Sports Illustrated article highlights Calipari’s violations, relationship with Pitino


by Johnny Archer

Posted on March 9, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 10 at 3:28 PM

(WHAS11)-  An online Sports Illustrated article grabbed the attention of many college basketball fans and local sports radio Wednesday.

Tony Vanetti from AM 790 says the article on University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari is gossip.

“There is certainly a lot of juicy stuff [in the article] for college basketball, almost too juicy,” said Vanetti. “It's meant for cable TV.”

The article refers to allegations surrounding recruiting violations while Calipari was coaching at the University of Massachusetts and Memphis.

He left both schools the year after they reached the Final Four, and while the article references possible violations at UK, Matt Jones with Kentucky Sports Radio says there are exaggerations about Coach Cal.

“I think a lot of the stories are over blown,” said Jones. I think he's a lot more like every other coach than people want to believe.

The article also goes into Coach Cal's relationship with Rick Pitino. It quotes Calipari as saying he considered Pitino a good friend early in his career but when they approached Pitino for the article he told them he didn't know Calipari and preferred not to.

“John Calipari does not like three coaches, which are Calhoun, Pearl and Pitino,” said Vanetti. “And what do they all have in common? A lot of those guys are just like Cal.”

When WHAS11 talked to Calipari last week, he confirmed his feelings about the Cards head coach.

"He's not on my gift list, said Calipari. We’re competitors. We’re competing now. We’re in the same state. I’m in the commonwealth team. We're butting heads. That’s all part of what we do," said Calipari. 

Click here to read the article.