Earlier this week, John Calipari made national news with a blog post that seemed to target Duke and Coach K for negative recruiting and their “set for life” sales pitch. Today, Calipari said those statements weren’t geared towards any one player or program in particular.
“You guys, obviously when I speak, you guys parse every word and you tell me back when I said something and I let you run and I don’t really care, but the reality of it is, that post was more in a general sense. It wasn’t geared towards one person or program, it was in a general sense,” Cal said.
He gave reporters an example of going into a recruit’s house and trying to highlight all of the program’s benefits outside of basketball, such as academics, servant leadership, etc., when the family only expects him to talk about the NBA.
“I’ll give you an example. I go in a house and I start talking about the academics and what we’re doing here,” Cal said. “We walk in and I’m talking academically what we do and our kids, and Alex and this and this and we talk about servant leadership…And the mother looks at me and says, ‘All you talk about is the NBA.’ Excuse me? I just walked in. I look at the kid and I say, ‘You’re not gonna start, I can’t promise you that. If you want to start, you’ll start. I’m not promising you shots, minutes. You come here, you earn it. We don’t give fish, we give fishing rods.’ That’s when I said, what’s being said out here?”
Calipari went further to say that the negative recruiting Kentucky’s combating isn’t just from one program, like Duke; it’s from about 15 other programs.
“It was more in a general — you took it how you did and I’m not — but it’s hey now, what we do here and how we do this, it gave me a chance to educate,” Cal said. “It gave me a chance to say this is who we are. This is not for everybody, it isn’t. It gave me that chance. You guys ran with it and did what you did, but it was not — it was more broad. Normally, I say when you throw a rock in a pack of dogs, the one you hit starts yelping. That should have hit 15 heads, not just one.”
(But one of those programs is definitely Duke.)