For Memphis, the wait begins

The NCAA met with Memphis officials for four hours on Saturday to discuss potential violations, including a serious allegation that an unknown person took the SAT for a player. Now the program will cool its heels at least six weeks before a ruling will be rendered on whether its 38 wins from the 2007-08 season will count.

It's hurry up and wait. The NCAA met with Memphis officials for four hours on Saturday to discuss potential violations, including a serious allegation that an unknown person took the SAT for a player. The only person who fits the description in documents obtained by The Associated Press is Derrick Rose, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft after that season.

Now the program will cool its heels at least six weeks before a ruling will be rendered on whether its 38 wins from the 2007-08 season will count.

The NCAA insisted that new Kentucky coach John Calipari participate in the hearing. Calipari did so via telephone from China. The NCAA made it clear, however, that Calipari, who coached the Memphis Tigers during the season in question, is not considered "at risk" in the probe. Memphis officials confirmed on Saturday that Calipari took part in the meeting by phone.

Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson issued this statement:

"Although we cannot comment on the specifics of what occurred during the hearing, I can say that as president, I reiterated the university's commitment to NCAA rules compliance," Raines said. "We believe we were able to fully answer the committee's questions and present the actions we have already taken based upon our internal investigations."

Memphis could face similar meetings with the NCAA in the future. Another player, Robert Dozier, also has had questions surface about his entrance exams.

Although the NCAA has already indicated that Calipari was not a target in their investigations, many national media outlets have decided to tie the new Wildcat coach to the issue anyway.

The Fresno Bee, for example, published this little jewel, "Ex-Memphis coach John Calipari couldn't attend the infractions hearing because he's on a trip to China. Just goes to show how far some coaches will go to escape the long arm of the NCAA."

The Fanhouse took a shot of their own, "You can't quarantine a plague, and between Calipari's record of violations at Massachusetts, the Memphis program's close relationship with pro facilitator William Wesley and these incredible allegations, there's no stopping the rumor machine."

For now however, the Wildcats seem to be on track for one of the more exciting seasons of basketball in many years, and it seems unlikely that anything the national media says will slow it down.


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