Kentucky pays their players. They are the bastion of cheating in college basketball, have always been and will always be.
Kentucky was put on probation in the early 1950's due to a point shaving scandal that hit a number of schools. The entire 1952-53 season was cancelled. The next year, Kentucky went undefeated during the regular season, however, then-coach Adolph Rupp chose not compete in post-season competition because some of his starting players were prohibited from playing due to being in graduate school (in a bizarre ruling by the NCAA which actually disuaded players from graduating on-time).
Kentucky again was put on probation in the late 1980's. Chief among the violations cited were paying money to Chris Mills (a Los Angeles prep phenom now playing with the New York Knicks) and the cheating of Eric Manuel on his ACT test (see Manuel.)
Some questioned whether the NCAA would come down hard on Kentucky.
"Yeah," cracked Jerry Tarkanian, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas coach long critical of the NCAA's kid-glove handling of Kentucky, "they're going to find them guilty and then give Clevaland State three more years of probation." - by Thomas Stinson, Atlanta Constitution Journal, February 5, 1989.
Despite this, the NCAA came down very hard on Kentucky despite an ineffectual investigation. The resulting probation stripped Kentucky of the heart of its future team. Players such as Chris Mills, LeRon Ellis, Eric Manuel, Sean Sutton, Rex Chapman and Shawn Kemp all left the program over a two-year stretch for various reasons. The team had its scholarships reduced and was banned from television appearances or post season play. Head coach Eddie Sutton resigned, along with his coaching staff which included Dwane Casey who was implicated in the Mills situation. The situation was a mess but was turned in the right direction by the hiring of former UK player and experienced SEC coach C.M. Newton as athletic director. Newton soon hired Rick Pitino to resurrect the program with the priority being on keeping the Kentucky program clean.
Kentucky may have cheated in the past, I don't have any evidence one way or the other other than what has been documented, although it seems very likely they did. Kentucky now, however runs a very tight ship under Pitino and C.M. Newton and recently Tubby Smith. It's extremely difficult to "prove" innocence but here are some examples:
The bottom line is that what happened in the past has no bearing on the present as none of the principal players are at UK anymore. Tubby Smith, Rick Pitino and C.M. Newton run a very clean program which has shown to be extremely careful in staying within the rules set out by the NCAA. Those who claim that Kentucky still cheats can send their evidence to the
6201 College Boulevard
Overland Park, Kansas 66211
Return to Kentucky Wildcat Basketball Page.Jon Scott