John Clay: Calipari showing his entrepreneurial side

Pros' insurance has to be paid somehow

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistAugust 4, 2011 

Kentucky coach John Calipari and his assistants put the Dominican National team through practice on Tuesday August 2, 2011 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

Random notes:

■ Cha-ching.

After all, the Kentucky Pros vs. Dominican Republic national team exhibition game set for Aug. 15 in Rupp Arena was a quick sellout, so it stands to reason that John Calipari and Co. would take the show on the road, organizing a second game for Louisville's Yum Center the following night.

Give the people what they want.

Doing it in Louisville's backyard is all the better, especially where there is money to be made. At the DRNT press conference on Tuesday, Calipari mentioned that part of the proceeds go toward the astronomical insurance premiums being paid by the DRNT for the professional players involved in the event.

■ Personally, I think this so-called congressional Super Committee that will look into deficit cuts and raising federal revenue should give Calipari a call.

■ No truth to the rumor that Cal is looking into scheduling exhibitions in Knoxville, Gainesville and Durham, N.C. Or at least no truth that we know of.

■ One promising offshoot of the Cal-Dominican liaison involves Eloy Vargas. The senior-to-be center is practicing with the DRNT in hopes of making the team. Vargas did not play much for Kentucky last year, so the experience has to help. And so far, count DRNT assistant Del Harris as being impressed.

"The way he runs the floor," said Harris, the long-time NBA coach, when asked what he liked about Vargas. "That doesn't sound like much, but it's a real talent."

■ Added note: The whole Joe B. Hall he-can-coach/he-can't-coach controversy last week did a great disservice to the former coach. Great example of how do it now/ask questions later is usually not the way to go.

■ Calipari said the Dominican players will be moving out of their hotel soon and into Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge. Now how ironic is that?

■ Glad to see the Reds did not give away prospects in a last-ditch effort to crawl back in the playoff race. That chance appears remote, especially considering Milwaukee is starting to put it together. The Reds finally have a farm system. Not the time to dismantle it.

■ When Harris was asked to tell us something we didn't already know about his friend John Calipari, he said, "He's an open book."

■ Ah, we are one day closer to football. Kentucky's players report Thursday. Biggest thing to watch this fall: How quickly the young guys, especially on offense, begin climbing the depth chart.

■ I'm not worried about Morgan Newton.

■ Makes sense that Bruce Pearl might end up coaching the D-League. That is if D stands for Disgraced. Or Deception.

■ Count me as one who believes that the Bengals dealing Chad Ochocinco is addition by subtraction. A.J. Green will be better. Sooner rather than later.

■ The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy on how former UK defensive end DeQuin Evans, now in the Bengals' Georgetown camp, has looked so far: "So far, real good. He might have an outside shot at making the roster or practice squad."

■ Kentucky isn't the only school to call for a blackout during which the team didn't wear black uniforms. Mississippi State will have a white-out for its game with Louisiana State this season, but the Bulldogs will still wear their maroon uniforms. "Davis-Wade will look great on ESPN," tweeted MSU Athletics Director Scott Stricklin.

■ Did you see where Indiana got a commitment from Gunner Kiel of Columbus, Ind., the No. 2-rated quarterback by ESPN. These are the same Hoosiers who have won 17 Big Ten games the past 12 years. So is Kiel Indiana's Tim Couch?

■ On a serious note, it became apparent how meaningless all this nonsense with Joe B. Hall was when his friend Dick Robinson, friend to so many in Central Kentucky, passed away at age 71 on Tuesday after complications from a stroke. Condolences to the Robinson family.

Reach John Clay at (859) 231-3226 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3226, or jclay@herald-leader.com. Read his blog at Kentucky.com. Follow him on Twitter at @johnclayiv.

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