John Calipari is a terrific college basketball coach. He has had a phenomenal career regardless of the college town he called home. Whether it was at UMass, where he began his career and amassed a 189-70 record with an appearance in the 1996 Final Four, Memphis, where he revived his career and nearly won a national championship in 2008, or Kentucky, where he became a legend, Calipari has had a Hall of Fame career.
Despite all the good he did for his teams, one of his former teams is still pretty upset with the way he left.
Following the 2008-09 season, Calipari announced that he had taken the job at Kentucky and would be beginning his career with the Wildcats in 2009.
This caused some of Memphis’s top commits, including John Wall, to decommit and follow Calipari to Kentucky. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with the Memphis fans. Something else that didn’t sit well with them was when university President Dr. David Rudd announced that the program would “celebrate” Calipari during the upcoming season in December.
According to CBS Sports, the school will hold a special ceremony for Calipari.
The fans still can’t forget the way in which Calipari left the school in 2009, when the school was in the middle of an NCAA investigation.
@UofMemphisPres I respect you but please respect us.
You were not here to feel the pain and dishonor he caused us. We remember.
— Stacey901 (@StaceyCotton901) September 10, 2015
@UofMemphisPres Dr. Rudd, with all due respect, this will not go well.
— Bill Branch (@williamtbranch2) September 9, 2015
— PL901 (@playcook) September 9, 2015
I wouldn’t expect Calipari to get much of a warm reception if he is going to be present for that celebration. However, Rudd has been reading the comments and responded via Twitter saying that he hears the fans, but I doubt the school will be calling off the ceremony now.
Appreciate the feedback. Has been civil and appropriate. Thank you. Read 'em all. Will continue to listen to our fan base in the coming days
— Dr. M. David Rudd (@UofMemphisPres) September 10, 2015
December 29 is going to be interesting at the FedEx Forum.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports