With the Joe Craft Center set to undergo a renovation with a reported $4 million price tag, John Calipari took a moment to explain why the renovation is needed.
“The building is 10 years old,” he said today, during his pre-Georgia press conference. “It was built at a time where everything was kind of cut up. We’re in this building 300 days a year, and it was time.”
“It’s funny, I’m driving through campus and I go by and I see softball, soccer’s new, and football. I see what it looks like from the road — golf — and what we’re doing. I think it’s great — baseball, track. You knew we had to be in line. There’s a line because of us. I didn’t mind being last. We just had to be in line, and they knew it. It’s good that they’re doing it.”
Calipari also explained why the Wildcat Coal Lodge is no longer the gold standard in college basketball. At the time it was built, way back in 2012, the NCAA had strict policies against some of the things Calipari wanted to include.
“The lodge was built the way it was built because the NCAA told us ‘no’ a thousand times,” he said. “Then Taj-Mahals were built and they said, ‘Well, those are fine, though.’ We were told ‘no.’ Believe me, I was in the middle of it. Joe Craft doesn’t want to hear that the lodge isn’t this and that. We built what (the NCAA) allowed us to build.”
He expects they will have to go through that again when renovating the Craft Center and any future modifications to the Lodge, but it is time to polish up the practice facility after a decade of use.
“You’re in this building 300 days. This thing gets a lot of wear and tear. It’s 10 years old, and I think that it’s nice what they’re doing. It’s great for these kids. They’re here, they’re working. They deserve to feel good.”