Media and NCAA show bias

With the handling of the Jeremy Jarmon situation and the reporting by many media outlets on Kentucky coach John Calipari this week one thing has become abundantly clear. In the eyes of the media and the NCAA some programs and individuals do no wrong, while others get blasted and heavy handed sanctions applied in similar situations.

With the events of the last week one thing is painfully clear, Kentucky coach John Calipari is being held to a much higher standard by the media than are his brethren at Duke and North Carolina.

There were no reporters in Chapel Hill or Durham penning editorialized pieces feigning outrage when Duke used an ineligible player, Corey Maggette, in its run to the Final Four in 1999. There was no vacating of the '99 Duke Final Four appearance; there was no punishment felt by Duke at all. When Roy Williams was found to have condoned payments made to players at Kansas their was no media outcry, nor did the NCAA choose to sanction the UNC coach as it has other individuals found to have accidentally run afoul of the NCAA rule book.

Duke and its coach, Mike Krzyzewski, were given a media free pass, and a free pass by the NCAA on the entire Maggette matter. The argument was Duke shouldn't be penalized because they did not know that Maggette was not eligible, after taking money from an agent. Other schools have not been treated that leniently.

This came just three years after UMass had their final four appearance in 1996 vacated when Marcus Camby was found to have taken money from an agent after the season. When it was learned what had occurred the impropriety was self-reported by UMass. The NCAA found that the school did not know that Camby had taken money from the agent.

Umass was forced to vacate a final four appearance because a kid took money from an agent during his final season in Amherst. Duke used an ineligible player throughout the season and was given a free pass because they didn't know (which would make them the only people in the country that didn't know Maggette was on the take) that Maggette forfeited his amateur status prior to enrolling at Duke.

Why did the NCAA apply one standard to UMass, but a different standard to Duke?

When Bill Self's Kansas squad captured the NCAA Championship by winning the NCAA tournament in 2008 the program was on probation.

The probation was not due to anything Self did, but was in part due to the former coach at Kansas, who violated NCAA rules. That former coach is one Roy Williams, now at North Carolina. Williams conspired to violate NCAA rules by arranging for improper benefits to be provided by boosters to departing seniors.

The NCAA stated that "substantial major violations were found to have occurred in the men's basketball program". Under Williams one representative of the university's athletics interests sent graduation gifts of cash to players, with the knowledge and blessings of Williams, during his entire tenure at KU. Another representative of KU's athletic interests sent gifts over a four-year period, also with the knowledge of Williams.

The excuse given by Williams that he thought it was ok is not a legitimate excuse. The means were in place for Williams to check with both the KU compliance office, and NCAA officials prior to approving these payments and gifts being given to players.

The honest mistake excuse was let slide with Roy Williams; but, is this not the same premise upon which Kentucky's Jeremy Jarmon had his career summarily ended by the NCAA just over a week ago?

Jarmon wasn't approving the handing out of cash and gifts, he took a protein supplement to try to make himself healthier in the long term by looking out for the amount of sugar that was in the supplement drank the protein shakes for a short period of time prior to asking the UK trainers if it was OK. When it was found it contained a banned substance Kentucky self-reported the incident and Jarmon quit drinking the protein drinks, which contained no substance that is unlawful to ingest.

The NCAA ruled that Jarmon had the means to determine if the supplements contained banned substances, and it cost him his final season of competition.

Why was one standard applied to Williams, but another applied to Jarmon?.

Where was the media outcry over Williams violating NCAA rules by arranging player payments and Duke's use of an ineligible player? Outlets that were eerily quiet on those fronts have been busy churning out pieces on Memphis basketball, and current Kentucky coach John Calipari.

KU was sanctioned over Roy Williams arranging to have players paid. KU and Bill Self suffered the consequences, and will not complete their probationary period until this fall. Should Williams not have had some sanctions applied to him, just as they were applied to Kelvin Sampson when he violated NCAA rules at Oklahoma, and the sanctions followed him to Indiana?

The time has arrived for both the NCAA and the media to make an effort for equality; and forego the bias that now exists in the system.

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