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#pounditMonday, March 27, 2023

Mark Stoops not happy with John Calipari for 1 reason

Danny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari appears to have rubbed some people at Kentucky the wrong way with a quote he gave in a bid to get his basketball team a new practice facility.

In a recent interview with Kyle Tucker of The Athletic, Calipari publicly pressured the school to spend money on an upgraded practice facility for the basketball team. Calipari cited improved infrastructure for other sports, singling out a $200 million upgrade to the football facilities. The Kentucky basketball coach then said that a new practice facility was a must because of the school’s reputation for basketball.

“And the reason is, this is a basketball school. It’s always been that,” Calipari said. “Alabama is a football school. So is Georgia. I mean, they are. No disrespect to our football team. I hope they win 10 games and go to bowls. At the end of the day, that makes my job easier and it makes the job of all of us easier. But this is a basketball school.”

That remark made its way back to Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops, who publicly blasted Calipari on Twitter over those remarks.

Stoops also retweeted one user who deemed Calipari’s comments “insulting,” then put forward another retweet of someone arguing that the football program has been more successful recently than Calipari’s basketball program has been.

Stoops has a point. He took over a struggling program in 2013, and the Wildcats have now won four straight bowl games and are coming off their second ten-win season in four years. That is nothing to scoff at, even if they play in the SEC East, which many would argue is a bit more forgiving than the West.

Calipari may be correct about people associating Kentucky more with basketball. However, his comments come when the basketball team has not made the Final Four since 2015, and lost to 15-seed St. Peter’s in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. That defeat made Calipari the subject of blistering criticism in some circles of the fanbase.

Calipari could have easily made his case for an upgraded facility without disrespecting the football program. Instead, he’s created needless drama within the athletic program. Even if it blows over quickly, it didn’t need to happen in the first place.

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