The Big Blue Nation has a new public enemy number one and it’s name is none other than ESPN’s and co author of Rick Pitino’s book Pat Forde. It has been a virtual none stop slam fest for Forde about UK Coach Calipari since the hiring of Calipari about two months ago. It has gone from pettiness to down right character attacks. And ESPN is apparently loving the attention and bloggers wrath as Forde’s articles now move right to front page status on ESPN’s college basketball page.
Forde kept up his attacks today while “reporting” on the NCAA allegations of violations by the Memphis basketball program. As the NCAA and the UKAA has clarified, this is not an indictment of John Calipari, but of the University of Memphis. But Forde decided to post his barbs about University of Kentucky fans and Coach Cal. This is despite the fact that both UKAA and the NCAA have confirmed that Calipari is NOT under investigation.
Time after time, Forde has ignored this distinction and focussed on UK in an almost stalkerish way. Apparently spending a few minutes in a Lexington Starbucks listening to UK fans talk has made Forde an expert of the state of mind of the Big Blue Nation. Apparently UK fans do not care that Calipari has left two programs in ruin. We just care that he is going to win for us, no matter how ugly it may be.
The fact of the matter is the the NCAA used the women’s golf team as an excuse to do a complete probe of Cal’s basketball program and could not come up with any violations. The same thing happened with UMass and after two exhaustive investigations, Cal has no NCAA violations. Forde’s mancrush Pitino has EIGHT from his days as an assistant at Hawaii. In spite of all, Cal is looking pretty darn clean. But let’s look at Forde’s statements:
Do not sully the name of our savior coach, no matter the messes he left behind at his last two collegiate stops.
And do not criticize our administration for hiring Calipari while his program was under investigation for major violations, even if the same administration passed on Calipari two years earlier because of concerns about his methods when his program was not under investigation.
Calipari brought Marcus Camby to UMass and took the Minutemen to the 1996 Final Four. Then he sprinted to a big paycheck in the NBA while the NCAA vacated that Final Four after it was discovered that Camby was being paid by agents.
The above quotes ooze speculation and conjecture. He also speaks for the state of mind of Mitch Barnhart and the UKAA …. I did not realize those guys bared their souls to Forde. As it has been said before, the above statements belong on a blog, not reported as facts and presented as much.
Another curious thought comes to mind. Can Forde’s statements be interpreted as slander or libel?? It is a subject that deserves discussion.
libel and slander, in law, types of defamation. In common law, written defamation was libel and spoken defamation was slander. Today, however, there are no such clear definitions. Permanent forms of defamation, such as the written or pictorial, are usually called libel, while the spoken or gestured forms are called slander.
The term libel is also often used if a wide audience for the defamation is possible. Courts have split over which category radio and television are in; today’s statutes generally categorize defamation occurring in those media as slander. The offenses are alike in several respects. The defamation—essentially exposure to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or pecuniary loss—must directly affect the reputation of a living person. It must be published, i.e., revealed to someone besides the subject of the attack. It is no defense that the defendant merely repeated but did not originate the defamation.
Is there any legal recourse for Calipari? Continuing to insinuate that Calipari is involved in the Memphis violations when he has been cleared is an obvious mistruth. He knows UK has been cleared as he stated it in his article:
As every Kentuckian older than 3 can resolutely recite today, Calipari is not named by the NCAA in regards to any of the alleged violations — though he has been asked to answer questions from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, a step that one knowledgeable source termed unusual for a coach who has left that program
Yet, he continues to throw dirt. The statements are obviously hurting Calipari’s reputation as no doubt his articles will be passed on to recruits and Forde’s assertions that Calipari is dirty will be repeated. In that sense, Forde is affecting Calipari professionally as well. And the fact that these comments are presented in such a demeaning manner can only assert that Forde is attempting to undermine Calipari’s success at UK.
The question is that is there anything the BBN can do? It it possible to form a class action defamation suit since the University and citizens of the Commonwealth are attacked? Probably not on that but how about this?
We all know that ESPN paid record dollars for the rights to SEC sports and basketball. Obviously we are not going to boycott ESPN. How else could we watch the Cats? But it may be possible to affect ESPN in it’s wallet. Since ESPN relies on th ese advertisers to make money, how about we send letters to ESPN’s sponsors expressing our displeasure with ESPN and Forde? Sure this sounds petty, but we can call it a “Million Cat March” and collectively send a million letters to Ford (for example) stating that we do not appreciate their sponsoring ESPN when ESPN pays a man to assassinate Cal’s character. I don’t like to the word boycott, but it can be subtly suggested that UK fans will, oh buy Chevy for their next vehicle if Ford continues to support ESPN.
Think a million letters to sponsors will get some attention (especially with the economy the way it is and no company wanting to enrage a large fanbase like UK)??? Think the sponsors may express some concern to ESPN. Most of the companies that advertise on sports are car companies that are well, nit in good financial means right now. Think losing a million customers will spark some action.
I think that a million is a realistic number, concerning the sheer number of Kentucky citizens and fans of the program. Am I on to something? Or just a raving lunatic?
We need to rally the troops on this. Anyone with me? If you want, feel free to email me at PJordan32746@gmail.com or leave a comment. That is if you are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.
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