing their might be eligibility problems with their star player.
Paul Dee, the chairman for the committee on infractions, said in a teleconference that even though Memphis was not aware of Rose’s questionable test score until midway through his freshman year, once the score was invalidated by Educational Testing Service, Rose no longer met the initial eligibility standards.
“This is a situation of strict liability,” Dee said. “If he is ineligible and does not meet initial requirements, the penalties are related back to that time and a determination is then made: Did he play in any contests after the fact? In this case, he did.”
Calipari was not penalized because he was never included in the original notice of allegations, Dee said. But Dee did stress that vacating the record books carries with it an implied punishment.”
Yep Gary, no difference at all.
Sorry folks, big difference. It’s fine to ignore Worldwide Wes, Detroit and all other bits of information, but the big difference remains…Duke didn’t learn of Maggette taking money until years after the fact, while Memphis learned of it during the season.
What I don’t get is…Parrish is a good reporter and he should have known the difference because he’s reported on it on his OWN BLOG before.
From August 20:
One of the interesting bits of information released today is that the SAT in question that the NCAA believes Derrick Rose did not actually take was taken by somebody in Detroit only a month before Rose enrolled at Memphis. Rose had already taken the SAT three times and failed to get a qualifying score each time. So suddenly this Chicago native went to Detroit to take the test one final time, and would it be too cynical to mention that the famed William Wesley — AKA “Worldwide Wes” — just so happens to live in Detroit?
That’s probably just a coincidence, right?
Now come on, Gary…you don’t see a difference?
PS – And before I start to receive the hate male from the haters, for the record, unless the NCAA can prove Memphis knew or allowed Rose to cheat, I think the punishment is B.S. I don’t believe Memphis should lose anything. If the school didn’t do anything wrong, then they shouldn’t have their Final Four vacated.