Rob Dauster

James Ramsey, Getty Images
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Louisville president to resign; was NCAA investigation a factor?


In a fairly shocking move this morning, Matt Bevin, the Governor of Kentucky, announced that University of Louisville President James Ramsey will be vacating his post.

The goal, Bevin said, is to give the University “a fresh start.” Ramsey, who was hired in 2002, is expected to step down by the end of June, but the exact date is not yet known.

Bevin will also be reorganizing the Board of Trustees for the University.

There have been a number of issues with the school in recent years, as detailed by the Louisville Courier-Journal:

“Over the past two years, his leadership came under attack as the university dealt with embezzlement scandals and other embarrassments, including an FBI investigation of its top health care executive and an NCAA investigation of allegations that men’s basketball players and recruits were provided dancers and prostitutes. The university also has been criticized for offering buyouts to top officials in exchange for their silence, and Ramsey’s compensation has been questioned.”

Bevin said that this decision was motivated by academics, not athletics.

Rick Pitino has said that the investigation into the escort scandal is over, but the school has yet to receive a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA.

Reports: Denzel Valentine knee issue could hurt draft stock

Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine (45) drives on Maryland guard Rasheed Sulaimon (0) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the semifinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Tyler Ulis isn’t the only potential first round pick dealing with a medical issue that could crater his NBA Draft stock.

Denzel Valentine, the National Player of the Year this past season and the first player in the history of college basketball to average 19 points, seven assists and seven boards in a season, reportedly has a knee issue that NBA team believe could be degenerative.

According to a report from Basketball Insiders, there are teams that believe Valentine has a degenerative knee issue that could end up keeping him from being healthy for a full 82 game season. Valentine missed four games during his senior year following arthroscopic surgery on the knee in December.

He’s still projected as a first round pick in most mock drafts, but for a guy with the skill set to one day be a late lottery pick, dropping into the 20s would be a disappointment.

The PBT 2016 NBA Draft Prospect Previews

Kentucky's Jamal Murray (23) celebrates after making a basket against Georgia during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, March 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Our 2016 NBA Draft Prospect Preview has continued this week, as we’ve posted breakdown of a number of soon-to-be lottery picks over at Pro Basketball Talk.

Want to know why Jamal Murray will be a good NBA shooter and never a great NBA point guard? Click here.

Curious as to whether Kris Dunn can be an a top five point guard in the NBA? Click here.

Why is Brandon Ingram such a valuable commodity given the direction that the NBA is heading? Click here.

And follow Pro Basketball Talk for all of our NBA Draft contributions.

VIDEO: Dashcam footage of Derek Willis arrest

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The dashcam footage of Boone County police discovering Kentucky forward Derek Willis passed out in the street outside of his car is just as bad as it sounds.

Willis was arrested over the weekend for public intoxication, and he’s lucky that’s all that happened to him. When police cars arrive on the scene, you can see Willis laying in the middle of the street outside of the driver’s side door of his car. If he was driving, he’s fortunate that the only charge that he received here was the public intoxication citation, but far more importantly, he’s incredibly lucky that A) he didn’t hurt anyone else when he was behind the wheel of that car and B) that he didn’t get run over by someone while lying facedown in the street at 4:30 in the morning.

Kentucky has yet to comment on the incident beyond saying that they were still gathering information.

VIDEO: Mixtape for Washington freshman Markelle Fultz

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When we put together our Way-Too-Early Preseason All-American team last week, the biggest argument that we had was over Washington point guard Markelle Fultz.

Fultz is a stud. Most of us expect him to end up being a top five pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. But he was eventually left off of the team because we thought it would be too difficult, given the number of elite point guards in college basketball next season, to put a player on the team from a team we don’t think is going to make the NCAA tournament.

Watch Fultz’ mixtape. Consider that Washington loses Andrew Andrews, Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray from an NIT team.

Does he deserve to be an all-american?

Kelly Kline/Under Armour
Kelly Kline/Under Armour

John Calipari takes a shot at Rick Pitino, Roy Williams in interview

John Calipari
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

John Calipari is one of seven active college coaches in the Hall of Fame. He’s gone at the head of three of them this offseason.

Just another summer in the Bluegrass, I guess.

The Kentucky head coach went on Mike Lupica’s podcast yesterday, and while he made sure to get in plugs for the stuff that he’s decided to push for this offseason — changing the process behind conference tournaments and how they effect the NCAA tournament bracket, letting college players get loans from the NBA, etc. — he made sure to get in a subtle dig at Rick Pitino and Roy Williams.

Lupica asked Cal about NCAA violations and whether coaches should be held accountable for what happens under their watch.

His answer?

“Well, it depends on who that coach is,” Cal said. “You know, there will be some coaches where everybody will say there is no way he knew. There will be other coaches that (they) would say, ‘Well, he knew what he knew that that happened with that family in eighth grade. He knew. You know he knew. He knew.’ It’s all what people are going to say.”

“All I can tell you is this: If it happens on your campus, and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. If it happens back in their hometown, it happens back with their family or other ways, there’s no way you can know. You just don’t know. So all I would say is most coaches have an idea if it happened on their campus. You might not be the first to know about it, but you eventually hear about it.”

“It’s unfortunate. You wish there was more consistency about how they do things in the NCAA. There’s a belief out there of selective enforcement in the NCAA. Some people will call right to Emmert and say, ‘Get these people off of me,’ and it changes. It’s selective.”

There’s a lot to untangle here.

But what’s clear as day is that Cal, like he did with Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski back in May, is taking a shot at Pitino and Williams and the scandals currently engulfing their programs. Williams is trying to distance himself and the basketball team from the fraudulent classes that his players took advantage of; the Tar Heels have received their Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, and it seems likely that Williams and his program will avoid major sanctions. That may not be the case with Louisville and the allegations that Pitino staffers bribed recruits with hookers, but like Williams, Pitino is trying to save himself by claiming plausible deniability; essentially, Andre McGee went rogue, according to the Louisville coach.

Cal doesn’t say it explicitly, but he doesn’t have to. We can all see through it.

And that’s not even the best part.

The best part is that Cal claims that it’s impossible for anyone to know about what happens in a players hometown, that something like — oh, I don’t know — a player getting ruled ineligible because of an SAT taken in Detroit (ahem, Derrick Rose) or a player receiving cash, clothes and jewelry from wanna-be agents in his hometown of Hartford (hi, Marcus Camby) should be out of a coach’s jurisdiction, so to speak.

So not only is Cal throwing shade two of UK’s biggest rivals, he’s doing so while explaining how the two biggest black marks on his coaching résumé shouldn’t be considered black marks.

Cal is the best at this. He takes shots without directly naming names, he feigns innocence when called on it and he revels in the amount of media coverage his quotes get. Earlier in the interview he said, “I came up with an idea in our league meetings that caught fire and everybody went crazy about it.” He wants this to happen, because it lets him make the claim that Kentucky is the only program in the country that is always talked about. Who else routinely makes headlines in June?

He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s playing us like a fiddle. And yet, here I am writing about it because it’s just too damn good to leave alone. We’re watching a master at work.