We don’t know when sports will return, but when they do, John Calipari believes the coronavirus will have a lasting impact on our gameday behaviors and rituals. For instance, handshake lines. During one of his many Zoom appearances this week, Calipari said there’s no reason players and coaches should continue to shake each other’s hands before and after games.
“Probably shouldn’t shake hands after a match anymore, after a game,” Cal said on yesterday’s BBN Live with UK Rifle Coach Harry Mullins and ESPN’s Marty Smith. “Wave. [Say] ‘Good job.’ Don’t need to shake hands. Before the game, in the NCAA Tournament, the national anthem, play it right before tipoff. Not 12 minutes where we go out and shake hands and touch and talk and spit and cough. Right before tipoff.
“The game ends, you point. ‘See you after.’ Call the guy on the phone. These kids stay in touch anyway. You don’t need to do it. It’s all, ‘Well, it’s what we’ve always done.’ It’s not done anymore. Let’s stop. That’s just one thing that should change and probably will change.”
Calipari also opined about how life in general will change. The pandemic forced schools across the world to send students home and switch to virtual learning, but Calipari said that once all of this is over, in-person classes and experiences are still important.
“Don’t tell me you can do everything online. These young people need the interaction. They need to be with other students learning as much socially and the interaction and in the company of experts and mentors and professors. So don’t tell me all of it will be online…I think again, it’s going to push what we do ten years ahead in the next two.”
For now, Calipari encouraged everyone to do their best to maintain a positive attitude.
“Each day that goes by, when you wake up in the morning or when you go to bed, you’re saying to yourself, we’re one day closer. Not, ‘Geez, we’ve got another day, how many more days? I’ve got to have 25 more days of this.’ Because if we get a vaccine, it will end in a week. We don’t know. That could be it. But it’s got to be we’re one day closer to fixing this.”
If you’re curious, that beard is still growing. You can see it and the entire conversation with Calipari, Mullins, and Smith below.
#BBN, it’s time for another episode of BBN Live presented by http://eCoachsports.com! Tune in as ESPN's Marty Smith chats with UK Men's Basketball head coach John Calipari and UK Rifle head coach Harry Mullins. #WeAreUK
Posted by Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday, April 9, 2020