I was glad to see so many University of Kentucky fans having fun in Memphis during the NCAA Tournament. I hope all were treated with Southern hospitality. I watched a local news segment in which Kentucky fans were interviewed about why some Memphians were not excited about Coach John Calipari’s return. Most said Calipari simply took a better a job and money and that Memphis fans should not hold a grudge.
That’s not really true. As a Memphis grad, I was one of the few not happy about Calipari coming to Memphis in light of the scandal that cost the University of Massachusetts a probation and loss of victories for an entire year.
Calipari immediately jumped to the NBA, where his stint as head coach of the Nets was a disaster. The New York City press ran him off and he toiled as an assistant for a few years. Then he grabbed the Memphis job where he displayed the old UMass magic but another program is brought down by scandal victories erased and Calipari promptly skips town for UK.
That is why most have not so warm feelings for Calipari. Sure, he has a lot of wins with the one and doners, but it’s doubtful that formula will ever produce another North Carolina — $8 million per year is a high cost when you figure the average per victory.