NABC Honors Kentucky’s Basketball Program for Academic Excellence

by Kent Sterling

imagesAt Coach Cal dot com, a post went up today that should silence all the people crapping on John Calipari and the University of Kentucky for existing only as a launching pad for NBA bound 18 year olds with no interest in education.

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The Kentucky Wildcats were one of 97 NCAA Division I, II, and III, NAIA Division I and II basketball programs to earn the National Association of Basketball Coaches first Team Excellence Award given to basketball teams with a “cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2012-13 season.”

You know who did not earn this honor?  Not a single Ivy League school.  You know who else was not included in this list?  The entire Big Ten and ACC.

For a complete list of the programs, click here.  Universities the average basketball fan will recognize on the list are the University of Louisville, the University of Texas, Indiana State University, Rice University, Texas Tech, Utah, Western Michigan, and Belmont.

The rest are schools like Coe College, Endicott College, and Hope College.  All are fine schools with fine basketball programs filled with hard working athletes, most of whom will never play professionally, much less in the NBA.

In order to receive the award, the programs must simply declare that they have earned it.  Those who miss the notification to submit, simply don’t find value in awards of this type choose not to participate, or do not qualify are not listed.

This Team Academic Excellence Awards are a wonderful acknowledgement for the academic work done by student-athletes.

There is no audit of academic standards at the universities, or a sliding scale for the programs that encourage players to engage by the NABC.  That’s not their job.  They just want to give a nice award to schools who appear to be pursue scholastic ideals with the same zeal they pursue success on the hard court.

Calipari was quoted on Coach Cal dot com, “I’m proud of the hard work our guys have put in both on and off the court.  When you come to Kentucky, you are either going pro or getting a degree — or both. We call it the success rate, and right now we’re batting 100 percent. When you run a players-first program, it’s not just about loving to play basketball; it’s about teaching our kids the love of learning.”

I’m all for the student-athletes doing great work wherever they are.  I think the acknowledgement by the NABC is appropriate, but for Calipari to extoll the virtues of his program as “players-first” elevates his blather to beyond nauseating.

His players are paid nothing and Calipari takes home better than $5 million per year.  To call Kentucky Basketball anything other than “Coach Cal first” is abject lunacy.

To the players who are doing everything they can to maximize the non-basketball part of their lives in Lexington, congratulations, but always remember that it’s Calipari who owes you for your work, not the other way around.

10 thoughts on “NABC Honors Kentucky’s Basketball Program for Academic Excellence

    1. kentsterling Post author

      I posted it because the self-immersed world that Calipari inhabits is a sickening place. That Kentucky fans put up with his self-congratulatory nonsense because he wins makes BBN complicit. Somebody needs to tell the truth about this guy based on facts, so that’s what I try to do.

  1. Dave / New Mexico

    That pathetic piece of journalistic garbage should be good for a few extra hits, Kent.
    To call YOU anything but a narcissistic, blathering bedlamite would be an understatement.

  2. Philboyd Studge

    “Somebody needs to tell the truth about this guy based on facts, so that’s what I try to do.”

    Which facts would those be Kent? There is only one fact of any consequence in your entire piece: Kentucky received an academic honor that eluded Indiana and many other schools.

    Everything else in your piece is prejudiced opinion, rendered with such a lack of coherence, logic and grace that I am actually embarrassed for you.

    I suppose I should feel chagrined because I baited you into this humiliating display of your lack of reasoning ability. But, really, you have only yourself to blame.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Like Calipari, you give yourself too much credit.

      The designation that you refer to as an honor can be conferred upon itself by any school with a reply to the NABC that it qualifies for the honor. There is no review of records, or confirmation that the award is actually deserved. Any school can claim it with a simple reply to the letter of solicitation.

      That’s a fact.

      When Calipari stops congratulating himself for being Mr. Selfless, I will stop chastising him for it. I hope he stretches before spending all day patting himself on the back.

      A lack of reasoning ability would be evidenced by taking an NABC award and the self-promotional announcement on at face value.

  3. J. stamper

    Wow, Mr. Sterling, it’s odd that you singled out UK and none of the other schools included in the award. Of course, this would be expected of you. UK won an award. Calipari is UK’s coach. Live with it, mister. Do you think this article got you a lot of hits? After all, that’s why you write most of your drivel.

    1. Dave / New Mexico

      @ J. stamper:
      You nailed it. Sterling would be as lost as a duck in a West Texas hail storm without UK.


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