Thursday, March 26, 2015

3 comments Dan Shaughnessy is Livid That UMass is Honoring John Calipari Because of Reasons He Copied and Pasted from Every Other Column Written about John Calipari

We still have one open spot in the fantasy baseball league and if anyone wants to join then send me an email to bengoodfella@yahoo.com and I will send you an invite. That will put the league at 10 people and we need one more person before the draft on Sunday.

Dan Shaughnessy claims to be upset that UMass will be honoring John Calipari on the 20th anniversary of Calipari taking the UMass men's basketball team to the Final Four. That's not what this column is about though. It's about John Calipari being slightly shady at UMass and Dan Shaughnessy feeling snubbed by Calipari. This means Dan will go hard at Calipari for his actions at UMass, despite the fact the NCAA cleared Calipari of any wrongdoing by the NCAA. I don't love Calipari, but I think Dan Shaughnessy is more butt hurt by a snub the "Globe" received from Calipari 20 years ago then he is really concerned about UMass honoring Calipari.

Here we are. Kentucky, the No. 1-ranked team in the country — coached by John Calipari — is on the cusp of NCAA history, 31-0 after Saturday’s win over Florida.

Well, all he has to do is roll the ball out to center court and his team wins. Having talented freshmen on the team is just a matter of doing that. Just ask Rick Barnes who couldn't get past the second round of the NCAA tournament with Kevin Durant, and Coach K, who has lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament twice over the last three years with a talented lottery pick freshman on his roster.

Meanwhile, the folks at UMass have decided to retire Coach Cal’s “number,” and this weekend marks the 20th anniversary of him refusing to allow a Globe reporter to visit his home for Selection Sunday.

And that is really what this little temper tantrum/column is about. Dan Shaughnessy and his paper feel jilted by John Calipari. Dan's ego is hurt so he's going to take it out on the big meanies who hurt him.

Sometimes there is not enough space in our newspaper to articulate all the thoughts, and state all the points, that need to be made.

If only Dan had enough pull at the paper to get more room to write all that he really wants to write. Unfortunately, the big meanies at the "Boston Globe" won't allow him more space.

Let’s start with this: John Calipari is a magnetic figure, undoubtedly the greatest college basketball recruiter of the 21st century. He works the NCAA’s cesspool system better than any man alive. He is charismatic. He came to Amherst more than a quarter of a century ago as a Rick Pitino wannabe, but now he has vaulted over Pitino, and created the Brand of Cal.

Notice how Dan at no point mentions that Calipari is a good coach. Since I'm guessing that Shaughnessy watches college basketball starting in March of every year then I will also guess that Dan's knowledge about college basketball is probably gained from everything he sees in March. Even so, he should know that Calipari is a really good coach. It's not easy to get freshmen to play defense and he gets his freshmen to play defense AND give up minutes to other talented players.

He is probably going to win a second national championship with Kentucky this year and is no doubt a swell dancer and would make for a fine dinner companion.

Though Dan wouldn't know if Calipari was a fine dinner companion because Cal snubbed Dan's employer for dinner one time 20 years ago.

But as a Massachusetts taxpayer, I have a problem with UMass “retiring” Coach Cal’s number.

Dan isn't butt hurt by John Calipari snubbing the "Globe," he's just a concerned taxpayer. That's all. Dan's ego isn't the issues, it's that Dan wants to make sure his taxes don't go to a retired jersey for John Calipari.

Really? Bill Cosby’s jersey is not available?

Bill Cosby went to Temple and has no affiliation to UMass, so that's why they aren't retiring his jersey. Wait, this was supposed to be a joke? I guess should acknowledge such a hot take combined with a super burn.  

I enjoy how Dan Shaughnessy is equating (allegedly) raping multiple women over a multiple decade-long span of time to Calipari's players accepting cash from an agent or having someone else take the SAT in place of the player. Rape, taking money from an agent or cheating on the SAT, they are all the same thing according to Dan Shaughnessy's moral code of conduct.

Calipari is a man who stretches the rules, and wins. He won at UMass. He won at Memphis. He took both schools to the Final Four, but both appearances were “vacated.’’ 

While it's not as much fun to be fair to Calipari, if I were being fair, then I would point out the wins at UMass weren't vacated for actions that Calipari took part in. It was Marcus Camby and contact with an agent that got the UMass Final Four vacated. And again, Derrick Rose's SAT score was the issue at Memphis and Calipari was not considered to have committed any wrongdoing. I don't ever deny the smoke that surrounds Calipari, but Dan is giving the appearance that Calipari was accused of wrongdoing in both situations, which isn't the official truth of the situation. Sure, Dan WANTS Calipari to have been found of wrongdoing, but that doesn't mean it's the truth.

They were erased. You know the drill. Ineligible players. Phony SAT tests. The usual. So, while Coach Cal and Pitino are the only coaches to take three schools to the Final Four, Cal’s also got more vacancies than a Days Inn in downtown Detroit.

ZING!

And our state university is going to honor him? Again?

He led the UMass men's basketball team to a level of success they have not experienced since he left the university. The Final Four was vacated, but UMass basketball fans still remember and enjoy Calipari's time coaching the team. 

He has a chance to produce the first undefeated college team since Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers 39 years ago. But it’s impossible to escape the notion that Coach Cal is a glorified AAU bag man. 

A lot of NCAA basketball coaches are this way. Coach Calipari has a tight relationship with AAU coaches and guys like Worldwide Wes, but it's not like a respected coach like Bill Self is above shady dealings related to AAU coaches. Recruiting isn't an easy world to stay clean in.

I see Calipari on the bench and I see bundles of cash. I see classroom vacancies. I must be imagining things.

John Calipari does get paid a lot of money, so maybe that's why Dan sees bundles of cash. For all the things that Calipari has been accused of, I'm not sure paying players is one of those things. I don't know if his players go to class, but this sounds like the boring, assumptive criticism that a hack like Shaughnessy would make. It's criticism-by-numbers.

Cal promotes the dribble-drive and gets his one-and-done kids to the NBA.

I hate to ruin Dan's image of Calipari, but his team this year started two juniors, two sophomores, and a freshman prior to Alex Poythress getting injured. Coaches who are thought to uphold the grand tradition of the student-athlete had similar starting lineups this year. Coach K started three freshmen, a senior and junior, while Bill Self started two juniors, two freshmen, and two sophomores at various times through year. Other teams like Wisconsin have seniors starting, but Calipari shouldn't be faulted for helping his players accomplish the goal of making it to the NBA.

He walks hand-in-hand with the fraudulent, sanctimonious governing body that insists we refer to his players as “student-athletes.’’ What a joke.

And of course it is John Calipari's fault that the NCAA is a fraudulent governing body. He could change how the NCAA handles business, but he chooses not to. This is a very typical observation of a sportswriter who watches college basketball for three weeks in a year.

But the joke is on us when UMass chooses to honor Cal during the 2015-16 season, a year that will mark the 20th anniversary of the Minutemen’s one and only trip the Final Four, an appearance that officially never happened.

I really don't care. John Calipari has never snubbed me for dinner.

UMass looks pathetic. It’s bad enough that the school bosses have signed off on a ridiculous, costly, and futile plan to play Bowl Subdivision football.

Watch out for the quick change-of-subject criticism!

In case you missed it, Cal took UMass to the Final Four at the Meadowlands in the spring of 1996 (ironically, the Minutemen were eliminated by Pitino’s eventual national champs from Kentucky), but it turned out that star center Marcus Camby already had turned professional while he was still in school, and UMass’s appearance was officially erased by the NCAA.

It's hard to miss it when this entire article hinges on the reader understanding that Camby took money from an agent and Dan Shaughnessy is desperately trying to do something the NCAA couldn't (or wouldn't...I have no idea which one it is) do, which is tie Calipari to Camby who was tied to the agent.

Coach Cal got out of town before the posse arrived, lying to everyone on his way out the door as he took millions from the New Jersey Nets.

But as was learned from the Bruce Pearl and Jim Tressel situations the NCAA could have imposed a "show-cause" penalty on any team looking to hire John Calipari, meaning he could have gotten punished even after he left town to coach the New Jersey Nets. The NCAA did not impose a "show-cause" penalty. It's a common misconception that Calipari could have left for the NBA and the NCAA would have completely had their hands tied. It was a decision by the NCAA to not impose sanctions on Calipari for any role he played in the UMass-Marcus Camby situation.

Now, Nefarious John is at Kentucky, producing a conga line of lottery picks, some of whom perhaps actually spend several hours on campus.

This is such a lazy criticism, because as we learned from the UNC-CH scandal, there is no way of telling if college basketball players from other high-profile universities attend class either. This whole column is lazy and reeks of by-the-numbers criticism of Calipari without any real in-depth knowledge of each individual situation that is being criticized.

Hardly any of them graduate, of course.

"Hardly" any of Calipari's players graduate. Well, according to Dan's own newspaper the University of Kentucky graduates players at an 82% rate. That's not really considered "hardly" in my world, but I'm looking for the column from Dan that will never happen where he criticizes Bo Ryan, Jim Boeheim, and Thad Matt for their graduation rate below 50%. I'm sure the system is stacked against them though, since we learned early in this column that the NCAA is inextricably tied to John Calipari and he controls every move the NCAA makes.

What good are facts when an opinion can better serve to prove the point that needs to be proven?

And the needy, deprived fans of Kentucky basketball somehow manage to devote their lives to this product. They are OK when a raft of Kentucky players get drafted and Cal announces that it’s the greatest night in the history of Kentucky basketball.

Every college basketball program brags about the players from that school that have reached the NBA. It's a recruiting tool that all schools use. I'm not sure why Dan insists on acting like Kentucky or John Calipari are the only ones who do this. It's probably because Dan pays attention to college basketball for three weeks per year and so all of his non-insights are based on assumptions and opinions that lack a factual basis.

Kentucky fans are defiantly proud of their one-and-done semi-pro players who visit campus briefly on their way to the NBA.

Much in the same way Dan is defiantly proud of being disliked by so many of his readers who view him as a troll who they wish would go away.

But it’s all OK because, you know, Cal is just working within the system. And he is really good at it. The Wildcats are fun to watch (did you see the spectacular comeback against Georgia Tuesday night?). And if you have an 18-year-old son who is one year away from NBA millions, send him to Kentucky.

Or Duke. Or Kansas. Or one of the other top schools in the recruiting rankings. But yeah, blame Kentucky for all of the one-and-done players while pretending Ohio State, Duke, Kansas, and Texas haven't had their share of one-and-done players as well. I've written this 1000 times, but Calipari has stated he isn't a fan of the one-and-done rule, so blaming him for an NBA rule that forces college basketball players to attend college or play overseas for one year is misguided. Dan being misguided shouldn't come as a shock. He comes to the party late and then pretends to have been there the entire time. He writes with 50% of the knowledge he needs and just assumes that knowledge which he doesn't have.

Just don’t insult everybody’s intelligence by calling him a “student-athlete.’’

That's the NCAA calling them student-athletes, not John Calipari's doing.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of Coach Cal barring the Globe from his Shutesbury home on Selection Sunday. The Globe’s UMass beat reporter was the estimable Joe Burris, who had covered the Minutemen for six seasons and wrote stories on 29 regular-season games in 1995.

Now for the real reason that Dan Shaughnessy doesn't like John Calipari. It has less to do with UMass honoring Calipari and more to do with Calipari snubbing the "Globe" from entering his home. Not that Dan would ever write a column based on any biases he has. Of course not.

Calipari was upset because the Globe had reported on the poor grades and academic probation of UMass’s student-athletes — a report that should have served as fair warning that our State U. was sacrificing standards in the name of Final Four glory.

Much like how the "Globe" sacrifices journalistic talent and integrity for the sake of pageviews and name recognition by continuing to employ Dan Shaughnessy.

“The Globe’s not invited,’’ UMass publicist Bill Strickland said 20 years ago. “He did not want the Boston Globe in his home . . . I think he should be entitled to invite anyone he wants to his house. And to keep anyone out.’’

Fair enough.

Oh good, I'm glad Dan finds it acceptable to think that John Calipari can invite anyone into his house that he wants into his home and can keep anyone out of his home that he doesn't want there.

But I found it amazing that Burris — a man worthy of marrying the daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu — was not allowed in the home of a man who prevailed over a program that disgraced Massachusetts.

Except this is a stupid argument because Calipari had not disgraced Massachusetts at that point, so 20 years ago Burris was simply not allowed in the home of a college basketball coach. At the time, Calipari wasn't presiding over a program that had a Final Four vacated. Hey Dan, remember the whole "Calipari got out of town and took the New Jersey Nets' money before the posse got him" criticism of Calipari you had earlier? Well, Calipari was in town still, so you can't have it both ways. You can't have Calipari run from his disgrace and tell stories about how Calipari was already a disgraced coach while still at UMass.

It was like getting scolded for cheating by Alex Rodriguez.

(Bengoodfella makes wanking motion with his hand)

And now we are honoring Coach Cal.

March Madness, indeed.

And of course, Dan's bitterness towards Calipari has nothing to do with the "Globe" not being invited to Calipari's house and it's certainly not based on a limited amount of knowledge that Dan has based on watching college basketball for three weeks of the season. This is a paint-by-numbers screed against Calipari. It's embarrassing for Dan because he compares John Calipari to Bill Crosby, since rape is on the same moral plane as taking money from an agent, and he clearly didn't put any thought into what he wrote. Of course, much like he criticizes Kentucky for taking pride in their one-and-done players, Dan takes great pride in writing while using as few facts and as many strong opinions as possible. Dan thinks Calipari will do anything to win, all while Dan will write anything to get attention.

3 comments:

Chris said...

So Calipari has a few one and done's and he gets raked over the coals by Shaughnessy and his ilk for it. Jabari Parker leaves after one year and Coach K gets no criticism whatsoever.

Also did Marcus Camby associating with an agent really disgrace the entire state of Massachusetts? Because the citizens of that state appear to be doing just fine and not wallowing in a 20 year old story.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, K gets an SI cover that reads "The Education of Jabari Parker" as if K is teaching Jabari things that Cal isn't.

They are all doing fine and no one really cares if Camby was associated with an agent. Well, Dan Shaughnessy cares apparently.

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