I thought it was a fair article. John didn't twist Calipari's words around. He quoted him exactly. Calipari is free to stump for his former assistent, but to claim he won't be be seriously considered for the award because of "haters" and "people with personal problems" is ridiculous. Donovan and Grant were the only ones who should have been seriously considered for it, and Donovan was very deserving. Grant did a very good job, but he won a very weak division. Maybe the weakest division in SEC history. Donovan met and even exceded all pre-season expectations with his team by winning a good SEC Eastern Division by 3 games, and winning the SEC outright. Throughout the season his team improved greatly to where they are now playing at a very high level.
There’s nothing wrong with a coach stumping for one of his former pupils. Too bad then that John Calipari went way overboard in his praise of former player and assistant Tony Barbee.
Kentucky’s coach believes his former aide should be strongly considered for the SEC’s Coach of the Year honors. Okay. Barbee did do a nice job of making Auburn competitive by year’s end. But…
Coach Cal said Barbee probably won’t win the award because of “haters” who have “personal problems.”
No, Barbee won’t win the award because his team finished 4-12 in the SEC and 11-19 overall. He won’t win the award because Anthony Grant cooked up a totally unexpected 12-4 league mark at Alabama. He won’t win the award because Billy Donovan took a Florida team with a target on its back and no true star and led it on a consistent march to the league title.
There are plenty of reasons Barbee won’t win the award and having “haters” doesn’t qualify.
But Calipari obviously feels differently. “I just think he’s done wonders, and I believe he should be considered coach of the year. You’ve got some haters out there, who’ve got some personal problems, that will make jokes about it. But they don’t know what coaching is.”
What a ridiculous statement. So to not vote for a man who went 4-12 means the voter doesn’t “know what coaching is?” And what’s this about “personal problems?”
Calipari is within his rights to praise Barbee. As noted above, he took a team that Jerry Palm called the worst ever in major college basketball and taught it to fight, scrap and survive. He deserves kudos.
But he does not deserve the Coach of the Year award.
And for Calipari to claim that he’ll lose the award because of “haters,” well, that just makes Coach Cal sound incredibly thin-skinned. After all, what reason would anyone in the SEC have to hate Barbee other than his Calipari lineage?