Kentucky’s John Calipari has made his first public comments about the rival Louisville basketball program and its ongoing bribery scandal which led to the firing of head coach Rick Pitino.
During an appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio, Calipari opened up about the Cardinals’ situation and had some reassuring words for the Louisville faithful.
Rather than kicking the program while it was down, Calipari said that everything will be just fine.
Here are Calipari’s comments:
“All the Louisville fans, this is a sad deal for the guys and Tom and Rick — I hate that it’s happened this way — but for the fans there, Louisville goes way back. Whether it be in football, in basketball — what Denny Crum did there — you think about it. And even before Denny Crum — how about Schnellenberger, what he did? How about a field goal by Louisville against Rutgers or maybe they’re winning the national title, the last time. Now you’re in the ACC. Now your facilities are second to none. They’re going to be fine.”
Calipari also noted that in order for the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry to be at its best, both programs have to be having success on the court.
“I hate it for the people, but let me tell you: it’s important that Louisville — the school and the athletics department — does well because we all in this state need the city of Louisville to do well.”
The head coach has a point.
Whether Louisville will take a major step back on the court this season remains to be seen, but like Calipari said, it’s better for everyone when the premier programs in the nation are at their best.