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You're not going to believe this: Mariotti misses the point on Rose, Memphis

by Ricky O'Donnell on August 21, 2009 at 1:04PM

Bashing Jay Mariotti may be a fruitless exercise at this point. He's been destroyed mercilessly, here and elsewhere, ad nauseam. He makes a fool of himself on television five times a week. You won't find an intelligent sports fan, sports writer, or sports blogger who values his opinion. He obviously has no friends.

Still, it's hard to ignore the column Jay gave the world today on Derrick Rose.

Mariotti is a pretty good wordsmith, I think most can agree on that. He regularly wrote 1,200 word columns for the Sun-Times on deadline - sometimes minutes after a Cubs or Sox game ended - and for that he should be commended. Begrudgingly, I would say he's a good writer. I guess.

But is he a good sports columnist? Does he shape the public's opinion intelligently? Do I really need to answer these rhetorical questions?

The problem with Jay, of course, is that his opinions are whack, he has clear biases, and he lacks the ability to think critically. The later is on full display with this column.

Since we don't link to Jay's work here, you're just going to have to believe me.

As for Rose, he's playing in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls. He'll have to live with the shame that he committed academic fraud, a major smear on his resume in basketball and life, especially if he goes on to a Hall of Fame career as many of us have forecasted.
In the end, playing for Calipari was a hideous mistake. It was a one-year rental plan in which the coach used the point guard, and vice versa, and it goes down as one of the greasiest deals ever in college sports. The only way it could have been worse? Oh, if Rose and the Tigers had made their free throws in the final seconds versus Kansas and actually won a national championship. Having a national title stripped would have been the all-timer. A better plan would have been to stay home and play at Illinois, where Bruce Weber is a reputable coach who would have stopped Rose's SAT madness before it turned toxic.

I root for the Illini, but really, give me a freakin' break, Jay. Illinois that year: 16-19 overall, 5-13 in the Big 10. You cannot tell me Illinois would have better prepared Rose for the NBA than Memphis. I think things worked out pretty well for Rose at Memphis, considering he was the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. That's the only reason he was in college in the first place.

The whole "major smear on his resume in basketball AND LIFE!" part is just hilarious. Because Jay Mariotti has never made a mistake before - not even at 17 - and Rose should live his life as morally as Jay has. I doubt Rose will lose much sleep over this once the dust settles. Now? Sure, maybe a little. But this is hardly a lasting stain.

If (when) Derrick Rose goes on to a Hall-of-Fame career, this will not qualify as a major smear. A major smear is the kind of stuff Sir Charles has done. What Rose did just proves he's human. You can go through the Wikipedia page of any NBA Hall-of-Famer, most of them have done stuff as bad, or in many cases, far worse than this.

Derrick Rose shouldn't have cheated on his ACT to get into college. That was wrong. Then again, it was wrong that he was even forced to go to college in the first place.

Fanhouse isn't all evil, as Jay may lead you to believe. They have Tom Ziller, who rules. Here, he puts Mariotti in his place. Link included.

We're told by David Stern that the NBA age minimum is a business decision, that the league's owners benefit from being able to see these bucks play for a year elsewhere (college, Europe, D-League)..........That, in the end, the players benefit from the softer transition from amateur to pro.

Rose, one of the league's brightest young stars, saw his reputation take a massive hit Wednesday, all for a violation that never would have occurred if he didn't have to wait a year to join the league. The age minimum rule essentially paved the way for the criminalization of Rose's image. And Rose isn't the only one.
The NBA isn't forcing prospects to fake their SATs or take money from runners. But David Stern knows as well as anyone how deep the pitfalls of modern high-stakes college basketball have become. And if the age rule is at least in part an antidote for the league's image problems ... well, it's not working. Derrick Rose is an alleged cheater today only because he was forced to chase a sham college education for seven months before being allowed to earn a living doing what he does best. Once again, the age minimum rule is not working.

Amen, brother.

8 Comments | Leave a comment

Eh, I like the age rule, if for no other reason than it raises the talent level of college basketball.

I will say this though. In retrospect, as a Bulls and Illini fan, I'm glad Rose did not end up at Illinois. His career path would have taken a different turn. I have little doubt that Illinois would have made the tournament that year, but they wouldn't have been a high seed, and they probably would have gotten knocked out early. Instead, Rose went to Memphis, where his stock skyrocketed as they advanced through the tournament.

I also find it kind of funny that Jay says he should have gone to Illinois because Weber might have had a good influence on him. I like Weber and all, but come on. This is the same team that had several players suspended for off-the-court misconduct, including that one time Jamar Smith LEFT HIS TEAMMATE IN THE CAR TO DIE!! Where was Weber's influence there? That whole team was just a fucking mess. We should be thanking our lucky stars that Rose was safe and sound a few hundred miles down I-57.

Man Rickhouse, not a bad day for a couple of CCC grads making Busted Coverages daily dump the same day.

As far as todays post goes, as usual, good points. But maybe you were a little kind to Jay.

Rose got what he deserved; a trip to the NBA where he is going to be a star.
Who cares about his SAT/ACT or whatever?
I will probably end up in some sort of academic or educational profession and I have to say, I will NEVER have respect for standardized testing of any form, CERTAINLY not tests that one takes BEFORE the intellectual leap known as college.

I still am a bit stumped on how this is Memphis or Calipari's fault. Sure, Rose did something stupid, but how in god's name would the University or the head coach know the test SENT to them by the SAT people was tainted.

I remember showing a valid form of state ID at those tests(?) Right?

Either a fake ID was used or the SAT tester guy/gal completely didn't do his/her job. SOOOO why are we not questioning the SAT as a whole and instead blaming Memphis for something they literally had NO control over. Lame.

As for Rose, for serial, how can one not pass clearinghouse on their own. It is like a 16 ACT. That's like borderline retard low.

OB called Darius Smith - a guard for Marshall last year who's going to UConn - the smartest kid in the public league, and he got an 18 on his ACT. Simeon probably didn't give Rose the best education in the world.

I disagree with you though, I think Memphis and Coach Cal look very dirty in this. Rose took the test like three times and failed to score high enough. So then he went to take it again in Detroit (what?) with Worldwide Wes, who has tons of Memphis connections. Memphis and Coach Cal had to try anyway possible to get him in, I'm sure this is the best they could come up with.

Like I said, who really cares what he got on the test?
Those tests do not determine in any sense what you are going to or should become later in life.

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