Official records have Calipari still 42 short of 500 wins

Milestone not yet reached because of NCAA deletions

jtipton@herald-leader.comMarch 1, 2011 

Florida Kentucky Basketball

Kentucky coach John Calipari had a total of 42 victories taken away from his career total because of NCAA sanctions against Memphis and UMass.


On the plus side, Kentucky Coach John Calipari can celebrate his 500th college coaching victory again someday.

Gary Johnson, the head of Division I men's basketball statistics, said Monday that the NCAA does not recognize Kentucky's 76-68 victory over Florida on Saturday as Calipari's 500th college coaching victory.

Because his Memphis team had to vacate 38 victories in 2007-08 and his Massachusetts team vacate four post-season victories in 1995-95, Calipari has 458 college coaching victories going into Tuesday's game against Vanderbilt, according to the NCAA's official statistics. So after the Florida game, UK mistakenly presented Calipari with a basketball to commemorate his 500th victory.

The NCAA ordered Memphis to vacate a record 38 victories in 2007-08 primarily because it ruled that star freshman Derrick Rose should not have been eligible. Subsequent to the season, a testing agency invalidated his college entrance exam score.

A listing of the penalties against the Memphis program specifically mentions that the vacated victories should be removed from Calipari's coaching record.

"The institution's records regarding men's basketball as well as the record of the former head men's basketball coach will reflect the vacated records ...," the NCAA document listing Memphis penalties reads. "Any public reference to these vacated contests, including the appearance in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, shall be removed from athletic department stationary, banners displayed in public areas and any other forum in which they may appear."

That prohibition extends to UK and any future college coaching jobs Calipari might hold.

According to the NCAA, Calipari's record at UK is 55-11, at UMass 189-70 and at Memphis 214-68. That adds up to 458-149.


Calipari used Florida forward Chandler Parsons' productive performance against Kentucky in Gainesville as a way to motivate UK wing Darius Miller in Saturday's rematch.

"If they're talking about him being (SEC) Player of the Year," Calipari said he told Miller. "why aren't they talking about you?"

When asked how Miller responded, Calipari stared straight ahead and remained silent.

Miller scored a career-high 24 points against Florida to extend his streak of double-figure totals to four games. He can match his career-high best of five straight if he scores 10 or more against Vandy.

Defending Jenkins

In the first game, Vandy's John Jenkins scored 32 points, the most posted against UK by a league opponent since 2009.

Calipari noted how Vandy's inside punch (Festus Ezeli) and array of perimeter shooters (five Commodores made a three against UK in Nashville) make it difficult to throw all defensive resources at Jenkins.

"What you're trying to do is make it difficult," he said. "Not trying to steal a ball or block a shot. If he's on fire, it's a hard game. That's their advantage on us."

'Wet rag'

To those who might think Calipari is wrong to publicly criticize players, the UK coach said there was a method behind his comments.

"You get used like a wet rag," he told reporters. "I don't say anything out here I don't want them (the players) to hear. You guys are part of helping me say what I want to say to them."

Keys for Vandy

Jeffery Taylor and Lance Goulbourne combined for four points and four rebounds in the first meeting. Each is coming off productive games.

Taylor led Vandy with 20 points in Saturday's victory at LSU. Goulbourne added 16 points and 17 rebounds, the latter a high for any player in Stallings' 12 seasons as Vandy coach.

"It makes the entire difference in our team," Stallings said of production from Taylor and Goulbourne. "If Lance and Jeff are productive, we tend to be very good."


UK finishes the season with two of the longest series in SEC history. Kentucky-Tennessee on Sunday will be the 211th game in the series. Only the Mississippi State-Ole Miss series is longer at 243. UK-Vandy is the eighth longest with this game being the 177th meeting. ... Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and sideline reporter Shannon Spake will call the game for ESPN.

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