Clint Hurtt, John Calipari, and the Hypocrisy of it All

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Jan 2, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Louisville Cardinals fans cheer against the Florida Gators during the first half of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Clint Hurtt situation is nothing new to collegiate athletics. Hurtt is accused of providing impermissible benefits to college football recruits during his time as a Miami Hurricane coach and he is also accused of lying to the NCAA. We have seen this plot line played out time and time again; recent examples have occurred at Ohio State and USC.

U of L just recently released the NCAA notice of allegations lobbed against their football team’s defensive line coach and top recruiter. Here is a quick breakdown of the NCAA notice of allegations that was sent to the University of Louisville:

The letter alleges that Hurtt:

— Received a $2,500 interest-free loan from then Miami booster Nevin Shapiro.

— Knew of Shapiro’s involvement in recruiting seven prospective football players to Miami between 2006 and ’09.

— Along with other assistants, provided impermissible benefits directly to five then-football recruits and three members of a recruit’s family. The approximate total value of benefits provided was at least $3,315. Included in those benefits were the following:

1) Provided impermissible transportation, meals and lodging to recruits.

2) During unofficial visits, allowed multiple football recruits to stay at his residence and provided meals, all at no cost, as well as provided them with local transportation.

3) During an unofficial visit, transported recruits from his home to Shapiro’s residence. While there, the recruits interacted with current Miami players, Hurtt, Shapiro and others, got rides in Shapiro’s Mercedes and played in a pool competition for which Shapiro provided prize money.

4) Had a meal at Grazie Italian Cuisine with football recruits and players, provided transportation and arranged in advance for Shapiro to pay for the meal. Total value of benefits provided was at least $529.

Hurtt also is alleged to have sent 41 impermissible text messages and made two impermissible phone calls between 2007 and ’09.

The notice alleges that Hurtt violated NCAA unethical conduct bylaws when he provided impermissible benefits to three recruits and arranged for impermissible benefits to be made. It also alleges that Hurtt provided “false and misleading information” to NCAA enforcement personnel during an interview with the NCAA with officials from Miami and U of L present on Nov. 3, 2011.

The NCAA alleges that Hurtt lied to investigators, “when he denied providing meals, transportation and some of the lodging to four then football prospective student-athletes. . . . Additionally, Hurtt denied arranging for Shapiro to pay for the meals of four then football prospective student-athletes and three then football student-athletes, as well as attending the meal, as detailed in Allegation No. 5-(d). Hurtt’s statements were in direct contradiction to information provided by the then football prospective student-athletes and some of the then football student-athletes involved.”

Most of these transgressions seem trivial in the scheme of things. Paying for meals, transporting recruits from place to place, sending texts and taking a lone really aren’t that bad compared to some of the transgressions that many coaches perpetrate on a season to season basis.

What will get Hurtt in hot water is the dreaded 10.1 clause. The NCAA is alleging that Hurtt lied to the NCAA and provided misleading information. If this is proven, then he will be given a “show cause” penalty and will be fired from Louisville and be unemployed for a long time.

But this is all the back story to my overall theme, which is hypocrisy.

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