March 4th, 2014 11:45 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Kentucky
Tags: Coach Cal, NBA, UK, Wildcats
Only this time the Coach Cal rumors are arriving a bit early.
According to KentuckySportsRadio.com, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said yesterday on “Pardon The Interruption” that he believes Calipari will leave Kentucky after this season. Then this morning Dan Patrick cited on his radio show a source close to the UK program who says Calipari could leave after the year:
Perhaps Calipari is ready to bail out on the UK job because his last two squads have disappointed. The 2012-13 Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament and fell to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. His current Cats — once aiming for “perfection” — now have eight losses on the season, five in the SEC and one to a South Carolina team that’s just 4-12 in league play. That’s not what Big Blue fans want to see.
Calipari might be ready to leave because of those Everest-high fan expectations. And signing five NBA prospects each year doesn’t exactly lower the bar for a coach. Especially at a school where anything less than a Final Four trip is viewed as a failed season.
Calipari got the heave-ho via technical fouls during Kentucky’s loss at Carolina last weekend. He then by-passed his postgame press conference. A sign that pressure is getting to UK’s boss? Or just an opportunity for folks to get in some digs?
Kentucky’s coach said all the right things yesterday, taking the blame for the Cats’ recent woes and refusing to “put this on 18-, 19-year-old kids.” Whether or not he’ll be coaching another group of 18-, 19-year-old kids in Lexington next year is anyone’s guess. Hell, Coach Cal could have had someone intentionally leak that he might leave in order to remind Wildcat fans to appreciate what they’ve got. (Alabama’s Nick Saban did that very thing this past January by allowing Texas rumors to swirl for a week.)
But one thing’s for sure — the Calipari rumors are starting early this year.
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