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John Calipari responds to Chris Mack: “We are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season”

This week, Louisville head coach Chris Mack said he was unsure about the status of the Kentucky game, noting that it wouldn’t be fair for the Wildcats to come to town with zero fans this year, followed by a sold-out matchup in Lexington the year after.

“I don’t know [if the Kentucky game will happen,” Mack said on “Full Court Press with Fanta and Adams,” a college basketball podcast out of Cleveland. “Where is the equity of Kentucky coming here in front of no fans, and then having to go to Rupp Arena in front of 21,000 fans? We recognize that it’s the best rivalry – I know I’m biased – in all of college basketball.”

Mack then noted that he would be up for a neutral site game this year before continuing the normal home-and-home schedule moving forward.

“If there is somehow we could do this at a neutral site? Again, that’s without talking to Kentucky and [seeing] what their schedule holds.”

In response to the comments, UK head coach John Calipari said the rivalry matchup will remain as scheduled, honoring the original agreement.

“Chris and I have talked and he expressed his concerns,” Calipari said, via Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal. “While I understand the difficulty and the complications created by the pandemic, we are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season under the previously agreed upon terms, and we fully expect Louisville to honor the agreement with a return game to Rupp Arena next season.

“We are contracted to play Notre Dame and a Big 12 opponent for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in Rupp Arena this season and we are honoring those contracts even if it is with little or no fans. It is no one’s fault we are in a pandemic. We cannot predict the future with this virus whether that’s this December or next December. My hope is they are not trying to end this series because it is important for this state that we play.”

In a follow-up statement to the Courier-Journal, Mack doubled down on his desire for a neutral site matchup this season, again bringing up equity.

“It takes two to tango,” Mack said. “We want to play the game. They seem to want to play on their terms. It’s supposed to be our home game this year, and again, I just don’t see the equity of playing the home game in front of potentially no fans and then returning a game to Rupp Arena in front of 22,000 fans.

“We’re not afraid to play anybody. We’ll play the game at a neutral site. If it screws up their schedule next year, we’ll play two neutral games in a row. There are a lot of logistics that go into scheduling so I’m not trying to throw it all on UK, but we don’t want the rivalry or the game to end.”

Back in August, Calipari joined ESPN Radio’s new morning show, Keyshawn, J-Will & Zubin, to talk all things college basketball, where he specifically addressed “equity” this season.

“When you talk about competitive equity, there’s not gonna be any. There’s not,” Calipari said. “We can’t worry about, “So and so played more league games than us,” or “Why is our schedule harder than theirs?” Let’s just play. There’s not gonna be competitive equity. This is about one term: survival.”

Will either side budge?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

23 Comments for John Calipari responds to Chris Mack: “We are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season”

  1. dhard
    11:46 am September 25, 2020 Permalink

    It is obvious that all people that go to UL have their brains turned to mush and are given a whine machine. Just shut up and play.

  2. cllikeky
    11:56 am September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Exactly, Mack wouldn’t have felt bad if this years game was in Lexington.

  3. Mr.Incognito
    11:56 am September 25, 2020 Permalink

    They know they can’t compete and want out, where they don’t look line pansies. Are they looking to play all their home games at neutral sites for ‘competitive equity”? No, just this one….

  4. itsfootballtimeinthebluegrass
    11:59 am September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Chris Mack is now being a full fledge bitch.

  5. WILDCATS1968
    12:14 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    I am having a hard time understanding Mack’s logic ? So he would play a neutral site game but not in HIS arena ? Fans or no fans, it is still scheduled to be played on their home floor. If given a choice, I would rather play on my home floor, gym, goals than at a arena I am not as familiar with. IF we where trying to change thigs I MIGHT understand it, but it is because of CV, nobody planned it. Honor your commitment Chris, you are acting like a little whiny **tch. I can guarantee you one damn thing, Cal will not change his all ready filled out schedule to please Chris freaking Mack. Hey buddy, call ole Tom Crean and ask him how trying to strong arm Cal worked out for him.

  6. BigBluSoTru
    12:14 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Well BBN Calipari refuse’s too play IU at theiur place only wants nuetral site game with certain opponents. It kills me with our fanbase how we seem to forget the things that Cal does.

    • Bluehender
      12:18 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

      Stop saying “our fan base.” You’re not one of us. Only one team benefits from us going to Bloomington. And it ain’t Kentucky…us…not you.

    • blueNtheFace
      12:48 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

      Would you go back to Assembly Hall after their court storming fiasco?

    • 4everUKBlue
      1:10 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

      Slater’s back with a new name.

    • Brutal Hustler
      2:02 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

      Cal and UK chose to not renew the IU series after it concluded. UL is trying to back out of an active, contracted agreement. It’s apples to oranges really.

    • BigBogee
      5:26 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink


  7. bbn606
    12:38 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    The only thing that really matters is the tournament at the end of the season. This is not the time to put a lot of thought into regular season games.

  8. WILDCATS1968
    12:47 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    bbn606 when you are Louisville, the regular season is more important. They need every win they can get, can’t afford losses during regular season. So for them, the end is mot most important, the need the wins to secure the best seed possible because they are not doing jack squat in the tourney.

    Oh and BigBluSoTru, stop it, you are not fooling anyone. Your little charade is not even a bad one, much less believable. Too easy.

  9. blueNtheFace
    12:47 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    It’s a neutral court to play in Dum Center with no fans!!

    • Bluehender
      2:22 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

      Except they have the advantage of shooting at those goals all the time. You’d think he would want to play a neutral game there..

  10. 4everUKBlue
    1:19 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Not sure what he’s so scared of, there’s a good chance Little Brother won’t have a post season if there even is a post season.

  11. oldfanallin
    1:28 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Mack’s argument makes no sense. A neutral court would yield more UK fans than the UL home-court. What he should want is a neutral court next year in stead of 21,000 vaccinated UK fans.

  12. Bluehender
    2:20 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    It sounds like he’s scared…

  13. csnailnrun
    3:30 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Stop your pissin Mack. Kentucky will whoop your silly birds regardless.

    • Section233
      4:11 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

      We need this rivalry as a state. It’s one of the best all time rivalries in the country. The entire Big Blue Nation knows this is the best game of the year. I’d hate for Mack to butch and whine enough to piss Cal off and ruin the home and home. The UK vs Louisville game in Rupp is one of the greatest sporting events ever. So much fun. Don’t f**king blow it Mack. Just shut up and let them dribble “L” s down bitch

  14. Section233
    4:18 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    I say best game of the year but that might be the Tennessee game.
    Whatcha think – best game?

  15. VirginiaCat
    5:10 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    Has any of this been cleared with Jesse Jackson?

  16. Rick_S
    6:34 pm September 25, 2020 Permalink

    He wants this years game AND next years game played at a neutral site