Dennis Thomas’ former school counts vacated wins

David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press picked up on Sunday column about Kentucky fans unearthing other instances of schools continuing to include “vacated” victories in official publications and web sties.

David found a fascinating discovery.

Turns out Dennis Thomas, the MEAC commissioner and current chair of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, the man whose name is signed to the letter instructing Kentucky to cease counting John Calipari’s “vacated” victories, was the athletic director at Hampton for 12 seasons.

And guess what? Yes, you guessed it.

Hampton is counting “vacated” victories.

An excerpt:

But Kentucky faithful missed the most glaring.

MEAC member Hampton, where Thomas served as athletic director from 1990-2002.

Less than a year into Thomas’ HU tenure, the NCAA sanctioned the Pirates for lack of institutional control and for using an ineligible football player in 1986 and two in 1987. Per HU president William Harvey’s recommendation, the NCAA ordered the Pirates to forfeit their 12 football victories from 1986 and ’87.

Yet page 143 of HU’s 2010 media guide, lists the Pirates’ records for those seasons as 3-6-1 and 9-3 with no mention of the NCAA sanctions.

David goes on to point out this was not a one-time oversight. Read the rest of his blog post for details.

This entry was posted in UK basketball and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. JackB says:

    Given the indignation in his letter to UK, that has got to be embarrassing.

  2. Dini says:

    Mr. Clay,

    Any chance of a reporter working to get a comment from Mr. Thomas regarding all these discoveries but specially the Hampton one? That would seem to be newsworthy. By the way, BZ to the gentleman who found Hampton’s. I went that road as well but did not locate anything.

  3. Ryan says:

    Mr. Clay,
    I would like to echo the sentiments of “Dini” as well. How come we are not seeing any comments from Dennis Thomas regarding this whole situation. Given the number of times that your pal Jerry Tipton has been on the line with the NCAA, one would kind of assume that he’s got him on speedial. Do you now see “why” people are claiming that the LHL and Jerry Tipton in particular have a bias against UK? Here’s the PERFECT chance for the paper to do geniune follow-up reporting on a subject that thousands of your readers are interested in……and we get nothing. No wonder people prefer KSR….sorry, but it’s the truth.

  4. John Clay says:

    My understanding was Mr. Thomas declined to address the matter. I didn’t realize he had commented to KSR.

  5. John Clay says:

    BTW, this from KSR on June 11: “We tend to give Jerry Tipton a lot of grief on this site, and while most of it is deserved, the good doctor is actually a pretty good journalist. He just chooses to make controversy when there isn’t, much to the chagrin of his target audience. Nevertheless, Tipton published a pretty good piece earlier today about a story that was on no one’s radar.”

    The piece was the story on the NCAA’s letter to UK about Calipari’s 500th win.

    The link:

  6. JackB says:

    John, I know you are obligated to defend JT, but he is “referenced” in the UK-NCAA back and forth letters on this subject – I am not sure if that was known when KSR wrote that piece above. You do gloss over the “most of it deserved” comment. I think it is interesting how involved JT was in stirring the pudding on this subject with direct NCAA communications.

    Nonetheless, it would be nice to see the LHL be proactive in investigating the NCAA a bit on this rather than relying entirely on the work of UK fans and mere bloggers to uncover the selective outrage issue. But you did at least write about the issue and bring to the bigger public the work of the fans/bloggers, so there is that.

  7. John Clay says:

    By a quick Google search, I can find only two stories Jerry wrote on the issue.

    One was on February 28 when NCAA’s head of basketball statistics said his office did not recognize “vacated” wins and it did not recognize Calipari as having 500 wins.

    The second time came on Sunday June 12 when Jerry reported about the NCAA’s COI letter to UK on the matter.

    I hardly call that “stirring the pudding.”

    If I missed others, please let me know.

    And for the record, I am not obligated to defend anyone.

  8. Ryan says:

    Mr. Clay,
    That’s a fair enough assessment and excellent cross-point. However, I will still stand my original statement. As a long-time reader of the LHL, with each passing year, I become more and more disenchanted with the LHL and “columnists” who make attempts to stir up the pot with repeated inquiries to the NCAA about potential infractions regarding UK—–then, once the pot has been stirred, hide behind the pretense of “unbiased journalists” when the fans/blogger sites try to investigate relevant facts—-thus assisting the “columnists” in what should have been their orignial job in the first place—-finally, when the dust has settled, we get the standard, “well, we looked into it and the parties now have no comment..” from the LHL. Are you kidding me?? Your comments regarding KSR are correct, but at least they don’t hide behind the guise of “unbiased journalists” when reporting/investigating potential stories. When they screw up, you usually see a post within 30 minutes ADMITTING to it and trying to clarify the facts as should have been orignially reported. If you ask me, I am more willing to follow the “journalists” who is openly willing to admit their mistakes, than the ones who try to pretend as if the mistake never occured in the first place.

  9. John Clay says:

    Ryan, not sure I quite follow. What mistake are you talking about? And please don’t call me, Mr. Clay. It’s John. Thanks for the comments.

  10. Ryan says:

    Wow, it feels weird calling you that. I’ve read your columns since I was 13 so I always feel like referring to you as Mr. Clay. To respond to your question—-I think that there’s a general consensus among many UK fans and loyal LHL readers that the LHL perpetuated the recent fraucous with the NCAA….and then dropped the ball when our chance for comeuppance finally arrived. It just felt like this whole thing got blown out of proportion with JT throwing gasoline on the fire from the beginning. Then, after it was PROVEN that a top employee of the NCAA higher-up (Dennis Thomas) had been hypocritcal with his “very troubling” rulings against UK…..we hear nothing but crickets from JT. When all of the discoveries of the other universities recognizing “vacated” wins occured (with most of the research being done by the fans and blogger sites), many within the UK fanbase expected a rebuttal article/column from JT pointing out this hypocrisy in the NCAA. Does he not want to anger his “sources” within the NCAA that provide him with information? We felt that this was FINALLY the opportunity we have waited years to occur— viable proof that the NCAA was treating UK with more scorn than other schools. When we heard nothing from JT, it only perpetuated (rightfully or wrongfully so) the theory that JT has a bias against UK. Unfortnately, events like this will continue to assuage many younger readers like myself to seek “news/information” elsewhere (KSR), and the LHL will slowly continue to bleed readers on a yearly basis.

  11. Mark Liptak says:


    Excellent points. Where’s the “good doctor” been the past few days? Did anyone else notice that in his Sunday weekly basketball column / story he didn’t mention one word, not one comment on this entire issue that he helped exacerbate.

    I found that very interesting.

    I’ve already mentioned this but I’ll say it again. Why hasn’t Jerry had a word from Thomas on any of this…even if it is simply something like this:

    ‘The Lexington Herald-Leader tried contacting Mr. Thomas on the entire situation but was told he is not commentating on the matter…’

    Just SOMETHING to show that the LHL made the effort. Jerry apparently was pretty quick badgering the NCAA if you read between the lines in Sandy Bell’s letter to the NCAA, why not now?

    And this story is not restricted to Tipton there are other reporters there (John, Mark Story) who can also use a telephone.

    I’m not a paranoid fan, I’m in the sports media myself and I’m just confused why there hasn’t been a follow up on something that obviously struck a raw nerve with a lot of readers.

    I know if I was the sports editor I’d be demanding a follow up.

    Mark Liptak

  12. John Clay says:

    Ryan, I think I wrote that column.

  13. Dini says:

    Mr. Clay,

    Thank you for clarifying Mr. Thomas has declined to comment. It mattered to me, at least.

    As far as any other side topic, having an objective reporter around to dig through items to confirm my Alma Mater is doing things right also mattters. I never want to relive the probation years.

    Mr. Thomas’ records should be open to scrutiny by member institutions. If he was not accurate in presenting the source of the complaint, it would seem he would jeapordize himself and the integrity of the committee. Despite everything else, I doubt if he would venture to go there. As such, only UK personnel mentioned Mr. Tipton’s name and that is based off conjecture, not fact.

    You reporters have a tough job, thank you for doing it.

  14. loucatfan says:

    Since it was my find that started all of this I would like to now weigh in.I agree with Ryan and the other posters above that other than your tremendous Article the LHL has not followed up on this story as they should.

    I don’t expect the LHL to be a cheerleader for UK in the sense that you would turn a blind eye if UK is in the wrong. However I do expect you to support your and my state flagship university when it is unfairly attacked. Both our basketball coach and our university was singled out unfairly and it took my research and a heck of a lot of other UK fans research ,emails and letters when I asked for their Help to uncover and report what the media should have.

    As a newspaper you have credibility and importance that we do not have. If Thomas won’t respond to you that is a major story you shoul run with with huge headlines and all. We gave you ample research to continue with the story.
    If he won’t resound keep calling NCAA officials until one does . If they refuse that is another story . Please support us on this . BBN deserves it. Thank you

  15. Tom says:

    the bullying has got to stop!
    Its time to join the NAIA.