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June 3, 2009

Notes on a scandal

Boy, that was close. For a minute it looked like the University of Basketball at Kentucky had made a Big Mistake in hiring a coach from the University of Basketball at Memphis who might be implicated — somehow — in a cheating scandal in which somebody took the SAT for a basketball prospect so they could get the kid qualified to attend the school to play basketball — and we aren’t talking about the case long ago when the son of the Kentucky coach supposedly took the SAT (or maybe it was the ACT) for a basketball prospect.

It turns out the new Kentucky coach is a terrific coach, and smart too, because he has a Get Out of Jail Free card from the ruling body of college basketball, which he can use as he leaves Memphis holding the NCAA penalty bag, just as he had previously left Massachusetts holding the NCAA penalty bag. (Although, in fairness, it should be noted that the real reason the coach left Massachusetts might have been that the coach at Temple had threatened to beat the tar out of him.)

But all that is water over the dam, and all’s well that ends well. Kentucky has a new coach and plenty of money to pay him because the athletic department saved a lot of kale when they fired their previous coach but didn’t have to pay him a severance fee called for in his contract because he hadn’t signed his contract. And, just to be on the safe side, the new coach has his money wired straight into his bank account instead of having it delivered by, say, Emery Air Freight, where the package might accidentally pop open with cash falling out all over the place.