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It's time to move on. Derrick Rose grade probe has nothing to do with Calipari, or Memphis for that matter


I would say that my “Journalism” career consists of two years as Sports Editor at my high school paper, a few college courses, and a few years experience in radio and TV production.  By no means can I be considered a “professional journalist” but in probably an hour or so of steady research on the web, I have come up with enough information at absolve both John Calipari and the University of Memphis for their “roles” in the Derrick Rose SAT scandal.  

So why, pray tell, does ESPN.com  STILL have a shameful looking picture of Calipari with his hands over his eyes and the headline “Nothing to see here” and a link to Pat Forde’s hatchet job story.  If you click on the latest story link, you get a headline that says “Memphis works to resolve dispute” yet there is a picture of Calipari and a video with Pat Forde starts to play with him talking about Cal’s horrible “track record”.

As the UKAA says, it is not a UK thing, it’s a University of Memphis thing.  For what I have found, it’s none of that:  It’s a Simeon Career Academy thing.  This is of course, where Derrick Rose played his HS basketball and led the team to 2 Class AA state titles and a 66-5 record.

Now I understand that the NCAA investigation is focused solely on Derrick Rose and whether or not he committed SAT fraud, and if he did, if the University of Memphis aided it, or even knew about it.   Rose’s lawyer says that Rose fully cooperated with an investigation into the allegations of the SAT fraud while he was going to school at Memphis and the investigation uncovered no wrong doing on his part.  It is interesting to note that Memphis investigated Rose while a student there, but I would assume that the Compliance Department, not Calipari handled this and they ruled it was OK for Rose to play.  But once you dig a little deeper into the SAT story, you keep returning to what is going on at Simeon, so perhaps the big story is there.

The probe at Simeon Academy has found that FOUR players have had their grades temporarily changed.  In the case of Rose, a D grade was changed to a C, and the transcript was sent to Memphis, and then the grade was changed back to a D a few weeks later.  The grades for Simeon teammates Tim Flowers and Kevin Johnson were also changed and by my speculation, the fourth player involved is probably Brandon Hall.

Inspector General  James Sullivan has reported that the high school staff has lost the original permanent records for Rose, Flowers and Johnson.  This investigation has been going on for quite a while.  Simeon Coach Robert Smith has said that he first heard about the investigation on the day of Rose’s first game at Memphis.  

Sullivan said that it was still a “mystery” who had changed the grades and that the password used to make the change belonged to an employee who happened to be out of town.  At least seven people at Simeon had the ability to change grades but ultimately nothing could be pinned on anyone.  It should be noted that Rose’s coach Smith never had access to the system.

For those conspiracy theorists that think Calipari may have strolled into Simeon and to assure himself a pipeline of talent was involved in this, the other players involved are pretty nondescript.  Flowers and Johnson both went from Simeon to University of Wisconsin Milwaukee but neither are there now.  Johnson is at the Kane City Jail for a armed robbery charge and Flowers is enrolling at Chicago State.  The other player not named could be the other senior in this class, Branden Hall.  Hall went to NJCAA school Mineral and now is enrolled at NCAA Div 2 Lewis.  If the probe includes the junior prospects at the school, it could involve Jelani Poston, Stan Simpson, and Pierce Sneed but there is no indication of this.      Keep in mind that Rose would have taken the SAT while a student at Simeon and before he had enrolled at Memphis.

Let’s go back a few years now to the case of Corey Maggette and the investigation that NCAA did on Duke.  Maggette was considered to be ineligible at Duke, due to having taking money from an agent.  This is very similar to the Marcus Camby situation at UMass when Calipari was coach there.  The NCAA rules that Camby was a student at Umass when he took the money and he was declared ineligible and UMass’s Final Four was vacated.  They ruled that Maggette was not enrolled at Duke when he took the money, thereby sparing Duke having to vacate their Final 4 appearance.  So as logic would dictate, Rose was not enrolled at Memphis when the alleged cheating was done, so Memphis should not be forced to vacate their Final 4 appearance.

Logic and the NCAA are not used in the same sentence usually though.  

So we will see where the coverage of this story goes.  I know the ESPN may find money tight after signing the huge SEC contract and for now are castigating the star coach of that conference.  So it is possible they could not afford to send Forde to Chicago to investigate this.  Apparently this is the case because Forde based one of his recent columns on what he overheard two UK fans talking about in a Starbucks.  We also know that ESPN is not prone to wise financial decisions as paying Forde anything more than minimum wage is a huge waste.  I understand with the economy.  So feel free to email my findings to Ford, Tipton, Adelson, and all the other “Miserables”. 

I don’t need the byline.  I am happy with the truth.  

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