Advertisement

Calipari sort of sorry for dig against rival coach Pitino

By The Sports Xchange
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari. UPI/A.J. Sisco
1 of 2 | Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari. UPI/A.J. Sisco | License Photo

John Calipari is sorry if Rick Pitino took personally comments about coaches knowing what happens on campus.

The Kentucky coach said his comments about campus awareness were not intended as a dig at Pitino, who coaches archrival Louisville and spent the past year fighting off allegations that he was aware of campus improprieties involving strippers performing for recruits in dormitory rooms.

Advertisement

"The stuff is blown up more than it should be, and if he took it wrong, I apologize," said Calipari, who was a guest host on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike.

Calipari was defending comments he made earlier this month of the Mike Lupica Show: "If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on."

Pitino said Monday that he would ask Calipari for an explanation if they "cross paths this summer."'

Calipari's comment was widely interpreted as a comment on the Cardinals, although he didn't specifically mention the NCAA investigation into a sex-for-pay scandal at Louisville that led the school to self-impose a postseason ban in 2015-16.

Advertisement

"The thing I said specifically, about Louisville, if it happened, it's not good [for] any of us and it's not good for college basketball," Calipari said. "I said: 'I don't think their coach knew. I just can't believe that,' and that's what I said. And I haven't changed my opinion of that."

The college basketball powerhouses play annually, including the week of Dec. 20 this season in Louisville. Calipari said this flap shouldn't impact an already intense rivalry.

"We're 90 miles from each other and we're trying to rip each other's throats out when we play, but other than that, I don't have time," he said. "I've got to coach my guys, he's got to coach his guys. We both got our own things going. I respect him as a coach. He's a Hall of Famer!"

Latest Headlines