Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coach Cal Likes Him Some Bluegrass

'Cause it's really green.

A little over a decade ago, John Calipari put UMass basketball on the map. With the help of current NBA star Marcus Camby, he took a program that was strictly local and made them, briefly, a national power. After a few exciting NCAA Tournament experiences, they got all the way to the Final Four in 1996. Although, due to some hanky-panky involving Camby and some overzealous agents, they were stripped of their appearance after-the-fact. Which is like getting your marriage annulled. The official papers say it never happened, but everybody knows better.

Coach Cal split right before that particular piece of shit hit the fan to coach Memphis. He's done pretty well there too, taking the Tigers to the Final Four in recent years and making them a national power, albeit one that can't make a free throw, clutch or otherwise, to save its life.

Now he's bolting for Kentucky and a whole pile of money. It's kind of ridiculous that the NCAA still likes to pretend that it's a loving caring organization that functions like a souped-up PE class for the future doctors and lawyers of the world, when at its high end it's basically a professional sports organization that doesn't have to pay its talent. Oh, yes, free education blah blah blah. Like all of those freshman who play one year at OSU or Kansas and then bolt for the NBA. I'm sure they're using their education well.

So, without paying the players, there's plenty of scratch left for the coaches. And Cal is going to be making close to $4M a year to mold fine young men into Wildcats. While they cut the women's soccer team due to "lack of funds". Wonder where they went.

UMass, meanwhile, has sunk back down to their prior level of irrelevance. They made it to the NIT final last year, and then they had another coach bolt on them and started really sucking again. Former UMass coach Travis Ford is now happily coaching at Oklahoma State, who happened to make the big tournament this year. Hey, it worked for Cal.

1 comment:

Kizz said...

It's a lot of the same issues as Minor League baseball. You can try to build a dynasty all you want but you never know when your talent is going to move on to the majors or you're going to get stuck with a dud because he's needed for some other purpose of the organization.