VAUGHT: Newton respects Calipari

During his coaching and administrative career, C.M. Newton was known for his integrity. His opinions were sought by others and he was one who prided himself in doing things the right way.

That made me wonder what he thought about the perception of Kentucky coach John Calipari since his son, Martin, is now UK's director of basketball operations. So I asked him why there was so much negativity and suspicion of Calipari by many national media members.

"I can give you my opinion on that and my judgment. If I knew somebody was violating a rule as an administrator or coach, I turned them in. I would not want my son working for someone who broke rules," Newton said.

"I look and see how does he discipline kids. What kind of discipline does he have? What relationship does he have with players? I will tell you this — if you step over the line and cheat whether it is arranging academic fraud or buying a player or whatever, that player or players own you. You don't discipline them any more. Every place that Cal has been, he has had great discipline. That tells me he runs a great program and runs it the right way.

"Coaches today really don't pay much attention to the spirit and intent of the rule. They want to know what the limits are and most are not going to bend or break the rule or step over the line. Cal is very bright. He will test you and so on. I have never known him to break a rule and I would be shocked if he has. Would a player get with an agent and you perhaps not know it? Absolutely. It happens all the time. It happens at other programs other than UMass. It has happened at Duke. It has happened at a lot of places.

"Would a player or someone have academic credentials questioned? Absolutely. It is done all the time. The thing that is of concern to me in this whole area and this goes not just to the professional media but to the bloggers, talk show people, message boards and all those things, they make a decision on who they think is a good guy and who they think is a bad guy.

"I didn't have any concerns about any of that with my son going to work for John Calipari. He is a great guy and I'm glad Martin is working with him. He has been so excited about it from the beginning and is more excited today than the day he decided to do."

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