Blog Entry

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

Posted on: September 3, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: September 3, 2011 11:19 am
By Gary Parrish

Aaron Smith is the guy from the student newspaper at Kentucky who was "punished" this week by UK's sports information department for doing great reporting that, in UK's mind, doubled as a violation of the school's media policy. But that's neither here nor there. It's really just an introduction to my main point -- that Smith now has a nice article in the Kentucky Kernel detailing two relationships John Calipari developed during his nine years at Memphis.

You can read the article here.

The most interesting quotes came from Don DeWeese -- one of Calipari's close friends and the owner of Gibson's Donuts, a popular spot near where Calipari used to live in Memphis. Among the highlights are DeWeese's thoughts on Memphis being forced to vacate the 2007-08 season after Derrick Rose's SAT score was invalidated:
“I think it’s a travesty and everybody else does, too. Because we know we won all those games. Did Derrick Rose take that test? I don’t know. I doubt it. I don’t think John Calipari had anything to do with the arranging of the test. Did he have knowledge of it? Maybe. But they’ve never proved he had anything to do with it.”
Another nice quote features DeWeese talking about Calipari's reluctance to recruit Memphians to play for Memphis.
“He didn’t take a lot of Memphis players, because they’re harder to coach, because at every game, they got their whole posse there.”
That's a sentiment I know to be true, and it's hard to argue Calipari wasn't correct considering he had off-the-court problems with several Memphians during his tenure at Memphis -- from Antonio Burks to Billy Richmond to Andre Allen. It's something worth remembering considering Josh Pastner now has a Memphis team that'll be ranked in the top 15 of most preseason polls. The number of Memphians on the current Memphis roster? Eight.

Since: Nov 29, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:14 pm

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

Kwacky has High Schools. I thought third grade was as high as you could go in Kwacky.

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:00 pm

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

If there's anything we can learn by the litany of college programs getting busted for illegal actions it's that they all do it to some degree. I'm not talking about the smaller schools, necessarily; I'm talking about the collegiate powerhouses. To get an edge and propel your school to the top you have to be "creative." I'll leave it to you to figure out what "creative" actually means, because it's different depending on whom you speak to. It also helps to be working for a school that has cache, whether it's Kentucky, Duke, UNC, USC, Ohio State, or Miami. There is rich heritage and tradition at each one, and it's the rich heritage, tradition, and more than likely the current coach that draws ballers to make their various decisions on where to attend. Coach Cal is the easiest target in all the collegiate land to pick on. He's had wins vacated at his last two college stops before arriving at UK, and he's constantly saddled with a tarnished image because of it (not to mention because of players such as Derrick Rose who were reported to have cheated on their various college exams). However, there's something about him that leads players to want to come play for him, i.e. he gets them where they want to go--the NBA. But if you look around, you can easily find transgressions at a lot of the top schools. As small a deal as it seems, even the mighty Coach K was embroiled in a little scandal this year. Does it mean he's crooked? Not necessarily. But if you think this is the first time he's been involved in something gray where recruiting is concerned, you're most likely fooling yourself. We just don't hear about it. Besides, if it weren't for all the drama that happens in college, what would anyone have to talk about?

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 1:42 pm

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

you Kentusky fans just need to stop it. We (memphis) are one of the elite programs in america. It is true that we have not been to as many final four or nor have we won a chanmpoinship. but we are just as damn proud of our program as you are yours. As a matter of fact I think won are one up on our series with UK.My hate for Kentucky has nothing to do with coach Cal but the history with Adolph Rupp. He was a racist and didn't hide it. My problem with Cal was not leaving Memphis, but how the Hell he did it. Do you all know that he took everything when he left including the water cooler. ( That is the Truth). When he mess you guys around like he did us and UMass, call me! 

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:01 am

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

No one in Memphis blames Calipari for taking the UK job.  Every person would admit that they would make the same decision if they had the opportunity.  The only reason UK even looked at Calipari was the fact that he was going to turn over 2 recruits that would make that year's recruiting class at UK the top rated class.  When Calipari's predecessor was hired, UK did not even make a call in Calipari's direction (play the video, that is straight from Calipari himself).  There has always been a degree of snake oil with Calipari and even UK's basketball heritage and bright lights wouldn't remove it.  The reason Calipari is not held in high esteem in Memphis is due to the fact that Calipari made promises he did not keep.  At the press conference he held in front of his house he said he told the Memphis recruits to stick to their commitments.  I am sure if you ask Calipari now he would say that those recruits that had committed to Memphis and then went to UK had a committment to him and not Memphis.  Hence the snake oil, double talk and evidence that Calipari could have a future in politics after his basketball career is over. 

Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: September 6, 2011 8:20 pm

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

well said norse

Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: September 6, 2011 4:40 pm

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

Maybe Kentucky should just shut down its basketball program. Clearly, THAT'S the answer. The mere mention of UK in basketball circles generates rampant apoplexy. It would just be easier on the nervous systems of all those who think these "call-and-response" blogs are the be-all end-all of existence in the sports world. Of course, the sales of Pepcid, Tums, and Maalox would drop precipitously...but that's THEIR problem.

Since: Aug 23, 2011
Posted on: September 6, 2011 1:43 am

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

I am so sick of this Kentucky and Memphis, Cal and Pastner crap both programs have moved on and seem to be heading in the right direction. I'm from Memphis and love the Tigers but I don't hate Kentucky or Cal, heck if the shoe was on the other foot and we had made a bad hire and could get their coach I would do it too. Look at it like this do you think Pastner is angry that Cal left, absolutely not, he is ecstatic to be the coach of Memphis and probably thank Cal everytime he sees him. Everyone knows that if Cal would've stayed at Memphis things would've been easier, but the man was tired of beating up on cupcakes every year and wanted to test himself and besides its Kentucky and the SEC. Memphis is great GTG but we really need to get into a better conference,cause when Josh takes us to the Final Four someone's going to come calling and the lure of the big time spotlight and competition will be too much for him to turn down. Looking at how the football team got drubbed by MSU it might be forever before Memphis sees a BCS conference, unlees someone's looking for basketball only. 

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:56 pm

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

someones a lil bit on on the sad side cause yall couldnt go to the final four with him

Since: Oct 10, 2009
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:02 am

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

You're probably one of those Kentucky fans that never actually graduated from Kentucky highschool.  Innocent

big tiger fan
Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: September 4, 2011 8:49 pm
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