Before reading the piece, keep in mind that Rosenberg authored a ludicrously unfair attack on Rich Rodriguez's Michigan program in August, a piece that willfully obscured the distinction between countable and non-countable hours. A piece that preyed on unsuspecting freshmen in a manner that would make Urban Meyer purple. A piece that a proper Michigan grad/journalist referred to as "journalistic malpractice."
If Rosenberg wants to cast himself as a defender of purity in college athletics, then that's one thing. He can rant and rave about cheating coaches until the cows come home. I can disagree with him and chastise him for writing unfair articles, but at least Rosenberg would have a consistent worldview for his readers to accept or reject. However, it's quite another thing to write pieces as if Rodriguez is the devil and then write the following about John Calipari:
REFUSE TO LOSE. It sounds like such a simple, inspirational phrase for a team -- and it can be. But it also describes the man. He's a scrapper, and will weigh all of his options besides losing.
Calipari has done the most remarkable coaching job of this season, and nobody is close. Think about it: He convinced John Wall, Xavier Henry and DeMarcus Cousins to come to Memphis, inserted clauses into their letters of intent so they could go somewhere else if Calipari left, convinced Memphis to keep its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA quiet for three months, took the Kentucky job before anybody knew about that notice, then convinced Wall and Cousins to join him in Lexington. That is refusing to lose.
(Rosenberg is factually wrong in a number of respects in this paragraph, starting with the fact that Wall never verballed to Memphis, let alone signed a letter of intent, but what else did we expect from Rosenberg? To paraphrase Francisco Scaramanga, facts never were his strong suit.)
Calipari just keeps rolling. Since he first arrived on the national stage, Calipari has changed offenses, stars and schools. He has gone from the hot new coach that everybody loved too much to the crafty veteran that people hate too much.
When people attack him, he fights back. Refuse to lose. But he'll open his home to fans and his program to anybody who can help him win.
There are plenty of people in college basketball who think it will all come crashing down around Calipari -- that we will witness the professional death of a salesman. I don't know. We won't know for years. All I know is that I filled out my bracket the other day. I'm picking Kentucky.
Sorry, Mom, but I'm about to swear. Are you fucking kidding me? Rich Rodriguez is a dirty bastard because your investigation uncovered the fact that Michigan was practicing five hours on certain days instead of four and quality control assistants were watching some summer skeleton drills. John Calipari is an inspiring fighter even though he has left both UMass and Memphis on probation and came within a whisker of winning a national title with multiple players who apparently cheated on their SATs. If you're going to be a moralist, then be a moralist. Don't pick on one guy for running a stop sign and laud an arsonist because the arsonist is a smooth salesman and and the bad driver isn't. Your credibility as a writer sorta depends on whether readers think that your opinions are based on something other than completely subjective judgments about people.
An unrelated note: Rosenberg unintentionally does a great job of illustrating why the NCAA Tournament has killed college basketball with this paragraph in his paean to the Big Dance:
The NCAA tournament is never overhyped because from November to March, most of the country doesn't pay attention to college basketball. You might watch your team. You might watch your conference. But the college basketball season starts during the baseball playoffs, stays underwater for the NFL playoffs and finally comes up for air at the end of the regular season. I mean, Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas State are all top-three seeds in this tournament, and I have yet to hear anybody say they have been inundated with Baylor, Kansas State and West Virginia basketball talk for four months and they're sick of it.
Yes, the Tournament is great because we no longer know anything about the teams playing! We have destroyed the village to save it!