Maybe Calipari should be tooting his own vuvuzela

UK coach makes the grade in APR

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistJune 16, 2010 

Random notes:

■ John Calipari deservedly took some heat for Kentucky basketball's grade point averages this school year, but his Academic Progress Rate numbers tell a different story.

If you go by the numbers at the schools where each of the current Southeastern Conference coaches were employed in the 2008-09 academic year, the final year of the most recent four-year span the APR measures, Calipari's numbers rank third among his conference colleagues.

Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt is first with an APR of 980 over the four years. Going by his scores at his previous school, Virginia Commonwealth, current Alabama coach Anthony Grant is second at 975.

And, if you go by his 2008-09 APR score at Memphis, Calipari is third among current SEC coaches with a score of 974.

■ Speaking of APRs, there wasn't much made nationally about the fact Jim Boeheim's program at Syracuse was penalized with the loss of two scholarships.

Boeheim has a legit gripe that three of his players (Eric Devendorf, Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris) chose to prepare for the NBA Draft rather than complete their schoolwork, thus hurting the program's APR number.

But Syracuse isn't the only school that had players enter the draft.

■ Don't bother complaining to me about my columns. Been watching too much of the World Cup. The vuvuzelas have rendered me deaf as a post.

■ Before you think those vuvuzelas (air horns) should be banned, consider what one South African told the NBC Nightly News: "I think we've already had enough banning in South Africa."

■ Speaking of the World Cup, best line concerning English goalie Robert Green's flub last Saturday, which allowed the United States' equalizing goal, came from the London Times, which wrote, "That's one disastrous spill the Yanks won't complain about."

■ Ex-UK quarterback Andre Woodson is trying to catch on with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League, reports the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise. Hartford's head coach is Chris Palmer, who was Tim Couch's first head coach in Cleveland.

■ As for another ex-Cat, pitcher Brandon Webb threw off a mound Sunday for the first time since March 4. The Arizona Diamondbacks star and 2006 Cy Young Award winner has not pitched in a game since Opening Day 2009. He underwent surgery on his left (throwing) shoulder last August.

■ Through the NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant owns the best-selling jersey at nbastore.com. No. 2? Rajon Rondo.

■ Not too hard to figure out who brought conference expansion to a screeching halt on Monday.

As the lead reporter in all this, Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reported Tuesday that ESPN raised the stakes so that Texas and the four other Big 12 programs wouldn't help the Pac-10 start its own Fox-based network.

So the real rivalry here was not Texas vs. Texas A&M as much as it was ESPN vs. Fox.

■ The most relieved man in America on Monday night was Big 12 (and former OVC) Commissioner Dan Beebe.

■ Did you see Southern Cal Athletics Director Mike Garrett's response to being hammered by the NCAA infractions committee?

"As I read the decision by the NCAA," Garrett said, "I read between the lines, and there was nothing but a lot of envy."

That's really going to help USC's appeal. Were I the NCAA, I'd be tempted to remove another 10 scholarships and take away another bowl game.

■ Are we watching more TV? The Kentucky Derby ratings were up. The Stanley Cup ratings were up. The NBA Finals ratings are the best since 2004. And early World Cup ratings are up.

■ The Belmont TV ratings were way down. The 3.0 share was the worst in the 50 years the race has been televised. All the more reason racing has to find a way to have its best 3-year-olds run in all three Triple Crown races.

Reach John Clay at (859) 231-3226 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3226, or jclay@herald-leader.com. Read his blog at Kentucky.com.

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