Documents obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal revealed the charges: that a member of the 2007-08 team had falsified his SAT score in order to make himself eligible to play that season, and that an associate of a team member had been given improper travel benefits -- specifically, airfare and hotel rooms for away games.
Though the relevant names were blacked out for reasons of privacy, the identity of the player in question became the worst-kept secret in college sports. Derrick Rose -- the Tigers' star point guard who later became the first overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and NBA Rookie of the Year -- is the player at the center of the investigation.
His coach, on the other hand, is not. John Calipari, who led the Tigers to the championship game in 2008, left Memphis after the 2009 season to take the head coaching job at the University of Kentucky. He is reportedly not part of the investigation, but the situation bears an eerie resemblance to the circumstances under which he left his job at the University of Massachusetts. In 1996, in the wake of an unlikely run to the Final Four, Calipari left the Minutemen for a higher-profile gig with the NBA's New Jersey Nets. It was later revealed that his star player, Marcus Camby, had received cash and gifts from potential NBA player agents. Calipari was never implicated in the scandal, but UMass' Final Four appearance was stricken from the official record book.
History is repeating itself in this case. Pending an appeal, the Tigers will vacate all 38 victories from the 2007-08 season, their Conference USA title, and Final Four appearance.
Latest DevelopmentsThe Case Against Derrick Rose
August 23, 2009
Don't blame the NBA's age limit for Derrick Rose's cheating. Blame Rose.
Memphis Forfeits Season
August 23, 2009
The 2007-08 Tigers were damn near unbeatable -- racking up a school-record 38 wins and coming within a couple of blown free throws of a national championship. Well, treasure that memory, Tiger fans. As far as the NCAA is concerned, none of it never happened.
More SAT Problems for Memphis
June 5, 2009
ESPN.com reports that another key member of the 2008 Tigers may have posted a fraudulent SAT score.
Memphis "Unable to Find" Proof of SAT Allegation
June 2, 2009
The university's internal investigation reportely "unable to find" any evidence of wrongdoing. Shocking, that.
Will the Investigation at Memphis Impact Kentucky?
June 1, 2009
Kentucky's stellar recruiting class may face greater scrutiny in the wake of the Derrick Rose/SAT allegations.
Step One: Deny Everything
May 29, 2009
Memphis' first announcements in response to the NCAA's investigation: a flat denial of any improprieties.
Memphis Accused of "Major Violations"
May 28, 2009
A report in the Memphis Commercial Appeal breaks the story that the Tigers are being investigated by the NCAA. The actual investigation dates back to January -- well before John Calipari left Memphis for the head coaching job at Kentucky.