Florida recognizes vacated games

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Yearbook-gate has hit Florida.

Florida recognized five games in its 2010-11 men’s basketball media guide that the NCAA vacated due to sanctions against former coach Norm Sloan.

The games in question were NCAA Tournament games in 1987 and 1988 in which Florida suited up an ineligible player. That player was not named in the NCAA report, but presumably, it’s Vernon Maxwell. Maxwell had his final two seasons expunged from the UF media guide.

According to the NCAA infractions report, Sloan paid child support to keep one of his players out of jail and paid transportation from Gainesville to Boston to allow one of his players to work as a counselor at a summer basketball basketball camp.

The Florida basketball yearbook placed an asterisk next to the 1988 NCAA Tournament games denoting those wins were vacated. But it didn’t do so for the 1987 NCAA Tournament games. In addition, Florida prints its 1986-87 record as 23-11 and its 1987-88 record as 23-12. The adjusted records for each season, according to the NCAA Division I record book, are 21-10 for 1987 and 22-11 for 1988.

On Page 138 of the yearbook, Florida prints its NCAA Tournament record as 29-13, which includes the 1987 and 1988 NCAA Tournament games. And on pages 139 and 140, Florida lists summaries of the five NCAA Tournament games from 1987 and 1988.

The controversy surrounding vacated wins brewed last week when the NCAA admonished Kentucky for celebrating coach John Calipari’s 500th coaching win (ironically at Rupp Arena against Florida). That 500th coaching win included 44 wins that the NCAA vacated during Cal’s previous coaching stints at UMass and Kentucky.

NCAA Committe on Infractions chair Dennis Thomas demanded that Kentucky admit it was in error of celebrating Calipari’s 500th win and to remove Cal’s vacated wins from school media guides and websites.

That sent Big Blue Nation scouring the internet, looking for other schools that recognized NCAA vacated wins in their media guides. The list of schools was close to 20, including Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, DePaul, FAU, Florida A&M, Florida State, Maryland, Memphis, Morgan State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, San Diego State, Savannah State, St. Joe’s, Texas Tech, UCLA, UMass, Villanova and Western Kentucky.

NCAA spokesperson Stacy Osborn said it’s acceptable for schools to place asterisks next to vacated wins. But according to the infractions report, “The records of the individual’s and team’s performances in that championship shall be deleted, and the team’s place finish in the final standings shall be vacated.”

There’s no word yet from the NCAA on any potential penalties involved, but I’m sure it would be nominal at best. Besides, at this stage in the game, the NCAA has more pressing concerns than playing Columbo on school media guides.

UF men’s basketball spokesperson Denver Parler said in an e-mail Monday, “We’ll look to make sure the affected info is adjusted or noted where appropriate in subsequent guides.”

Another interesting sidenote  — Just went to the O’Connell Center and noticed that Florida has a banner hanging from the rafters that recognizes the 1987 and 1988 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Your thoughts . . .


34 COMMENTS

  1. The NCAA has lost most of its credibility in recent history at Ohio State and Auburn, etc. So while I’m not particularly sympathetic to Coach Cal (and Norm was a nice enough guy), I’m slightly more pleased with the snub to the NCAA. At this point the NCAA looks only slightly less corrupt than a Mexican street cop (no disrespect intended to Mexican street cops), and they don’t seem to care. The UF pledge to handle records different in the future (and the NCAA credibility issues) should shackle the NCAA bloodhounds…at least a little. Could there be major changes comming…starting at the highest level of college sports?

  2. This is excatly why I pretty much stopped reading the Sun’s basketball coverage. This guy is brutal, how have they kept him on this long, maybe he has nowhere else to go. Talk about making a story out of nothing.

  3. Was he ineligible before the NCAA tournament, or just during the tourney? If he was eligible heading in to the tourney, then the banners should stay. The team legitimately made the tournament. They just need to adjust the vacated games in their media guide.

  4. Let’s see….1986-1987??? Who gives a flip! Surely the NCAA has bigger issues to attend to than 25 year old media guides. Of course, we have a Congress that wants to hold hearings on whether the BCS should have a championship game, all while our country is dealing with rampant unemployment and two wars.

    Let’s have some perspective, please.

  5. Florida fans… I see that many of you are upset about the pettiness. Just think about how UK fans feel. If UK is going to get dinged for something… shouldn’t Florida get looked at as well if they’re doing the exact same thing? Fair is fair, right?

  6. UK is responsible for Cal’s vacated wins. In fact, Cal was never implicated at UMASS or Memphis anyway. This story is about how ridiculous the NCAA is and their admission to UK that they don’t have the “time or manpower” to go after all the schools that are in “violation” of this silly policy.

  7. Lizardgrad89… how about Florida hanging 2 banners in the O’Connell Center? How about SDSU having a ceremony for Steve Fisher’s “400th win” with no letter from the NCAA? How about Western Kentucky University having a homecoming ceremony this last season to “honor” the 1971 vacated Final Four appearance with no letter from the NCAA?

  8. Those banners have been there a long time, and were hung before the vacation. Besides, they don’t celebrate wins, they celebrate the appearance. The NCAA only vacated the wins, not the appearance. Cal lost the appearances in the final four as well as the wins. There’s a difference.
    .
    As for San Diego State and Western Kentucky, they live way, way under the radar. Reality is, if you want to be the team everybody talks about, well, everyone is going to talk about you, aren’t they?
    .
    I find it funny that Kentucky fans think there should be a special set of rules just for them, then they get mad when there is a special set of rules just for them.

    • Sorry, facts don’t tie, from Page 48 of NCAA D-I basketball record book

      Florida…………………………………………….. Norm Sloan……………………………….1987………………23-11………………..21-10……………………………………………………………………………………
      V: Tr 2-1

      Florida…………………………………………….. Norm Sloan……………………………….1988………………23-12………………..22-11……………………………………………………………………………………
      V: Tr 1-1

      V stands for vacated meaning games should no longer exist or be recognized. Florida struck Vernon Maxwell’s final two seasons from the record book because he was presumably the player in question. But they didn’t vacate the wins.

    • To be fair, they didn’t vacate the losses either. Probably best thing for Florida to do at this point is take down the banners and adjust their win loss records in 1987 and 1988 and adjust their overall NCAA Tournament record. That should solve things. Nothing major. Just shows that the NCAA shouldn’t be singling out one program if they don’t have the resources to go after everyone.

    • I was at the game when Cal won his “500th” which really wasn’t. He even downplayed it in the press conference. I think this was really more Kentucky administration’s doing and they should have been more mindful of his actual record and the negative feedback it created.

  9. Kevin,
    .
    Did the NCAA vacate our appearances in any of those years? The wins are irrelevant, you can go one and done and still had an “appearance”. Anyway, I don’t think they vacate appearances except in the Final Four, do they?
    .
    If the NCAA no longer acknowledges our appearance in the tourney, then yes, we should take them down. But I’ve never seen anything about a vacated appearance, only vacated games. But, if it’s just the games, then the banner is fine.
    .
    Having said that, I think we now have had enough success to take down banners for regular NCAA or any NIT tourney appearances. Nothing less than NCAA Sweet 16 appearances should be on banners that currently hang.

    • Here’s the wording from the NCAA Infractions report from 1990: “The records of the individual’s and team’s performances in that championship shall be deleted, and the team’s place finish in the final standings shall be vacated.”

      The words “deleted” and “final standings” suggest to me that the NCAA Tournament appearances should be vacated. But I don’t see the NCAA enforcing it. The statute of limitations (four years) has already passed.

  10. “the NCAA shouldn’t be singling out one program if they don’t have the resources to go after everyone.”
    .
    Kevin,
    .
    If this were true, the NCAA wouldn’t ever do anything. They have never had the resources to go after everyone, they have to wait for someone to do something stupid and get caught, or follow behind a legal investigation.
    .
    The people complaining about the NCAA NOT making this “yearbook investigation” would be complaining about resources wasted on minutia if the NCAA HAD done all this work.

  11. Kevin,
    .
    Simple solution (maybe).
    .
    Does the NCAA have an official list of the participants in the NCAA tournament for those years? If UF isn’t listed, then the appearance is vacated. If they are listed, only the success is vacated.
    .
    This is actually quite similar to Cal’s vacated final four appearances. The team SUCCESS was vacated. But did the NCAA take away their participation as well? Are those schools not listed as being in the tourney? This is the difference between a “Sweet Sixteen” banner and a “hey, look, we got invited, yay us” banner.

  12. Liz, seems you get, at the very least, as upset as the average UK fan when UF is questioned for something that is trivial. Perhaps, you should step back a bit and think about why you are bent out of shape. That will likely give you perspective about the thoughts of others. Or, does all that sunshine in Florida prevent introspection?

  13. The NCAA sounds suspiciously like the late great Soviet Union who had hundreds of editors to delete the names of people from public records who had committed political infractions and were sent to Siberia.If the banners only celebrate participation in the tourney, what’s the problem.

  14. @GR8R_G8R: Please stick to know facts and try to avoid speculation. I know public opinion is that Calipari cheats. I also know that public opinion was certain that witches existed in Salem, Massachusetts and people died. I also know public opinion was heavily convinced that Communists were infiltrating our daily lives during the McCarthy Era… resulting in multitudes of people being accused of being communist. It’s easy to speculate when you don’t have any hard evidence or facts. Is Calipari clean? I can’t say for sure. He might be the dirtiest coach in the game, but nobody has ever found any proof to show it as a certain thing. Lots of people speculate, but speculation is just that… a million people can speculate… that doesn’t make it a fact.

  15. @Jacob Kiper-Thanks for your insightful and thoughtful comments.

    As for the vacated wins: The players, coaches and fans who were a part of those games know who won. The heartbreak from losing in the tournament was truly felt by those players, as was the elation of winning; but for none of the teams involved did the emotion and memories of the moment change because what the NCAA decided. The banners should stay up and the games should be counted, because they WERE played, and they were DECIDED on the court. The same for Calipari and his wins at UMass and Memphis. If you look into his vacated wins you would find that UMass was penalized for what a player decided to do (Marcus Camby) outside the control of his coaches, and in the case of Memphis, the NCAA ruled after the season was over that Derrick Rose was ineligible. And I’m pretty sure that was after a preliminary hearing that ruled him eligible. Is Cal a cheat? I don’t know, but I do know he brings success and intensity wherever he goes. Not unlike Steve Spurrier, who had some questionable players in his reign at UF too… But both coaches left teams in better shape when they left than Lane Kiffin did at Tennessee or the destruction that is occurring at OSU now that Tressel’s transgressions are being trundled out.