Tag Archives: UK

The State of Ethics (and college basketball) in Kentucky

I find it fascinating to see the dysfunction that is basketball in Kentucky.  On one hand you have John Calipari whose former team, the University of Memphis is having to forfeit 38 victories and a trip to the Final Four while on the other hand, you have Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who decided to have sex with a women, having his equipment manager marry her, and then paid her $3000 for either an abortion or medical insurance so she can have an abortion (more here).  Yet because they win, everything is overlooked because in the end, it isn’t academic standards, it isn’t integrity, it isn’t anything like that, it is winning that matters.  You have boosters, university administration, and even the Governor defending one or both of them, although Pitino did have to apologize.  Even the AP seems to be caught up in it with this story wondering what will happen to the Rick Pitino brand.

It is incidents like this that make me really like Bobby Knight.  Sure he had a bad temper but he won the right way.  His players graduated, there were no sanctions or scandal, and not only that, he helped create a culture at Indiana University where his successors were held up to a high ethical standard as well.  I know there is a balance there.  Ty Willingham was a great human being but a horrible coach at the University of Washington and probably deserved to be fired but I would rather be a booster of a program that won and lost the right way than be a basketball fan in the state of Kentucky right now.