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Calipari offered to play Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium — twice

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

How far was John Calipari willing to go to get Indiana back on Kentucky’s schedule? He offered to play the Hoosiers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis — twice! Today on The Dan Dakich Show, Cal said he offered a pretty attractive olive branch to the Hoosiers in hopes of renewing the series, but Indiana turned him down.

“I offered two games in Indianapolis. My governor — at the time, Governor Beshear — was not happy with me. ‘Why don’t we play one game in Kentucky?’ I said, ‘Because I can’t play in Louisville. They tell me I can’t get in that building.’ So we’re going to play two. I called for the football arena. Both of us get 25,000 people at the game; it’ll be nuts. And I was told no, we’re not doing that. I said, ‘Okay.'”

Of course, Indiana insisted on a home-and-home series while Cal prefers neutral sites, the sticking point in negotiations.

“Nothing has changed,” Cal said. “Everything I do with our schedule is about Kentucky. It’s not about another program, it’s not about TV, it’s okay, what’s good [for us]. What I like to do is neutral games because neutral games prepare you for the NCAA Tournament. I haven’t changed.”

“When you say you offered two games, you offered to go back to back years to Indiana?” Dakich exclaimed. “To play in the dome? Two years in Indy?”

“Oh yeah, and the dome is run by an Indiana graduate. I talked to him. He said, ‘Are you kidding me? Let’s do this.'”

That obviously didn’t happen, but Cal said he’s always willing to listen.

“I have no issues,” Cal said. “As a matter of fact, Tom and I are friends. Arch [Miller] is like family. They’ve got an unbelievable coach. The staff is top notch guys, some of which I’ve worked with.”

Prediction: The series returns in the 2018-19 season…with Romeo Langford starting for the Hoosiers.

Cal’s comments on the series at the 19-minute mark:

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8 Comments for Calipari offered to play Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium — twice

  1. Bluebrook
    6:27 pm July 24, 2017 Permalink

    Considering he loves neutral court games so much, Cal sure doesn’t like his teams to play in the big early season tourneys, like the Maui, or Preseason NIT. Surely they’d be really good preparation for the NCAA’s. Also it wouldn’t hurt Cal to consider the fans sometimes. We really like having big name schools come play us at Rupp. Even if it’s only every other year, it’s still better than 3-4 neutral site games every damn year.

    • ukkatzfan
      7:15 pm July 24, 2017 Permalink

      He really likes neutral site games in big arenas playing big name teams. Maui if it hasnt changed is like a 5,000 seat high school gym with a warped floor. Preseason NIT is multiple games against little schools prior to playing one name team.

    • JoeMoney333
      8:46 am July 25, 2017 Permalink

      “Also it wouldn’t hurt Cal to consider the fans sometimes.” – You mean the millions of UK fans in America or the 25K that get tickets to Rupp. I’ve been to Rupp, I’ve had Courtside tickets next to Calipari’s wife, however, the big time neutral court games are better for the millions of UK fans watching on TV. More of an event and better productions.

    • TBW3011
      8:53 am July 25, 2017 Permalink

      True. There is something to be said for providing value for season ticket holders. Apparently the season ticket holders that matter are only the ones who can afford to skip around the country with the team.

    • D0nc0smic
      2:21 pm July 25, 2017 Permalink

      Skipping around the country for neutral site games is cheaper for most people than seeing a game at Rupp. The season ticket holders get plenty, the neutral site games are for the vast majority of fans that are not season ticket holders.

    • abobicesaevior
      12:32 pm July 25, 2017 Permalink

      More fans are able to attend neutral site games in domed stadiums.

  2. runningunnin.454
    6:44 pm July 24, 2017 Permalink

    We are not going to Bloomington to play in that decrepit cracker box; and IU is just not relevant anymore.

  3. EdC
    11:25 am July 25, 2017 Permalink

    IU not only isn’t relevant anymore, they also weren’t relevant before Bobby Knight. 1 good coaching span does not make a school an elite program.