Sidelines with John Clay

Rick Pitino should be held accountable, plus more Big Blue Links

Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino arrives for a press conference, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. The NCAA accused Louisville of four violations stemming from its investigation into allegations that a former basketball staffer hired escorts and strippers for sex parties with recruits and players.
Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino arrives for a press conference, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. The NCAA accused Louisville of four violations stemming from its investigation into allegations that a former basketball staffer hired escorts and strippers for sex parties with recruits and players. Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Friday:

The NCAA lays out its case against Louisville, reports Gary Graves of the AP. The school received the letter of allegationst his week. It has 90 days to respond.

Rick Pitino could face an NCAA suspension over charges, reports Gentry Estes of the Courier-Journal. The NCAA charged the Louisville basketball program with four allegations, including Pitino’s failure to properly monitor his assistants. Pitino denied the allegation, of course.

The findings come as a relief at U of L, says Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal. The school avoided the dreaded “lack of institutional control” charge over the scandal that involved former staff member Andre McGee arranging stripper parties for players.

Eric Crawford of WDRB, who wrote a book with Pitino, doesn’t believe that Pitino knew about the parties. He does admit that this complicates the coach’s legacy.

Katina Powell’s attorney is still waiting on an apology, writes Rick Bozich of WDRB. He doesn’t expect to get one.

Rick Pitino should be held accountable for the Louisville scandal, says Nicole Auerbach of USA Today. Pitino is after all the head of the program. He gets the big bucks for being responsible for the program.

You cannot separate Pitino from great basketball - or the scandal, writes Eamonn Brennan of ESPN. Pitino is one-of-a-kind, says Eamonn. That’s both good and bad.

Calipari’s inner Trump surfaces during light-hearted appearance at Rotary Club, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. The UK coach did impressions of both Trump and Clinton while also talking about his team during the annual appearance.

Matthew Mitchell says the “worst day of my year” yielded some positive results, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. Mitchell appeared at the SEC basketball media day for somen’s hoops on Thursday in Nashville. Mitchell was talking about the dance he does at Midnight Madness.

Kentucky’s ground game is hitting its stride, reports Smith. Tough running from Benny Snell and Jojo Kemp has helped the UK offense change its personality this season.

Kentucky linebackers De’Niro Laster and Kobie Walker will miss the rest of the season, reports Smith. The two were backup outside linebackers to Josh Allen and Denzil Ware.

Mark Story of the Herald-Leader writes about the unusual way the 1976 Kentucky football team became SEC champs in 1978. The ’76 team will be honored during the UK-Mississippi State football game on Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis is finding his confidence again, reports Michael Bonner of the Clarion-Ledger. Lewis leads SEC true freshmen in tackles.

Mississippi State linebacker Richie Brown talks about the loss at BYU and Saturday’s game against Kentucky.

Five-star basketball recruit Jarred Vanderbilt will visit Kentucky, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is no longer taking an official visit to Lexington.

Alabama’s offense will be put to the test against Texas A&M, reports Tommy Deas of the Tuscaloosa News. A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis has made a big difference since coming to College Station from LSU.

Jalen Hurts is impressing coaches and players with his mental approach, reports Ken Rogers of the Dothan Eagle. The true freshman quarterback has been a major reason why the Tide enters Saturday’s game with A&M undefeated.

Slowing down Sean White could be the key to silencing Auburn’s offense, Michael Niziolek of the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer. That’s the opinion of Arkansas coach Bret Bielema. His Razorbacks play Auburn on Saturday.

Something is missing at LSU’s Tiger Stadium, writes Scott Rabalais of The Advocate in Baton Rouge. “It’s the noise, the crowds, the legendary sound that has made you one of the most feared and revered places in sports. So far this year, and it could be argued the past several years, it often hasn’t been the same.”

Kirby Smart has found that with the job comes criticism, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. The first-year Georgia head coach has come under fire, especially after last week’s 17-16 loss to Vanderbilt.

SEC football on Saturday

12:00 - UMass at South Carolina (SEC)

3:30 - Texas A&M at Alabama (CBS)

4:00 - Middle Tennessee at Missouri (SEC)

6:00 - Arkansas at Auburn (ESPN)

7:30 - Mississippi State at Kentucky (SEC)

7:30 - Tennessee State at Vanderbilt (ESPNU)

9:00 - Ole Miss at LSU (ESPN)

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