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CALIPARI UNDER FIRE: MA COMMISSION, NBA, BOTH INVESTIGATING
Published March 2, 1998
The MA State Ethics Commission is investigating Nets coach John Calipari for "his conduct" during his tenure as coach of the UMass basketball team, according to Don Burke of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The commission "intends to investigate" whether Calipari "misused his position ... to gain profits and publicity from the 'Refuse to Lose' slogan that he had trademarked." Burke wrote that the alleged violations include "participating in the decision to place the slogan ... on garments worn" by the UMass team; using the team "as a means of gaining publicity for the slogan"; and "having a financial interest" in UMass contracts involving trademarks. If the inquiry finds that Calipari broke the law, he could be fined. Nets President Michael Rowe had "no comment." Calipari, through a spokesperson, called the story "old news" (STAR-LEDGER, 3/1). CAN HE TAKE THE HEAT? During Friday's home loss to the Heat, Calipari shouted "a profanity at a fan, which could result in a league reprimand or suspension," according to Michael James of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. During the game, Calipari turned to a heckler and shouted "You shut your mouth. Shut the (expletive) up." James wrote that the comment "shocked many fans" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/1). Calipari: "In the emotion of the moment, I said something I shouldn't have said." NBA VP/Ops Rod Thorn said the league would "look into" the incident (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/2).