Kentucky coach John Calipari released a statement today on his #website that sends a clear message to other, unnamed college coaches about dirty recruiting tactics. While I certainly have no inside knowledge of what coaches or programs the message is intended for, I think its a great message to recruits, their families, and even the other coaches.
Basically, Calipari is saying that other coaches will tell a recruit anything he wants to hear in order to get his signature, while at Kentucky, Calipari won't do it, because, well, he doesn't have to! First of all, Calipari's first two recruiting classes at UK speak for themselves, as do the number of Cats that Cal has recruited that are now being paid handsome salaries to bounce the roundball in the NBA. Above anything else, success breeds success, and Kentucky has become the prime destination for the high school player aiming for a professional basketball career.
One can debate the merits of the one-and-done player, and I would be the first to criticize it, but reality is if you want to win at the level Kentucky fans expect of their program, elite talent is a requirement. As much as I loved Tubby Smith as a coach and a person, the fact is he was not bringing in enough elite talent to win at a level required at Kentucky. Coach Calipari has-so you can't criticize that aspect.
I like the fact that Calipari states up front that UK is a "player-first" program, but then goes on to say that playing time is not a guarantee and that players will "earn what you deserve." That's exactly as it should be at every program, from high school up to the elite college level.
Kudos to Coach Calipari for calling out his coaching brethren and calling bull...on many of the recruiting tactics used to lure the star players. This is Kentucky, and we don't want prima donnas-we want players proud to wear the uniform, proud to play for Calipari, players who hustle, players who want to win championships, players who go to class, and players who play as a team. If the result of that is they make millions of dollars at the next level, then great! That's a win-win for all involved!go back