Tuesday, February 28, 2012

John Calipari on the "Great Myth" of the Kentucky Program

John Calipari has posted an article on CoachCal.com titled "The great myth of our program."

Calipari said some people feel that he has turned the Kentucky basketball program into a "one-and-done factory" but that "couldn't be more wrong."

Here is an excerpt of Calipari's article:

We have the highest Academic Progress Rate in the Southeastern Conference. We’ve graduated the seniors that have stayed and gone through the program. On Thursday, Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas will celebrate Senior Night, and later this semester, they’ll walk across that stage – on time – with a degree in their hands.

But every kid is on a different timetable, and when I coach young people, it’s not about me. It’s about them. We’re not doing anything that’s unethical, illegal, immoral or against any rules. There is a rule that needs to be changed, and if that rule doesn’t change, my only two options are recruiting players that aren’t good enough or convincing young people to put their dreams aside because the university and our basketball program are more important than their dreams.

Which would you rather me do?

Understand, we don’t recruit a young player saying that there is no question he’s a one-and-done player. We don’t know! Are you telling me that we knew Eric Bledsoe had a chance out of high school to go in the first round after one year? If they tell you that, they’re lying. Those same people also said our three freshman starters from last season would leave after one year. Two came back because they wanted to win a national championship and the other one that left had a 4.0 grade-point average and 60 credit hours.

I tell every player that we recruit that I don’t have a magic wand. At the end of the year, we’ll see where everything is, we’ll give you the information, and you and your family make a choice to stay or come back. I would love to coach all of these guys for four years and have them earn a college degree in four years, but if they have an opportunity to reach their dreams, I will not be the person to hold them back, nor will I let anybody at this university or in my program do it.

Do you have a problem if the tennis player or golfer makes the same decision? Do you have a problem that Bill Gates or Steve Jobs left early and decided to chase their dreams? Well, if my players are ready, they shouldn’t go?

Great Read from CoachCal.com

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