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Kentucky Wildcats: Did John Calipari Take Shots at Louisville Cardinals and Rick Pitino?

Did coach Cal suggest that Rick Pitino knew what was going on with Andre McGee and Katina Powell?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari has been making his rounds with the media recently. He has been on the Paul Finebaum Show, an ESPNU basketball podcast with Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg, and most recently, a podcast with Mike Lupica. On these shows,Cal has been trumpeting changes that need to be made with conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament.

All that is well and good, but the Mike Lupica appearance was especially meaty. Cal made quotes that sounded like he was taking direct shots at the University of Louisville and Rick Pitino in regards to the Katina Powell scandal and at the idea that UofL fans have that he can't coach.

Here are the direct quotes so that you can judge for yourself:

Coach Cal on whether or not a coach should be held accountable by the NCAA:

Well it depends on who the coach is. There will be some coaches where everybody will say 'well there is no way he knew'. And there will be other coaches where they'll say, 'well he knew what he knew that that happened with that family in the 8th grade. He knew. You know he knew.' You know it's all what people are going to say.

All I can tell you is this: If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea what's going on. If it happens back in their hometown, it happens back with their family or other ways, there's no way you can know. You just don't know. So, all I would say is most coaches most coaches have an idea if it happened on their campus.You might not be the first to know about it, but you eventually hear about it.

Whoa buddy. There is a lot to unpack here:

  • Cal, being no stranger to NCAA sanctions, made sure to make a distinction between coaches knowing about transgressions on campus and knowing about transgressions off campus. Both the Marcus Camby and the Derrick Rose issues were not associated with UMass or Memphis basketball. They were cases of kids (allegedly) breaking rules on their own outside the confines of the university.
  • The UofL scandal is not the only one rocking college basketball. Syracuse, North Carolina, and SMU have all been a part of various academic scandals over the last decade. Syracuse and SMU were punished by the NCAA while North Carolina looks to be untouched. So Cal could be talking about any one of those.
  • The things that stick out to me that make this about UofL and Rick Pitino is that Cal talks specifically about assistant coaches being involved (Andre McGee), the incident taking place on campus (Billy Minardi Hall), and the fact that Rick Pitino has unequivocally stated from the beginning that he never had a clue about what was going on in the dormitory. Even though he claimed that he would know it if a chair was broken in Minardi Hall but he was in the dark about players and underage recruits having sex with prostitutes in Minardi Hall. I hope you can feel my eye-roll through your screen.

And now the second quote that I think is directed to Louisville fans and media that made me laugh out loud. Mike Lupica asked Cal about what he thought when people say he's not a good X's and O's coach:

OK, if you're bragging on my players I'm good with it. Say I can't coach and their just the greatest players ever which helps them get drafted better. They get drafted better. So at the end of the day when we beat that other team, you got beat by a coach that can't coach. Again for the twelfth straight time. Holy jeez. What's that make your coach?

The lines that make it clear that he is mocking Rick Pitino and the UofL media fanboys are "again for the twelfth straight time" and "What's that make your coach?" which is what we say whenever they say that Pitino is a better coach that Cal. And our usual reaction:

Shout out to John Calipari for giving me material to blog about on June 14th. He's the greatest. It's nice that he is taking a break from roasting Duke and Coach K to once again pick on Rick and the Dirty Birds.