Too Quick To Blame?

In America, the Bill of Rights provides citizens with several constitutional guarantees, one of which is the right of Habeas Corpus (innocent until proven guilty). However, in today's society, it's often reversed, as individuals accused of wrongdoing are typically considered guilty until proven innocent. Here's an interesting take on the Kentucky Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari situation at UK from ESPN commentator Jay Bilas:

So far, the biggest target in this saga has been Calipari. Because we have this ridiculous notion that the head coach is responsible for everything that goes on in his program, Calipari is taking the blame even though his name is not even mentioned in the Notice of Allegations. Remember, the Notice mentioned the name of a representative of Memphis’ athletic interests over a single phone call. If the NCAA had anything on Calipari, it would have unloaded it in the Notice. It does not.

And later…

Call me old-fashioned, but I require established facts and evidence before I call someone a cheater. I am not naive about the way things work in basketball, because I see it every day. But there is a difference between the problems with the culture in the game and making specific allegations of academic fraud against an individual. We all share the blame collectively for what is going on in the game, but we should require more evidence and hard facts before we indict any individual.
So far, the only “evidence” against Calipari is that he was the head coach, and the head coach is responsible for everything that happens on his watch, that he was the head coach at UMass when Marcus Camby accepted money from an agent and the head coach is responsible for everything that happens on his watch, and he’s at Memphis and he lets Worldwide Wes and the FedEx CEO hang around his program.

And later…

And to continue to discredit Calipari with references to wrongdoing he played no part in is simply wrong. If there is evidence that Calipari knew about or participated in the alleged academic fraud, then bring it forward. Just mentioning Camby and a vacated Final Four appearance does not tell us anything about the current situation.
Maybe Calipari and Memphis had a part in this alleged wrongdoing. But maybe, just maybe, they did not. As reasonable people, we should establish the facts first. Just because the NCAA alleges something doesn’t make it true.
Until then, a deep breath and some perspective wouldn’t hurt.

Anyway, thought he had some thoughtful points. As always, GO BIG BLUE!

Barry E. Fields

All Things New is the preaching and teaching ministry of Barry E. Fields, pastor of Hawesville Baptist Church, a regional congregation on the Ohio River with two campuses in Kentucky (Hawesville) & Indiana (Crossroads Tell City) and membership in five counties.

Originally from Bowling Green, he grew up at Glendale Baptist Church under the ministry of Pastor Richard Oldham, competed for Western Kentucky University's nationally recognized speech and debate team before receiving a B.A. in History in 2007, completed an M.Div. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville in 2010, a Th.M. in 2012, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Homiletics and Church History at Southern, serving as Garrett Fellow to Dr. Hershael York from July 2012-December 2014. He has also taught theology and church history as an adjunct instructor for Campbellsville University. Before coming to his present ministry, he was pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Buffalo, Kentucky, for almost 5 years.

Active in denominational life, Barry currently serves on the Southern Baptist Convention's Young Leaders Advisory Council, a small group of pastors and ministry leaders seeking to engage the next generation in cooperative missions and ministry; recently completed a term on the SBC's Committee on Committees; currently represents the Blackford Breckinridge Baptist Association on the Kentucky Baptist Convention's Executive Mission Board; and has served on the KBC's Committee on Nominations, as well as several associational roles.

In his free time, he enjoys reading history and politics, listening to WKYU's Barren River Breakdown (Bluegrass and folk music) along with a variety of podcasts, as well as watching historical and political documentaries and the Andy Griffith show. Barry has a desire to help people fulfill the Great Commission through the Great Commandments: by showing the love of Christ, we can better share the love of Christ, and make disciples of all nations. And just so you know, he bleeds BLUE (UK Basketball)!