Must be transfer week at the University of Louisville. The best thing is the new arrivals are ready to play right away in football and basketball.
The latest is Roburt Sallie, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound senior basketball guard from Memphis. That’s him at right, adorning the box cover of Xbox’s College Hoops 2K9 — a first for a U of L underclassman (albeit wearing another team’s uniform).
He’s on target to graduate in August, which means he doesn’t have to sit out a season at another school.
Sallie posted career averages of 8.2 points and 2.8 rebounds at Memphis. He shot 43.2 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from the arc and 71 percent from the free throw line in his two seasons. His 43.8 three-point shooting percentage is a school career mark.
The Sacramento native initially attended City College of San Francisco, where he played for one season, before going to Memphis to play for John Calipari, turning down Kentucky and Cincinnati at the time.
Mention the name “World Wide Wes” to a Kentucky basketball fan, and the reaction is a wide grin or a snicker, followed by “whatever it takes” or words to that effect. They don’t know how it works, don’t care, but they know his relationship has something to do with the potential of an undefeated season or a possible championship.
The NCAA is also comprised of competing universities who recognize a threat to their abilities to compete for recognition and championships ...
At the same time, these fans appear to be greatly relieved that the program is even a contender again. After seeing the University of Louisville basketball team ranked No. 1 after last year’s regular season, they were adamant that UK take drastic steps to level the playing field.
Athletic director Mitch Barnhart did just that, firing Billy Gillispie and hiring John Calipari away from Memphis, bringing with him the association with World Wide Wes.
World Wide Wes, of course, is William Wesley who seems to wield considerable influence on the college choices of some gifted basketball players. For some reason Wesley attached himself to Calipari at Memphis, with Memphis suddenly becoming a magnet for top recruits.
Memphis would eventually be investigated by the NCAA. The school had to vacate 38 wins from the 2007-08 season after a player’s college test scores were invalidated. There’s no evidence that anyone else was involved, despite Wesley being a close friend and adviser.
The NCAA, if it has seriously investigated Wesley, has not turned up anything incriminating about his activities and how they benefit the schools with which he becomes connected. The body that governs college athletics is a bureaucratic and bloated organization, slow to respond to questionable activities, sometimes failing to act even when confronted with concrete evidence.
But the NCAA is also comprised of competing universities who recognize a threat to their abilities to compete for recognition and championships, and the prestige and money that goes with these honors. They will not stand idly by while another university is taking advantage of unique relationships to gain a competitive edge — even if no rules are being broken or nothing illegal is occurring, changing the rules if necessary to eliminate any perceived threats or disparities.
Too much at stake. Kentucky’s opponents may eventually have the last laugh.
The NCAA has scheduled a news conference at 3 p.m. today in Indianapolis to release findings of its investigation into violations committed by the University of Memphis. The school has scheduled a presser to follow it.
The Commercial Appeal newspaper quoted a source close to the situation in reporting Memphis would be forced to vacate its record for the 2007-2008 season, which has a record 38 victories. John Calipari, who left Memphis for Kentucky, also had a Final Four vacated when he was the head coach at Massachusetts in 1996.
And the Memphis program will owe big bucks:
The penalties for the menâ€™s basketball violations, some of which were self-imposed by the institution and adopted by the committee, are as follows:
Public reprimand and censure.
Three years of probation (August 20, 2009, to August 19, 2012).
Vacation of all wins in which the menâ€™s basketball student-athlete competed while ineligible during the 2007-08 regular season and 2008 NCAA Division I Menâ€™s Basketball Championship.
The university must return all money it received to date through Conference USA revenue sharing for its appearance in the 2008 NCAA Division I Menâ€™s Basketball Championship. All future distributions to the university from this appearance must be withheld by the conference and forfeited to the NCAA.