I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, or likely, very much in front of the team, when it comes to college player scandals. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s a little hard to believe that the coach of said program – especially considering how much power these men have – would know absolutely nothing about an illegal affair going on with his team. Not only the power, but the general control a college coach has over his players leads to the conclusion that these men must be turning a blind eye to wrongdoings. They have to know what’s going on, don’t they? Has it become so commonplace that every day is just another day of denial? Kentucky coach John Calipari joined Mike Francesa on WFAN in New York to discuss how his Memphis players feel about the scandal claims today, if he knew anything about the ordeal, how many teams will come out of the SEC this season, and what he would have done differently in the NBA.
On his coaching stint in the NBA:
“In the end, I wish I had been an assistant in the NBA. When I went with coach Brown that year, down in Philadelphia, it gave me a different picture of coaching in the NBA, no question about it. How you prepare differently than you prepare in college, how you spend more time on your team, less on your opponent, you worry about getting your team better.”
On this upcoming season:
“I think that the SEC will get five to six teams in. I think the teams that were young last year, now are experienced. I’ll give you an example: Vandy. Vanderbilt’s gonna be a heck of a team. South Carolina’s got those guards back. Tennessee, Florida, you got other teams in there…”
Did you know about anything going on with Derrick Rose?
“No, but here’s my point in all this: no question those are black marks and I’m really disappointed, I wish that rules were changed, they were changed five years later with the Camby stuff. The rules were changed so those games wouldn’t have been vacated five years later. Back then it was even hard and fast… I said back then when this first hit, ‘I gotta read the book, and I’ve gotta stay positive, and I gotta look forward’ because fate intervenes in your life at times, it intervenes. Some of it very good; I’m at Kansas, why was I ever at the University of Kansas? How did I get out there? I met my wife out there. Fate intervenes, but there are other times, fate intervenes the other way.”
On how the scandal affected his Memphis team:
“If you talk to any of those other kids, they all look at this – it’s not fair to them – but they all look at this, all of them are looking at this and saying ‘No one’s taking away from us and what we did.’ What we did, we created our own happiness. I’m telling my Kentucky team right now, we’re going to get it from all corners because right now it’s on, we’re gonna get it from all corners. We have to create our own happiness, and it’s gotta come from us, and that team loved each other. I gotta create that in this team.”