$35 Million Question

Impossible to ignore when a nearby state school wants to return to relevance so badly that its athletic director gives in to the pressure from the ugly element of its fan base to go down a path of winning at any cost.wink

Watch for a nervous tick to develop among members of that same fan base, the old winking, nodding and smirking when praising the attributes of the new hire.

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The long-term costs will be enormous, financial and otherwise, and the repercussions will be deeply felt by the partisans. Then they will look for another from the same persuasion.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “$35 Million Question

  • March 31, 2009 at 8:27 pm
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    There is no reason to believe John Calipari is anything but a man of integrity. His players love him, the fans love him. Contrary to what Louisville fans want to believe, the NCAA has not had any investigations into the Memphis program. The New York Times tried to stir things up but that has gone nowhere. He runs a clean program. I don’t expect any problems with players he recruits either.

  • April 1, 2009 at 9:25 am
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    I agree Charlie with the risk they are taking hiring this guy – I read Pat Forde’s article and several CJ articles this morning that echo the same thing. yUK is so desparate to win again and I think he will do that but at what cost relative to recruiting and calibre of players – I think yUK is headed down a dangerous path yet again – Barnhart had to do something to save his job and he did. Another “savior” for their program; I wonder how long THIS one will last. Sad.

  • April 1, 2009 at 9:45 am
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    Hey BlueBoar the guy has a “questionable” reputation at best. You are out of your mind if you don’t realize that. Tyreke Evans and his phone calls to various coaches to negotiate touches? C’mon you are only saying this because he is your coach now. He brought in Camby, who accepted boat loads of money, he is the guy who lets players beat on their girlfriends and still play ball. Heck that big boy on the team this year choked a fan after a game and didn’t even get kicked off the team. So don’t act like the guy is a saint. Win at all costs, remember kids like Cal’s system because its just streetball, drive to the basket, over and over again. UK just sold its soul for wins. Heck the guy hasn’t won a championship and is now the highest paid coach in college basketball. What a joke.

  • April 4, 2009 at 7:56 am
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    Okay, let’s take a day off from the Lady Cards march to the Arch and look at the recent events in our second largest city in the commonwealth.

    Joke #1: Keeneland recently raised general admission from $3 to $5 dollars for racing admission. Gotta pay Calipari somehow…

    Joke #2: Taxes on alcohol and cigarettes went up on April 1st in Kentucky. Calipari was hired on April 1st. For god sakes, don’t fire the UK football coach…the rest of the state can’t afford it!

    Even in the deep dark hollows of Letcher County the word has spread. The Wildcats have themselves a new Italian salesman who will also double as a basketball coach. Recession be damned, the Cats have raided the war chest and gone out and bought the best currently available. At least it isn’t another Billy…the Eddie Munster of Gainesville didn’t take the hook and Billy Self is busy trying to figure out what happened in the Sweet Sixteen. It’s the “Cal”…a guy that probably won’t get the cute nickname like “Billy Clyde” that was bestowed on ol’ bourbon and water.

    While Memphis rages in anger and betrayal…some lucky realtor in Lexington is booking a month long vacation in Bermuda after this commission check.

    It’ll be Calipari ball in a slightly different blue shade than before, but the plot remains the same. Talented, pure ballers who may not have the best grasp and command of the English language or direction to their communications class but will drill threes and throw down rim shaking slam dunks. You know? We’ve never considered UK one of those “academic schools” anyway.

    Rick and John aren’t exactly guys who will exchange post cards, humorous e-mails or tailor leads and tips. The animosity there will probably go into hyperspace now…given the 80-mile distance and the yearly matchup. I doubt they have adjoining boxes in the clubhouse on Derby Day and you probably won’t ever hear them doing a two hour show together on a low wattage radio station when they retire.

    Does this mean we still have to play Memphis in basketball now?

    So, get ready Lexington for a version of “Rick-light” as the new guy on the hardwood that has to try and remember not to sit in Keightly’s seat. It’ll be the opposite of what the “Tub” gave you and nowhere near the mirth-filled days of Billy ball and losing to Gardner-Webb and VMI.

    Act like you’ve been there before and for God sakes don’t ask the man to open a restaurant. And, try not to leave Billy G completely out in the cold when it comes to settlement time. After all, he did beat Tennessee.

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