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Calipari argues for Champions Classic schedule change

As excited as the BBN is for the official start of another college basketball season, there’s at least one person who doesn’t love the timing of this year’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. That person is John Calipari.

I’m anxious to see really where we are right now, [but] I wish we didn’t play this game the first game of the year,” Calipari said. “But I’ve said that before. Why don’t we have a couple of games under our belt before we do this? But, you know, everybody agreed to do it.”

Later in Sunday’s press conference, he took it a step further. Why isn’t the annual Champions Classic played over the summer as a way to promote the sport as a whole?

“That is the best way – in a dead month – to promote college basketball. And you do it late July, early August when you have a chance to really have people see your teams… It’s, again, something I’ve been talking about for seven years, eight years. The NBA Summer League; the [Big 3] stuff, the Tournament. I mean, it’s all in a segment that should be college basketball for those couple weeks.”

Currently, if a team wants to play in July or August, they have to go overseas like Kentucky did with the Bahamas. Even then, the NCAA only allows a college team to take a foreign trip once every four years. When teams are allowed to go, Calipari says players spend their “free” time sleeping on the bus due to the exhaustion of travel, practice and games. There is no time for site seeing or museum tours.

“We’re all taking foreign tours because it’s educational,” Calipari joked. “Did I say that? I lied. I admit I lied. It’s not educational – it costs $250,000 to go to Spain, Italy, Croatia, wherever you want to go. Let’s just do this stuff here. Why? Everybody gets to play in August… How about this: take one day a week off up until that point and you don’t add any time. It’s the same amount of time and you’re playing games [on] television.”

The television people would like that too.

“You think the SEC Network would like content in August? How about that? You think all these other networks – the ACC, the Big Ten, the Pac-12, ESPN – they all would like content? It wouldn’t just be us playing – you’re televising the whole league,” Calipari said. “Now you’ve got another 50 [or] 60 games.”

Watching 50 or 60 more college basketball games a year? I’m sold.

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

10 Comments for Calipari argues for Champions Classic schedule change



  1. ryan1723
    8:08 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

    We should do this after we play a few games. Let’s do it in August. Huh?



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      8:20 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

      He was saying change the exhibition games and scrimmages to real games against other college teams.



    • albyjimc2
      8:55 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

      Please listen and comprehend. I know it’s difficult but you CAN do it.



  2. mashman 93
    8:27 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

    I’m for having exhibition games in August and it really helps when you have a new team every year or it should. I will say this if we get thumped again on Tuesday night Cal will try and get that changed back to playing a couple of games before the Champions Classic like it used to be.



    • mashburnfan1
      8:37 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

      We just played 2 games. If he wants a better look at his team schedule tough teams for those 2 preseason games. I do not think there is a rule that says we have to play NAIA teams in preseason. We could play dUKe and Kansas or UVA and Gonzaga if we, and they, wanted to.



    • kycatshoops
      8:49 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

      We thumped KU a few years back in the same way we got it last year. It’s all good. I don’t think any of this has to do with getting beat last year. Our CC record is right there with anyone’s.



    • Skooms
      9:05 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

      No dang way MSU “thumps” us Tuesday! They may win, but it won’t be a blow out. Last year was the result of a very over confident UK team (thanks Bahamas) playing against an underrated phenom (keep in mind until that game, Barrett was supposed to be the better of the two). Zion went crazy and Duke played arguably the best game they played all year. Not going to happen this year, and I really wish we were playing dUKe this year for payback!



    • mashman 93
      10:37 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

      I agree about last year our team was over confident and Duke never played that well as a team the rest of the year especially shooting three pointers.



  3. YeahIsaidIT12
    9:48 pm November 3, 2019 Permalink

    Can’t wait for Tuesday night, and an early morning hangover sounds right on time boas… GO CATS!!



  4. chris43
    9:55 am November 4, 2019 Permalink

    I’d love to have this later in the season. We’re always so young and it doesn’t show our true team. If you could play Cal’s November teams versus Jan-March teams it wouldn’t even be close. Blown out by Duke in November…maybe I’m crazy but I think we would have beat them in March if given the chance.