Friday, August 28, 2009

This was a bad week for coaches in Kentucky

First, it was Rick Pitino's impromptu press conference. Then, Billy Gillispie decided it was a good time to further derail his once promising coaching career by driving drunk at 3am.

And last, but not least, John Calipari, who decided it would be a good idea to tell a reporter for the Memphis Commercial-Appeal about his desire to punch a certain sportswriter in the face.

One minute on Wednesday, Calipari said he didn’t pay attention to the barbs. The next, he discussed how painful the situation has been for his family. His angst was evident when asked about the way he’s been portrayed by the media. "There's [one] guy I don't like," Calipari said. "I know he’s a scoundrel. If I keep reading it, I'm going to punch him right in his mouth if I see him. So I'm better [off] not reading it."
Let me set this up for you. Jason King was interviewing Coach Cal in order to pen an article about how the new UK coach feels about the punishment handed down at Memphis. Cal has been extremely tight-lipped with the media regarding the entire situation.

John Calipari and Pat Forde probably won't be sending each other Christmas cards this year.
(photo credit: ESPN)

"There is no response," Calipari told King. "My friends, the people that I'm close with … they don't need an explanation. If I do try to give one, they think I'm dumb. They say, 'I've known you 35 years. You don't need to explain anything to me.' The people that want to believe something else? They're not going to listen to my explanation anyway. They don't care. They don't want to hear it."

In fact, his only comment on the matter came from, where he voiced his displeasure with the ruling, but said that he would not answer any questions on the matter.

Part of the reason that he has not commented publicly is due to the way that he has been portrayed in the media over the course of the summer.

Now, can anyone out there take a gander at who Cal would like to punch in the face? I'll give you a hint: his last name rhymes with 40.

Cal never says it, but if you have been following the college basketball circus this summer, it is pretty obvious. I mean, first there was Cal taking shots at Forde on Twitter. Then, after Forde penned this column, Cal's daughter got in the act on Facebook.

Forde has been all over the WWL criticizing Kentucky and Cal, which isn't all that bad in itself (I mean, it is his job to voice his opinion on the matter, and he sure as spit isn't the only one who believes Cal is as slimy as coaches come), except for the fact that he has been mum on the whole Rick Pitino situation (for those that don't know, Forde co-authored a book with Pitino). Kentucky Sports Radio took a look at Forde's lack of coverage of the Pitino saga last week.

Coaches disliking a writer or two is nothing new. But Forde is ESPN's guy when it comes to sports in the south, especially in the Commonwealth. It will be interesting to see how they handle the situation, considering Kentucky's rabid fan base has become even more passionate (never thought that would be possible) since Cal's April hiring.

I have no doubt that Forde will be sent to a game at Rupp this year. Let's hope ESPN can spring for a bodyguard or three.

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