It's official. The University of Memphis will be forced to forfeit all 38 record-breaking wins from the 2007-08 season. Additionally, the Tigers will be placed on a 3 year probation, which in basketball terms means absolutely nothing since Memphis has now learned its lesson and will no longer leave traceable evidence of its cheating. And it looks like the Memphis Department of Athletic Compliance is still under construction...
The punishment comes after the NCAA found that someone else had taken star player Derrick Rose's college entrance exams, which in turn allowed him to academically qualify to play collegiate athletics. Rose was not specifically named in the report, however a shake of my Magic 8 Ball resulted in All Signs Point to Rose.
The word schadenfreude has been thrown around in response to this breaking news, but the word does not truly capture the magnificence of this moment. Schadenfreude generally implies satisfaction in the misfortune of others. Yes, there is incredible satisfaction for all those fans of teams that play by the rules, but there is no misfortune in the punitive hand dealt to Memphis. Instead, the punishment represents bittersweet justice. Memphis cheated. Plain and simple. Whether they knew about the improprieties is irrelevant. Memphis played and won with a player than had no business being in college and therefore no business on the court. A player that not only did not qualify, but went out of his way to cheat the system. A system in place to ensure that the title of student-athlete is actually upheld.
Cheat, I mean, Coach Calipari escaped to live another day, but as we mentioned when the first reports were published:
It would be is the second time John Calipari had to vacate Final Four seasons.
That is a legacy UMass, Memphis and now Kentucky fans will have to live with forever.