Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Barcelona's ears and Calipari's eyes

Barcelona beats Manchester United in the Champions League final. Plus some breaking news on John Calipari.

Barcelona's ears and Calipari's eyes


Did you get any work done this afternoon?

At the very least, I bet you were less productive than you usually are. Literally hundreds of millions of people around the world watched today's titanic Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United, and judging from Twitter and the rest of the Internet a lot of people in Philadelphia were paying attention.

It was a great game between two teams stacked with superstars, from Man U's Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney to Barcelona's Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

In the end, Messi and the Blaugrana came out on top. Barcelona got a goal in each half - Samuel Eto'o in the first half and Messi in the second - to seal a 2-0 win. It was Barça's second Champions League triumph in four seasons, and the first time ever that Man U lost a final.

The so-called "Cup with the Big Ears" has returned to Catalonia, and there's no doubt that soccer fans the world over ar quite happy about it. Barcelona has earned its reputation as one of the world's most popular sports teams by insisting on playing attractive soccer, not just in recent years but going back decades. This year's squad has certainly continued that tradition.

As you can see above, I've put together a photo gallery of some of the best pictures from the day in Rome. I hope you enjoy it.

Back in the States, there's some late-breaking news that John Calipari is in hot water with the NCAA.

(You may start snickering...)

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports that Calipari is accused of "'knowing [of] fraudulence or misconduct' on an SAT exam by a player on the 2007-08 team."

In other words, a student on that team had someone else take the SAT for him. While the player's name was redacted on the NCAA's report due to privacy laws, Commercial-Appeal writer Dan Caulken writes that "[t]he wording of the report seems to indicate the player in question only competed during the 2007-08 season and specifically the 2008 NCAA tournament."

Only one player fits that description: Derrick Rose.

Juicy, isn't it?

There is no accusation of "lack of institutional control," which would bring the big hammer down if proven. But the allegation at hand could result in Memphis forfeiting its trip to the national championship game a year ago.

Commercial-Appeal columnist Geoff Calkins lets Calipari have it, and you can read his writing here.

You can read the NCAA's letter to Memphis at the Commercial-Appeal's website here.

Oh, and by the way, this all happened on the same day that former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie sued the school for being fired without cause. He's seeking $6 million in lost salary and "an undisclosed amount of punitive damages, attorneys' fees, court costs and interest," according to the Associated Press.

If only the Wildcats had some spare NCAA Tournament revenue sitting around. Oh, wait.

Any armchair judges out there?

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Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

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