College recruiting can be a dog-eat-dog world. Many rival programs have plucked desired talent of their competitors away from their homeland, even after solid commitments.
And in the case of Kentucky’s John Calipari? He lived up to that mantra and declared a high school player from a university that’s followed that unnamed recruit for TWO years.
As a result of this so-called dirty move, an ESPN Radio affiliate in Memphis and its host, Gary Parrish, touted Calipari for stealing the recruit and, in the last few days, Tony Kornheiser of Pardon the Interruption valued Calipari as one of the lead roles in The Godfather, Sonny Corleone.
Tony Kornheiser’s unusual comparison to John Calipari and Sonny Corleone:
“I loved Calipari until today. I love him 10 times more now because he’s established that he is a gangster. He thrives in it. He wants to be in it. He’s at the alpha dog school in Kentucky. He’s the alpha dog coach and he’s, he’s Sonny Corleone.” Sonny Corleone, of course, is one of the characters in the movie “The Godfather.”
While cramming the radio frequency about recruiting, Gary Parrish of ESPN 92.9 Memphis, covered the parameters of recruiting and the ‘top brands’ snagging other schools’ prospects:
“There had been a coach who’s been recruiting a kid HARD, every minute of the summer, every game the kid was at…for about two years. Saw this kid play every game, thought he had him locked up. John Calipari comes in, had not watched the kid one time the previous summer, came in late the subsequent summer and saw the kid one time.”
“So, if you stack it up, this one coach has been to 30 games this kid’s played, been recruiting him hard for two years. John Calipari’s been to one game the kid played, been recruiting him hard for two weeks…kid committed to Kentucky.”
“The coach started yapping in basketball circles, ‘he must have cheated,’ ‘there’s no way they could’ve gotten that kid,’ ‘I’ve been on him for two years,’ ‘Calipari came in, barely knew his name and gets that done.’ John confronts this guy in Vegas, because he heard the guy had been talking.”
“What I was told by sources who witnessed the conversation is that John told this guy (paraphrasing), ‘I know what you’ve said, I’ve heard it from enough people. I want you to know that yes I am the type of guy who can come in and take whatever guy I want from you. You can spend your whole life recruiting a kid, and at the end of the day if I want him I’ll get him. If we want him, we’ll get him. Don’t ever get that confused. Be appreciative when I don’t come in and get your guy.’”
An excerpt from Parrish’s broadcast about Calipari can be viewed here.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports