clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mark Stoops and Mitch Barnhart respond to John Calipari comments

Calipari also released a statement of his own.

Mark Stoops Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

On Thursday, an interview with John Calipari caused quite a stir.

In the interview, Cal mentioned two things: One, that Kentucky is a “basketball school”, which Mark Stoops and Co took offense to; Second, that he is willing to go over Mitch Barnhart and raise the money himself to build a new practice facility.

Most of us expected a de-escalation in today’s press conference, but that was not the case. Stoops noted that he and Calipari have yet to talk since Calipari’s original comments and had some strong words to say.

To follow, Barnhart expressed his frustration at the situation as well, seemingly taking some shots at Calipari and said that the practice facility is not on the agenda. However, he seemed even more frustrated at other schools in the SEC taking shots at the Kentucky Wildcats.

Let’s take a look at some of the quotes from today’s press conference.

“I don’t care about anyone’s program or other’s that we compete against, I stay in my lane. But when you start talking about mine, and people I compete against, I’m going to defend my players… Don’t demean or distract from what we’ve done to get to this point. I don’t need to apologize for that and I won’t.”
- Mark Stoops

“No disrespect, I’m not concerned about anybody’s feelings outside of that building.”
- Mark Stoops

“Some may, but this program didn’t wake up on third base.”
- Mark Stoops

“That’s in defense of my players, in defense of the work that we’ve done.”
- Mark Stoops on why he tweeted a response to Calipari’s quote.

“I’m done. I’ve addressed it. I will defend my players.”
- Mark Stoops on not talking to Calipari yet.

“This is my norm. I will keep the details of the family business and private conversations within the family. Comments in a new interview, created in my judgement an unproductive and unfortunate situation.”
- Mitch Barnhart

“I have talked to both coaches and they’re extremely competitive and that’s what I want them to be. I’m glad they’re competitive”
- Mitch Barnhart

“Adults are supposed to teach the children”.
- Mitch Barnhart

“We are not a basketball school. We are not a football school... We are a school with an outstanding athletic department. We are an “all everything” school.”
- Mitch Barnhart

“The desire for more should be met with a sense of gratitude.”
- Mitch Barnhart

“The Craft Center continues to be a state of the art facility. There’s a process and we will work through that process... It’s not a project in our strategic plan.”
- Mitch Barnhart

“They will talk at the appropriate time when Calipari gets back from the Bahamas... They are both iconic people at at our program and I will anticpate them to handle that like pros.”
- Mitch Barnhart

“We will be a grateful (athletic) department. We will not be entitled.”
- Mitch Barnhart seemingly directed at John Calipari

“I’m not real thrilled at where we are. Grown ups are going to have to figure this out and be a little better. Sometimes when you get a little bit of success, you get a little entitled. We will be a grateful (athletic) department. We will not be entitled... I will teach it that way in my end.
- Mitch Barnhart

“I hear a lot of our ‘friends’ in the conference talking about how “the Cats are fighting”. Awesome, thats really good. How many coaches have your turned over in your group? Let’s check their rosters. I will put our longevity and sucess against just about anybody’s.”
- Mitch Barnhart

In the end, I am not sure today’s press conference was a net positive.

  • The Calipari - Stoops tension is very much still there.
  • Barnhart angered and put blame on the media for this situation by saying, “You look to create stories, and it becomes the fact.”
  • Barnhart indirectly calls Cal “entitled” and says a new practice facility is not on the agenda.
  • Takes shots at other schools in the SEC.

For what it’s worth, here’s Calipari’s response to what happened today.

On to Carleton.