Final thoughts on Kentucky, I mean Calipari

Kentucky basketball Coach John Calipari appeared briefly on yesterday’s “Pardon the Interruption”, an ESPN show hosted by Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.

Kornheiser and Wilbon gushed over Calipari like a couple of school girls, treating him like the college basketball icon he is not.

If either of these two former reporters had any cojones they would have asked Coach Calipari to defend his one-and-done strategy that is slowly ruining college basketball by watering down the level of talent on the court.

Even better, they could have inquired about  Calipari’s recruiting successes.   I especially would have enjoyed hearing the coach explain how in his first three years on the job he signed 8 McDonald’s All-Americans – the same number that his predecessors signed over the previous 11 years!

Now, I know that people in Kentucky like their round ball – the slew of home-knitted blue sweaters in Stegeman on Tuesday were a dead give away.  I’m also aware that the Cats have a history of playing competitive basketball.

But the way that Coach Calipari has turned UK into its own little NBA factory in three years is pretty amazing.

How could he elevate a program so quickly?

I know he had problems at his previous job – Memphis – in which some players may or may not have been playing eligibly.  Coach Cal skirted out of town before Derrick Rose landed in Chicago.

I also remember him having some issues at UMASS – something about Marcus Camby receiving improper benefits around the time (1996) when the Minutemen were heading to the Final Four?  If you don’t recall this scandal, Bobby Knight brought it up at his Hall of Fame induction speech.

Calipari scooted out of town before the fire actually started, leaving another program to fend for itself amongst a sea of NCAA accusations.

In March of 2010, Slate Magazine labeled Calipari the “sleaziest coach” in college basketball, and I couldn’t agree more.

Whatever successes the Cats enjoy under Calipari will surely be vacated shortly thereafter, and I would not be at all surprised to see this program hit with some serious NCAA sanctions (soon).  The inflow of McD’s All-Americans just doesn’t add up – or, it does add up if you look at the history of the man bringing them into the school.

Another prediction – Calipari will be long gone while Kentucky weather’s the NCAA storm.

6 thoughts on “Final thoughts on Kentucky, I mean Calipari

  1. I agree. . . long history of cheating there. UK will always get some recruits, but you’re right about these last few years being a bit extreme.

    I hope you’re right about them getting hit with some sanctions. Unfortunately, Calipari seems to be a pretty slick character who has a lot just slide right off him.


      1. Honestly though, I think that it’s just a matter of time before all of this catches up to him and he gets blacklisted from coaching NCAA basketball for a while


  2. Off topic, I know, but did any of you guys know that Terrance Woodbury is in the NBADL this year? He plays for the Austin Torros and is averaging 13.2 pts, 4.3 rbs, 1.0 dime and 28.3 mins per game. Make us proud Terrance! Sundiata plays for the Nets this year, got a lot of playing time the first 10 games or so, not so much in the last 10.


  3. my crystal ball says: Calamari will be gone from UK after 2 or 3 more years; imediately after that Kentucky will get put on major punishment by NCAA; Missouri will take over as the top SEC basketball program for a while.


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