Kentucky Basketball: Wildcats Practice to Air Nationwide - Controversy to Follow

Anthony Wireman reports that Kentucky will air a 2-hour practice on Wednesday that will actually be seen nationwide:

As Kentucky head coach John Calipari often says...wow. UK has announced that Wednesday's two-hour practice and scrimmage will be aired live on national television.

It's hard to imagine that other basketball programs will fail to notice this, and there is almost guaranteed to be controversy. Remember, you heard it here first.

Airing a practice like this locally would be no big deal -- Kentucky is a small state with a rabid following of basketball lovers, and not just for UK alone, but for many of the Commonwealth's great teams like Louisville (my gorge is subsiding now), Murray St., Morehead St., and Western Kentucky. A local airing would be just more proof of the fondness for the game that suffuses this state, and that would surprise exactly nobody.

But to air it nationally on ESPN affiliates is another matter completely. This is exactly similar, albeit on a slightly different level, to when CBS used to air the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" prior to UK's homecoming game. That practice was stopped due to complaints from other teams that it gave Kentucky a recruiting advantage.

Airing a practice nationwide like this will draw exactly the same complaints, and you can trust me on that. We may or may not hear about them right away, but hear about them we will. ESPN may or may not react to that, and if they don't, expect NCAA legislation banning the practice of airing games on national outlets, or some such.

All I can say is that Calipari is a marketing genius nonpareil, and I cannot imagine the reaction of most of the college coaches around that have to compete with this guy for recruits. It must be a maddening, humbling thing.

[UPDATE]: Larry Vaught agrees with me.

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