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John Calipari suggests UK gets unfair officiating

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Two former officials disagree with these comments

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Auburn vs Kentucky Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, John Calipari made an appearance at The Rotary Club of Lexington, and before he left, he took some questions from the audience.

Jerry Tipton of, was in attendance and the final question that coach Cal was asked has been getting a lot of attention.

Cal was asked, “What do you do about referees that seemed to be biased against Kentucky or the Kentucky coach?”

Coach Cal responded by saying, “I think we get no breaks,” he said. “None. Not one break. Everyone else thinks we get all the calls. And I’m, like, sit in my seat and see if we get calls”.

As he continued, he even suggested that Kentucky has to beat eight at times.

“There are times we’ve got to beat eight,” Cal stated. “You know what? Let’s beat eight”

After hearing these comments, Tipton reached out to two former officials, Don Rutledge and John Clougherty who worked 18 Final Fours between them, to get their take on what Cal had to say.

“He’s a little paranoid, probably,” said Don Rutledge, “He was that way at Massachusetts. He was that way at Memphis. And he’s that way at Kentucky”

Clougherty stated, “He’s letting his fan base believe referees are conspiring against them. That’s bizarre”

However, Rutledge was giving Calipari the benefit of the doubt on this one.

“That’s probably more motivational to his team when he says that,” Rutledge said. “He said, you know, ‘They’re all against us. The referees and the fans and everybody. So, we’ve got to beat eight of them.’ And I understand that”

Later, Calipari stated, “The advantages we have, (the referees) say, ‘They don’t deserve any more advantages; you have all the advantages”

What’s unclear in all of this is if Calipari was being serious or if he was saying this to get a rouse out of the audience. After all, it’s not like he said these things in a postgame media conference or something to that effect. This was a smaller gathering of people that Calipari may have just been catering to instead of being serious about refs being against Kentucky.

Be sure to read the full story here.