Blog Entry

Calipari: This is a 'players-first program'

Posted on: October 14, 2011 9:17 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 12:15 pm
By Gary Parrish

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- John Calipari stood on the massive stage, his Final Four-caliber team of future pros seated behind him, the words KENTUCKY EFFECT on a screen as the backdrop behind them, and the larger-than-life Kentucky coach spoke for 12 minutes about what he's done and what he plans to do.

It was more Obama than Krzyzewski.

More campaign speech than are-you-ready-for-some-basketball.

And that's because Calipari wasn't talking to you or I as much as he was talking to them -- the prospects here at Big Blue Madness both officially and unofficially, a group headlined by Class of 2012 stars Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin, Dajuan Coleman and Willie Cauley. They won't all attend Kentucky. At least I don't think they'll all attend Kentucky. But some of them will, and Calipari made an obvious effort to make them aware that when they enroll they'll be part of a "players-first program."

"This is a players-first program," he said. "We are here to help them reach their dreams."

That's the thing about basketball prospects these days.

Season tips Nov. 7
Their dreams are different than your dreams.

Fans have dreams of No. 1 rankings and national championships, but kids, for the most part, just want to get picked in the lottery. If they happen to make a Final Four along the way, great. But the dream is almost always the NBA. Calipari understands this as well as anybody. And he doesn't fight it. He embraces it. Which is why he stood on that massive stage in front of a capacity crowd at Rupp Arena and talked mostly about what the UK program can do for players and what those players can then turn around and do for the UK program.

That the Wildcats produced five first-round picks in 2010 was mentioned.

That is, after all, the kind of thing that gets recruits' attention.

"That had never been done before and it may never be done again," Calipari said. "Unless we do it here, of course."


Since: Oct 13, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 8:56 pm

Calipari: This is a 'players-first program'

I'm so glad I reside in the city of Louisville. The rest of this state is so disgustingly worthless, that it's pathetic. If it weren't for the city that I live in, this state would be on the level of West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama. So many humans that participate in incestuous acts. So many humans that dip Grizzly Wintergreen and drink Natural Ice beer. It's just a cesspool... John Calipari is just getting those uneducated, shit stains on society all riled up to the point of excitment, that will result in massive incestuous orgies all across the state.

Since: Aug 24, 2009
Posted on: October 17, 2011 8:34 am

Professional writers should know basic grammar.

"Calipari wasn't talking to you or I"?  The obect of a preposition takes the objective case.  "Calipari wasn't talking to you or me as much as he was talking to them."  You would never write "Calipari wasn't talking to I."  Yes, it's sports, not straight news, but bad grammar is bad grammar.  Mr. Parrish should know better.

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:11 am

Calipari: This is a 'players-first program'

Cal is such an innovative coach that he is dramatically influencing the way college basketball will be played in the future.

Since: Aug 6, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 10:10 am

Calipari: This is a 'players-first program'

No other coach in the nation knows his job, his school, and his fans, like John Calipari. What he is rebuilding here at UK has never been seen before. If other coaches don't recognize that fact and wake up, Calipari may hold the #1 recruiting classes for the next 10 years. And I'll take our chances at winning #8 that way.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or