On Saturday night Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari made headlines after the Wildcats’ 82-77 win over Georgia basketball.
Calipari went on a rant in his post-game press conference on the topic of coaches’ job security. In his rant, Calipari defended the job Mark Fox has done at Georgia, while also addressing Mark Gottfried being fired by NC State but being allowed to finish the season.
But was his rant genuine?
For starters he said that coaches should be paid even if they get fired midseason. I’m not sure where Calipari is getting his information, because coaches most definitely still get paid if universities choose to let them go during or after the season.
It’s easy for a coach to be nice and diplomatic after a victory, especially when it’s someone he’s had so much success against like Fox. He’s gone 13-2 against Georgia since he arrived in Lexington in 2009.
Nick Saban said something similar last year after Les Miles was fired, saying, “I kind of hated that a man wins a national championship, wins two SEC titles and doesn’t make it through the season.”
But with Saban it didn’t seem genuine. He should know what he’s done to the SEC. He’s the gold standard that all other football programs hold their coaches to. 10 wins is nice, but if you can’t compete with Saban and Alabama, you’re canned.
And the same can be said with Calipari.
While he has not dominated the college basketball landscape the way that Saban has dominated college football, he has dominated recruiting in this era of the one-and-dones.
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Georgia is a state that is loaded with high school basketball talent. There are 12 players from the Peach State alone in 247sports’ top 100 players. And only one of those guys is committed to the in-state Bulldogs.
While I am not one of the people on the “Fire Mark Fox” bandwagon, the reality is he is not an elite college basketball coach, and news flash here: Georgia is not an elite college basketball program.
I’m guessing if Calipari had the option of Georgia going 18-14 every year, which is what Fox has averaged in his seven years at Georgia, or becoming one of the elite programs in the SEC, he would choose to keep them right where they are, while also continuing to see elite talent leave the Peach State.
So while I respect what Coach Cal was trying to say, and while it may have been genuine, let Georgia and other programs decide what is best for their program. Maintaining the status quo in the coaching world keeps Kentucky right where they are, which is on top of the SEC and one of the elite programs in college basketball.