While chastising the "local media" for seeking the grade-point averages of University of Kentucky sports teams, UK basketball coach John Calipari noted Wednesday that the men's basketball team had a 3.14 GPA for the spring semester of 2011. Calipari saluted the players for succeeding on the court and in the classroom in the 2010-11 school year.
"That is the TRUE philosophy we have at UK and it's one that I won't allow anyone to disparage or slander," Calipari said in a posting on his Web site, coachcal.com.
Earlier this spring, Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight disparaged the academic achievements of so-called one-and-done players. He mistakenly said that UK's five starters in the 2010 NCAA Tournament did not attend a class in the spring semester.
Knight later apologized.
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Calipari also alluded to how he likened the team's improved GPA in the spring semester of 2010 as an indication of the beginning of a positive trend in the classroom. In his first year as UK coach, the basketball team's grade-point average ranked last among all teams sponsored by UK.
That ranking improved to 15th out of 20 teams in the fall semester of 2010.
"I told you after last spring's GPA was revealed that our improvement showed we were headed in the right direction," Calipari said in the post. "These outstanding results are another step on our constant path to have consistent success both on the court and in the classroom."
The Herald-Leader had asked for the team's grade-point average for the 2011 spring semester through Kentucky's open records law.
In his posting, Calipari suggested that the public should not learn the teams' GPAs.
"Like many, you believe that a young man's grades are his business and his alone." Calipari said in the posting. "Unfortunately, it has become customary for local media to request our team's GPA at the end of each term. Out of respect to our players and their families, I'd rather be the one that shares the 'news' with you."
Cats-Transy exhibition confirmed
Kentucky and Transylvania will play a pre-season exhibition game on Nov. 2, Transy Coach Brian Lane confirmed Wednesday.
The two Lexington-based schools have not met in basketball since 1911. The series record stands at 7-7.
Transy, a Division III school, plans to make public the pre-conference portion of its 2011-12 schedule soon, Lane said. Besides the game at UK, the schedule will include a holiday tournament in Las Vegas on Dec. 27-30.
"I know our guys will be very excited," Lane said of the exhibition against UK. "It'll be something for them to remember for a very, very long time."
Lane waited until the end of this past season to tell his players that Transy would play at UK going into the next season. The Transy coach said Division III teams are not allowed to practice or conduct team activities in the off-season. So he hoped the anticipation of playing UK would motivate his players to work hard on their own this off-season.
"I kind of wanted to leave that carrot out there for them," he said.
Even before the question could be asked, Lane shied from the notion of an upset victory.
"No shock-the-world moment," he said. Transy hopes to use the game as preparation for its season and give UK a disciplined opponent.
The programs have talked about making the most of the novelty of two schools in such close proximity playing a game, Lane said. There has been talk of the teams sharing a pre-game meal and/or walking from their campuses to Rupp Arena.
Of walking to Rupp Arena, Lane quipped, "I'm excited because it's downhill for us."