UK acquiesces to NCAA on 500-win ruling on Calipari

jtipton@herald-leader.comJune 17, 2011 

Coach John Calipari during a public practice session for the men's NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball game Friday, April 1, 2011, in Houston. Butler plays VCU Saturday. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

After months of debate with the NCAA, the University of Kentucky accepted the NCAA's decision that the recognition of John Calipari's 500th coaching victory was in error.

Because of 42 vacated victories when he coached at Massachusetts and Memphis, Calipari had officially achieved his 458th career victory when UK beat Florida on Feb. 26.

Although NCAA record-keeping had the victory as No. 458 for Calipari, Kentucky insisted it was correct in recognizing it as the 500th. UK's chief compliance officer, Sandy Bell, argued that the victories indeed occurred even if subsequently vacated.

The NCAA disagreed. In a letter sent to UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. earlier this month, the NCAA Committee on Infractions chair asked UK to publicly admit it made a mistake. The chair also asked UK to send the wording of a statement to the NCAA for approval before being made public. Here's the statement released Thursday:

"After consulting with the NCAA, the University of Kentucky has been informed that the honoring of our head men's basketball coach for his 500th career victory on Feb. 26, 2011 was in error and that, henceforth, we will reflect our head men's basketball coach's career record in our media guides, Internet sites and other publications consistent with the NCAA's official records and statistics."

Calipari officially has 467 wins.

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