The Voice of Reason: Why John Calipari Isn't Going to Kentucky
It's a drama that comes around annually in April. It garners national attention.
The finale leaves people teetering on a long spectrum.
On one side of the spectrum, people are deviously smiling and rubbing their palms with aspirations of a championship or championships.
On the other side, however, people are endlessly weeping. They're confused and frantically searching for any kind of reasonable logic to explain what transpired.
The truth is, there's no real logic to this soap opera. The truth is, this soap opera isn't as riveting as one would be made to believe.
The truth is, this soap opera leaves a lot of fans heart broken, and not because of a touching ending.
In fact, it's the complete opposite. The spectacle, commonly known as "The Coaching Carousel," lacks substance. It's pointless.
But guess what?
Forgive the cliche, but it's rearing its ugly head again.
The University of Kentucky, the program who is at the top of the proverbial college basketball mountain, is in need of a head coach. Billy Gillispie didn't suffice, at least to Kentucky's standards, and he got the axe.
A.D. Mitch Barnhart and the Wildcats are on the prowl for the head coach that's going to save their program from mediocrity and single-handedly pull them from the abyss that is the bottom of the SEC.
Ideally, they want to lock up the University of Memphis's head coach, John Calipari. He took the Memphis program from nothin' to somethin' in the blink of an eye. He's built a powerhouse foundation from nothing but debris and rubble.
He's importing one of the best classes ever in college basketball history next season. He's poised to make a serious national championship run again.
My advice to the Kentucky administration: Keep dreaming.
No, seriously. R.C. Johnson and the Memphis front office are diligently working to extend his contract and up his salary. On top of that, Calipari doesn't want anything to do with the SEC. That's football country; Cal is top dog here in C-USA and the city.
Why would he leave? Memphis will match and one-up whatever Lexington throws Calipari's way. Memphis plays in an NBA facility. Calipari has the love and utmost support from his fan base whether he wins or whether he loses.
In Lexington, your every single, solitary, voluntary or involuntary movement is microscopically scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. If you have a bad season, it's off with your head. Cal doesn't have to worry about that in the Bluff City.
And if Calipari, for whatever far-fetched reason, did leave the Memphis program, he'd virtually have to rebuild the Kentucky program. He'd have to recruit players who knew the Dribble Drive Motion offense, and then start from square one in practice with pre-existing players.
Calipari wants no part of that.
Continuity is also a major factor. Calipari has a son, Bradley, enrolled in Memphis City Schools. His daughter is a freshman at the University of Memphis. How would he be able to explain to his children why he is uprooting them from their comfortable environments and thrusting them into a brand new one?
Mrs. Calipari wouldn't be a huge fan, either, I'm sure.
“I want to be here,” Calipari said yesterday. “This is where I want to coach, and my name will be tied to every job that’s open, and our fans I think have gotten used to it.”
Good call, Johnny.
Just make sure you keep it up when Kentucky's doing the calling.
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