A few thoughts …
People are saying UK has hit a homerun by hiring John Calipari. I tend to agree, but with a few reservations.
Nobody else would have brought the immediate excitement and star power that he brings. He gets it. He understands what the job is all about, he can handle the demands that come with the head coaching job at UK, one of the premier jobs in the country. He loves the attention, the cameras, the excitement.
He’s a proven winner, which you might have noticed is important to Kentuckians. He’s a great coach and recruiter. He makes UK part of the discussion again.
He’s always seemed a little shady to me, what with the Marcus Camby violations and the Worldwide Wes connection and some of the types of players he seemed to get at Memphis. I’m a little worried about that image, about all the “one-and-done” players who bolt for the NBA as soon as possible.
People get upset about the insane amount of money he’ll get paid — almost $32 million over eight years. And yeah, that’s a lot. And yes, we could pay the academic side more. But most of that money comes from media contracts, not from the university’s pockets — basketball brings in the cash, and that benefits more than just the basketball program.
I’m willing to give him a chance, to see where this goes. Kentucky is excited this morning, and that’s a good thing. Go Big Blue!