Kentucky coach John Calipari announced Thursday that Derek Willis, who was cited with public intoxication in June after being found passed out in the road next to a car with its door open, will not be suspended for any games.
"I don't throw people under the bus," Calipari said. "You guys know how I am, and we deal with every situation in its own right, we gather the information. Derek knows that he's under a different eye now than he was, but I'm not going to tell you specifically what we did or didn't do. I'm not going to write your stories or do all that stuff. But obviously he and I have talked a few different times."
It took Calipari more than two months for him to publicly acknowledge the incident. If Willis faced any internal discipline, that information is staying inside the program. Deciding not to take any action in the form of a suspension could bring Calipari criticism; if he's lenient here, and another Kentucky player gets into trouble later this season, a precedent has already been set.
"These kids know they're under a microscope," Calipari said. "But I tell them, that's the down side of being here."
Could this boomerang on Cal? It's possible. But he quite clearly has sent a message and reminder to his players about how they've got to be aware of their stature, of being renown, in Lexington and throughout Kentucky. Willis is merely a role player, but when you're at UK, anyone on the team who gets in trouble will be made into a story, no matter the offense and no matter when it happens.