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What is the “Wildcat Code”?


In case you missed it over the weekend, Dominique Hawkins spilled the beans about UK basketball’s uber-secret honor society, the “Wildcat Code.” What is it? Apparently a point-based rewards system through which players can earn privileges for good behavior. For example, if they take care of business in the classroom or gym that day, they’ll earn points that go towards things like getting access to the team locker room, a single room at the Wildcat Lodge, and ultimately, their jersey.

After Hawkins broke the first two rules of the Wildcat Code by telling everyone about it, John Calipari had to do his thing and address it on Twitter/Facebook:

So about this Wildcat Code … The first rule of the Wildcat Code is: You do not talk about the Wildcat Code. The second rule of the Wildcat Code is: You do not talk about the Wildcat Code. LOL.

Let me get all Zack Morris here and call a timeout. John Calipari just “LOL’d”. In case you haven’t been on a computer in the the last ten years, that’s an acronym for “laughing out loud,” and it’s the most basic internet abbreviation out there. It’s essentially the equivalent of using an emoticon, and not even a basic smiley face, but one that’s like winking at you. So, our leader, the man who got us national championship number eight, just LOL’d at the BBN. And knowing Cal, he probably really did LOL, one of those big hearty laughs that has all sorts of mischief behind it. Okay, temporary freakout over, let’s move on.

In all seriousness, I’m not mad at Dominique at all for talking about it. He’s a good kid who is doing well so far. All I can tell you about the Code right now is that it’s geared to make these guys earn everything. Nothing is given; everything is earned. The guys get a grade every day, one for academics and another for physical development. The two grades are then added together. We will tell you what they earned later in the summer. Can the #BBN wait until then?

Who knew Cal was a regular Tyler Durden? Seriously though, the Code is an excellent way to make the players learn not only the value of hard work, but the concept that things aren’t being given to them; they have to earn them. One can’t help but wonder if this system was in place last year, or if this is one of the ideas the coaches came up with at their two-day summit to prevent those issues from happening again.

(Spoiler alert: According to Hawkins, Willie Cauley-Stein has the most points right now with 23.)

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

21 Comments for What is the “Wildcat Code”?

  1. cracka
    3:07 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    my favorite parts were getting points for showing your notes to the professor after class and also having to earn your jersey

  2. wildkatfan
    3:13 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    “Nothing is given…” LOL. What about Andrew and #5. Polson didn’t have a choice. I wouldn’t really say Andrew earned it, he just took it. Integrity > Entitlement.

  3. Mark S
    3:18 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    #2 – I’m sure Jarrod earned 2 pts for that assist!

  4. nathan
    3:19 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    I’m sure Polson could care less what number he has. Kids know their role on the team.

  5. KYStout
    3:25 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    #5 get another worn out, false cliche to put yourself to sleep at night.

    Better than laying awake facing the stark reality that we are better than you isn’t it?

  6. epps2shep
    3:31 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    Incentives work. Period.

  7. TimeFor9
    3:32 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    2 Jarrod should (and is probably) just thankful he is still “entitled” to a scholarship, esp since he already graduated.

  8. Kentucky Packrat
    3:33 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    It’s clear that last season’s team had a lot of entitlement going on. It has to be new; certain unnamed players would have ignored the points just like Cal’s threat to bench people was ignored.

    Sounds like the coaches are selling it well and the players love it. Can’t see a negative out of it with this team.

    As for Polson getting #3, perhaps he wanted it and couldn’t get it until this year? Jones had it until 2012. Noel was a scholarship player in 2012 before Polson got his scholarship, so Noel (probably) got priority on the numbers. This year, Polson’s got seniority so he can get #3 when he wants it. Someone want to ask Cal or Polson?

  9. Dandy Don
    3:39 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    If the coaching staff is a part of this Wildcat Code. I’m sure Robic gets points for always looking like he just came off the golf course and Kenny Payne gets his points for beating people in stare offs.

    3:40 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    This team is not playing. Going to be great. Archie should have come back. Even if he would have gotten half the min. He would have been twice the player and would have made more $$ in the long run.

  11. DH
    3:46 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    10) Hindsight is 20/20. But you never know, he may have created chemistry issues. I personally don’t think Archie is a bad kid, but I don’t know him. You never know what could have happened.

  12. Sam
    4:00 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    10 & 11: I think Archie is a very intelligent person, but I was never convinced that he was able to actually put into practice what his coaches wanted him to do. I.e., I’m not sure he was coachable. It’s a paradox sort of — very intelligent but unable to implement improvement tips from his coach. If I’m right, the root cause may not be pride as much has a lack of competence to DO what he was supposed to do. I just can’t imagine it’s incompetence though. So I’m guessing he is just a kid who “knows it all”, and couldn’t accept that he was doing something the wrong or less effective way. He was gonna do it HIS way, and the coach couldn’t sit him because of a short bench. I could be all wrong on the above. Thoughts?

  13. NCAA Compliance
    4:02 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    Incentives, rewards , giving out jerseys ? I smell major violations !

  14. wildkatfan
    4:26 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    7) Jarrod isn’t entitled to anything. He has earned his scholarship. There were games last year when he was the best player on the court. I know for a fact that he didn’t voluntarily give up his number. It was taken and he didn’t have a choice. I get that he isn’t a McD AA but that doesn’t make it right.

  15. Larry linebeard
    4:35 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    I’m guessing all the people who cry about polsons # are the same ones that whine about Jon hoods playing time all year

  16. VinnyCent
    4:41 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    So Cal likes Fight Club? Never would have imagined that coming from someone who listens to Hey Soul Sister.

  17. yevkazim
    5:04 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    13, why do you bother coming here if you are not a UK fan. This type of thing is done all throughout sports in high school, and even before. For example, I’m sure that the rewards are things like

    -Getting to use yoru locker at the Craft Center rather than having to move stuff to/from your dorm room.
    -Getting to wear practice gear.
    -Not having to run every sprint. Of course everyone still runs to get in shape, but for my teams, we had somethign that if you failed to get enough points, you had to run an extra 5 suicides after practice.

    You may not think of it this way, but these are still just kids who want to fit in. The guy who isn’t allowed to wear a practice jersey, thats a pretty big thing. In his mind, he knows that it is his “Scarlet Letter” and everyone else on the team is constantly reminded that he is an underachiever.

    Peer pressure is a huge motivator still, even in college sports.

  18. rickshelton
    5:17 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    Now if Calipari starts talking about ordering a “code red” on one of the guys THEN we should start worrying. We don’t want him going “Colonel Jessup” on the rookies!

  19. DH
    5:31 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    Didn’t Bitch-Tits Bob sign with UNC? I do like the idea of a little Project Mayhem, though…

  20. spookykim
    9:15 pm June 17, 2013 Permalink

    Dominique received a -20 for talking about the code.