How to be a competitor and a gentleman
John Calipari is a great communicator, super recruiter and a very good teacher. He handles the stress and expectations that come with the head coaching job at the University of Kentucky as well as anyone who has gone before him.
I can't imagine the pressure that comes with such a position, but I do know that with those big bucks come big responsibilities. Not the least among those is respectable behavior.
Is it possible to be competitive and still be a gentleman? Is it possible to lead by example since actions often speak louder than words? If so, then Calipari could use a tune-up of the following behaviors:
■ Shouting vulgarities at players and officials. Yes, we can read lips on hi-definition TVs.
■ Roaming the playing floor often and at will, thumbing his nose at the rule that says coaches must remain in the coaching box. It's unsportsmanlike conduct and it screams of entitlement.
■ Yelling at players for making a mistake as they run down the floor and then immediately giving them the hook. This runs counter to his emphasis on "just forget a bad shot and run down the floor — play the next possession."
■ Chastising players for their bad body language while he racks up technical fouls due to abusive words and body language toward referees.
■ Micromanaging players by maniacally screaming at them, at both ends of the floor.
Good leadership starts at the top and by example. It always has.
Tired of UK as NBA training camp
As a rabid University of Kentucky basketball fan, I am appalled at the apathy shown by the current spoiled-rotten freshmen who were touted as being the best in the nation.
Kentucky fans deserve better than the current philosophy of the "one and done." There is no team; there is no pride; there is no loyalty to the university or its supporters.
The NBA is using UK to train its young recruits. The current class constantly shows that it does not practice (free throws?), does not enjoy playing for Kentucky and cannot wait to move on up.
I sincerely hope that UK looks carefully when it comes to Calipari's contract, and when it allows more top recruits to become a part of its basketball team. Duke, Kansas, Notre Dame, Arizona and Florida consistently arrive at the Final Four. And they don't subscribe to the one-and-done propaganda.
It's amazing that other teams make their free throws, but the UK team appears to think that practicing free throws and three-point shots is beneath it.
Shame on the players and on UK for allowing this to continue.
St. Simons Island, Ga.
Cats must work at passing, free throws
I sent you a comment in January about the Wildcats not shooting enough free throws. They were shooting just over 60 percent. After you published that letter, the team shot 90 percent the next game.
Recently, we were back at it again, missing crucial free throws in the last three minutes of the game that they should have won.
If they don't get together as a team and start passing the ball to the open man and making free throws, it is going to be a short appearance in the NCAA Tournament, if they get there.
Steve K. Lair
Port Arthur. Texas
Screaming at great recruits won't help
I grew up in Lexington and have been following the University of Kentucky men's basketball team since 1958. I can remember sitting next to the RCA stereo/radio cabinet in our living room listening to Cawood Ledford broadcast the play by play. I have been an ardent fan all my life.
However, watching the team under Coach John Calipari has become less fun. It seems that I am witnessing more and more the "Coach Cal Screamfest." His constant screaming seems to behaving a negative effect on the team and ultimately the program.
Imagine if you were sitting at your desk trying to concentrate on some work and your boss was hovering over you constantly screaming. Is it not self-evident that this would effect your performance?
I don't see how the players can concentrate with him constantly screaming at them. This came to a culmination during the South Carolina game and Coach Cal's ultimate ejection. Coach Cal is a great recruiter but ultimately I think his constant screaming during games is going to hurt the team and the program.