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John Calipari Feeling the Heat From UK Fans and Media Over Scheduling

We have said "written" many times before and we will repeat it yet again; when Kentucky Coach John Calipari deserves to be bashed we will, without hesitation, bash him. Well this is an occasion where Calipari needs bashing. John Calipari responded to the UK fans and media with regard to his decision to abruptly end the Indiana series (and also ending the UNC series) with a multi-page manifesto entitled "Forming a Non Traditional Schedule for a Non Traditional Program". And his explanation is not sitting well with some respected members of the Commonwealth's sports media and I must say his explanation is not sitting well with me neither.

Calipari has changed the face of college basketball by winning a national championship with a team of "mostly" freshmen. He proved all of his detractors wrong, he showed them that it can be done. I must admit I am still wary of the ship'em in and ship'em out approach to building a Kentucky basketball team because it will, in the end, bite this university, because no matter how hard you try you cannot keep the vampires away from the elite scholastic athlete, but that is a story for another time. Calipari may have changed the landscape of college basketball but he is now tinkering with rooted tradition, he has announced that our tradition is over. We "UK" want to play Indiana, we want to play North Carolina, we would also love to add yet another game of similar magnitude and schedule say a Kansas, not a neutral site but at the Phog and at Rupp. At the end of the day who cares if we earn a tad more revenue by playing at a neutral site. Even though the student athlete tradition within college basketball has all but evaporated the tradition here at UK is what it is, it has been with us for decades.

If we want to talk numbers then we need to talk numbers. Calipari need not throw a convoluted explanation at BBN and expect us to accept it. According to a well received study of revenue generated from major college sports programs Kentucky Basketball is 16th among major D1 schools. Louisville is number one, largely due to the Yum center and the massive amount of revenue generated from luxury box suits, plus donations. We can also assume that U of L generates way more cash than UK by considering the conference they play in. The bottom line is; SEC basketball is not a cash cow, the Big East is (as of today, it may not be that way in 2014).

So if Calipari is going to completely change UK from it's longstanding traditions we can expect Calipari to want to move to the ACC. We can expect Calipari to demand a new arena (which we actually need). We can expect a lot more changes, or proposed changes, from Calipari and crew if we are to buy this "more revenue" explanation. If Calipari is serious about unique scheduling for each individual team he has in any given year then BBN need not expect any lasting traditional games. We will soon resemble a traveling road show of elite vagabondages playing whatever games we can. How can we expect other elite programs to stop their 4 to 8 year scheduling contracts just so they can accommodate UK? We can't, it will be a crap shoot.

Maybe in a few years we will look back at this debacle and say we were wrong, maybe Calipari can pull the tooth of tradition, without pain killers, and make the BBN accept it. Well I am not ready to accept it because the BBN loves tradition, it's ours, it's embedded into our DNA and a slick business plan cannot force us to change just-like-that.

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9 Comments

  1. Great article! I love Coach Cal but I am uneasy with these changes. I am sad that we will not have our annual IU-UK party next year. It is a d**n shame.

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  2. i love Coach Cal, but i hate the changes,i just cant believe that Coach would do such a thing, we UK fans will just have to get used to it i geuss, but i believe that in our hearts the tradition will live on. GO CATS
    :(

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  3. I cannot be more dissapointed with Coach Cal right now. Take away alot of things, but don't take away our tradition. And calling us a "non-traditional school" is about as far from the truth as possible.

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  4. I'm starting to think that Coach Cal's new yorker slick guy attitude is not fitting in well in the Commonwealth. I still dont trust him.

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  5. Two comments from "Anonymous" and two from Kevin Glass. Troll Alert!

    I trust Calipari.

    Can anyone tell me where the IU/UK games were held from 1987 until 2005?

    Neutral sites.

    IU ended the negotiations. Poor security at Assembly Hall was also an issue.

    Go Cats!

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  6. One game with "bad security" and its time to turn everything around intead of, I don't know, just address the security issue. The game would have been in Rupp this year giving IU two years to solve that security issue you speak of. And I hate to admit it but some of the reason it moved to neutral site in 87 was Rupp fan behavior.

    But i Kentucky is anything, its a traditional school. The concept of anything else is insulting.

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  7. Go lurking somewhere else

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  8. UK needs a new arena,at the least change out that ugly horn system and put a scoreboard in its place.The Yum! Center looks like an NBA arena.Rupp,its ugly half sister.

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