John Clay

John Clay's notes: 'Nontraditional' not what's best for fans

Random notes:

■ John Calipari says that Kentucky basketball needs a "nontraditional schedule" for a nontraditional program.

I guess now at the start of Rupp Arena games, P.A. announcer Patrick Whitmer will have to say, "The greatest nontraditional tradition in the history of college basketball."

■ Calipari says he wants to play more neutral-site games to prepare his team for the NCAA Tournament. Maybe Calipari should take a page out of the Bruce Springsteen book and take Kentucky on a stadium tour of the USA. Or in this case, a dome tour. The Cats could play Houston's Reliant Stadium one night, San Antonio's Alamodome the next, then the Superdome and the Georgia Dome.

■ Removing a Kentucky-Indiana game from next year's schedule — one that would have featured two top-five, if not top-three teams — just gives the general public one more reason to stop paying attention to college basketball's regular season.

■ Look for Louisville to jump in and take Kentucky's spot in a home-and-home series with Indiana.

■ Speaking of U of L basketball, who knew shoulder injuries were contagious. Latest: Transfer Luke Hancock's shoulder has gone under the knife.

■ I think Kentucky was better off not bagging Xavier transfer Mark Lyons. He had too much baggage.

■ As for the UK fans who ripped Anthony Bennett on Twitter for eliminating the Cats from his list of college choices, I am reminded of what former UK athletics director C.M. Newton once said to a disgruntled fan, "Go find yourself another team to root for."

■ Bodemeister may well have run the best non-winning performance in the history of the Kentucky Derby. Problem is, down the line, people only remember which horse won the Derby, not which horse lost it.

■ Despite initial reports saying that the overnight TV ratings were down, the final Kentucky Derby ratings were up 2 percent from last year. More proof that while many tune out horse racing during the year, they still tune in for the Derby.

■ For hitting Washington rookie Bryce Harper, Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels should not have been suspended five games. He should have been suspended 25 games. For hazing.

■ As we expected, it's not too early to think the NL Central will boil down to St. Louis and Cincinnati.

■ Prediction: By July, Aroldis Chapman will be in the Reds' starting rotation. Only reason he's not there now is because the team doesn't want him to pitch more than 150 innings this season.

■ Did you see where Big East Commissioner John Marinatto resigned? Bet Rick Pitino could do that job in his spare time.

■ Would you like to buy Alabama football coach Nick Saban's mansion on the banks of Lake Burton in Georgia? Then you'll need $10.95 million. It's his vacation home, by the way.

■ Did you see where North Carolina student-athletes may have been directed toward taking "suspect" classes to maintain their eligibility? (Joe Nocera first reported word of this in the New York Times.) Is that what they mean by the Carolina Way?

■ The most inspiring story I've read in quite some time unfolded over the weekend in Cincinnati.

Eighteen months ago, a University Hospital resident in Cincinnati was working on a woman who had been brought to the ER after being hit while riding her bike. After recognizing the woman's bike shorts, Tim Delgado realized it was his wife, Alison, also a UC Hospital resident, who had won the Flying Pig marathon in 2005.

It was later discovered that Delgado had not one, but two brain aneurysms, one totally unconnected to her bike injury. Her speech and mobility were threatened. Delgado underwent four major surgeries and endured months of therapy.

This past Sunday, she not only ran again in the Flying Pig marathon, she finished fourth among women.