Joe B. Hall joins Calipari's coaching staff for exhibition in Rupp

'it's been very confusing'

jclay@herald-leader.comJuly 30, 2011 

Former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall spelled out the "Y" of Kentucky as he celebrated his 82nd birthday.

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

The man in the center of the 48-hour soap opera is just as confused as everyone else.

"It's been very confusing," former University of Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall said Friday. "Very confusing."

On Wednesday night, current UK coach John Calipari announced that Hall and ex-UK great Sam Bowie would be coaching a group of former Kentucky basketball players in an exhibition game against Calipari's Dominican Republic National Team on Aug. 15 in Rupp Arena.

But on Thursday afternoon, word broke that Hall and Bowie would not be allowed to participate because UK could have no affiliation with the event, therefore no former coaches or players could be honorary coaches.

Then Friday afternoon, Calipari tweeted that Hall would help him coach the Dominican team in the exhibition game.

"It's a little bit embarrassing," said Hall after Calipari's announcement. "To have Coach Calipari ask me to coach the all-stars was an honor. I was happy to do it. He's so thoughtful and has been so good to me. He's always been very respectful and supportive, including me in everything he does. I'm happy to help him out with coaching the Dominican Republic team in any way I can."

But Hall said he is still in the dark as to why he cannot coach the Kentucky Pros, the eight former UK and current NBA players who will play the Dominicans.

In fact, the former coach said he thinks that he and Bowie were "unfairly singled out. We didn't do anything. I don't understand how the former players can play in the game, but we can't coach. That makes no sense to me.

"I'm no danger to anybody. I would just be sitting on the bench. We're not doing any real coaching. No one ever told me that I couldn't be a part of it until I saw it on television and read it in the paper. No one talked to me to tell me why."

Hall said he could not understand how the former Kentucky players are allowed to participate, and UK associate athletics director DeWayne Peevy is allowed to be media director for the event, but he and Bowie cannot be involved.

"If it was an all-star game with no UK players, and I was coaching and they said they did not want someone formerly affiliated with UK in the event, I could understand that," said Hall. "But that's not the case."

The coach said he asked his good friend, attorney Terry McBrayer, to try to find out, but he said as of now McBrayer had not received an answer.

"This game is all about the Dominican Republic team," Hall said. "Coach Calipari is trying to help that team in any way he can. John is trying to help out on the expenses, like the insurance for the players. They have pros on their team, too, like Francisco Garcia from the University of Louisville."

So Hall said he is more than happy to still be part of the game, even though he is as confused as everyone else as to why he can't coach the former Kentucky players.

"The whole thing," said Hall, "just doesn't make any sense."

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