Calipari’s advice to his team: don’t “worry about the circumstances”.
Coach John Calipari says that with a group as young as this one, the key is having a good time. He figures if he can keep basketball fun for the four freshmen – John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton – he can take them deep into the tournament.
“They have no NCAA Tournament experience – zero,” Calipari said. “There’s going to be anxiety. It’s inevitable. They’re human.”
So his message to them is to stay in the moment and not worry about the circumstances. He believes that if they play in a way that they enjoy, somewhat unencumbered by too much structure, they will play at the top of their games.
I am sure he wasn’t worried about the circumstances when he left the University of Massachusetts and now University of Memphis’s basketball programs holding the hot potatoe of NCAA violations.
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee has upheld the vacation of records and forfeiture of championship revenue for the University of Memphis.
In August 2009, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions issued a report that included findings of major and secondary violations involving the men’s basketball and women’s golf programs.[…]
During this case, the Committee on Infractions found that a men’s basketball student-athlete competed while ineligible during the entire 2007-08 season, including the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, due to an invalidated SAT score.
In its appeal, the university made two arguments as grounds for reversal of the financial penalty: (1) there was insufficient evidence to find that the university or the student-athlete knew, or had reason to know, that he would become ineligible; and (2) even if the evidence was sufficient to make such a finding, the Committee on Infractions erred by not specifically concluding that the university or the student-athlete knew, or had reason to know, that he would become ineligible.
Now he is at University of Kentucky, one of the top college basketball programs in the nation. If I were a betting man, I would bet that when he leaves Kentucy, they will be sanctioned as well.