If Derrick Rose had to be embarrassed by front-page headlines suggesting he’s dishonest and either stupid or lazy, at least he picked the right day. 

Thursday Tribune: “Allegations of academic fraud touch Bulls star Derrick Rose.”

Thursday Sun-Times: “ROSE GRADE SCANDAL.”

But there was a story played even bigger on the front page of the Tribune: “Clout goes to college / Rezko relative is among those admitted to U. of I. in shadow system influenced by trustees and other insiders.”

Because that story was the result of a Tribune investigation, the Sun-Times ran its version back on page five: “U. of I. admits secret clout list.”

The upshot: If Rose did something wrong, he has lots of company. Anyone can go to college whether they belong there or not. If it’s not what you do, it’s who you know. The Tribune said about 800 undergraduates have landed on a University of Illinois “clout list,” since 2005, but it gave no names. So Rose stands alone in the spotlight.

The Tribune reported: “Politically appointed trustees and lawmakers routinely behave as armchair admissions officers advocating on behalf of relatives and neighbors — even housekeepers’ kids and families with whom they share Hawaiian vacations. They declare their candidates ‘no brainers’ for admission and suggest that if they are not accepted, the admissions system may need revamping.”

And just the other day Gail Collins was saying in the New York Times about how the student loan system has become a racket that makes lenders rich and screws students.

So whatever happened to Derrick Rose at Simeon High and the University of Memphis, it was a schooling in the real world.