Fan upset with “gall” coach had to add Brad Calipari to UK roster

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)


Brad Calipari had to know there might be times being on the Kentucky basketball team coached by his father, John,  might cause some uncomfortable moments.

However, I certainly didn’t expect any Kentucky fan to be already complaining about Brad Calipari coming to UK as a walk-on addition.

Yet that is just what apparent long-time fan Darrell Gross did with a letter to the editor in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

He didn’t like the “gall” John Calipari had to let his son  join the team even though Liberty and East Tennessee State were the only schools that had showed “real” interest in Brad Calipari. Of course, that usually is the case with walk-on players or they would not be walk-ons.

Then Gross said with Calipari having so many friends in coaching, surely at least one would have given his son a scholarship. Say what? Gross is saying Brad Calipari is not good enough to be a UK walk-on but another school should have used a scholarship on him.

But here is the paragraph that really got me: “If Brad Calpari plays even one minute as a walk-on freshman, it would be the absolute worst of the worst for his father, and prove that the coach’s name means more than UK — $7.5 million more.”

I don’t get it. What’s the harm in having Brad Calipari on the team? What’s wrong with a father wanting a chance to have his son with him, especially with as much time as the coach had to spend away from him coaching at Kentucky?

I just hope most Kentucky fans let father and son enjoy their time together.



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  1. I don’t know why he’s complaining it’s not the first time a coachs son has play fo UK.

  2. If Brad is the starting PG then this bozo might have something to complain about . And yes I said “might”. For all we know at this point he’s the second coming of Ralph Beard. As someone who was “invited” to walk on I know it doesn’t take a big time high school career to be able to make it as a walk on. I didn’t even play high school basketball past my freshman year. My dad told me I had to pick one sport and stick with it so I picked football.

    I did play in a “very” competitive environment where many current and former high school greats from the area played. We had a team that didn’t lose for over 2 years. The high school coach heard about that (actually my brother had told him he didn’t have the best team in our high school – all our players were in high school at the time) and he sent his high school team to play us. We won. And his team had a record of like 22-3 at the time.

    I was free to develop the skills I wanted to develop in that pick up league. And we had teams that played together for years. As a freshman on the JV team I was playing center. It was a small school. But we had some very good talent on that team. But I was never going anywhere as a 6’1″ center. So I worked on my PG skills constantly and we practically lived in the gym for several years.

    I got good enough that when I was trying out for the Holmes Hall intramural team, the team all the basketball wannabes wanted to be on because it was the dorm where the UK players had rooms, and a friend of mine who was on the freshman team got Hall to send scouts to watch me play. I’ll never forget those words, “If you’re ankle is OK why don’t you show up for practice.” But my ankle wasn’t OK. I rolled it in that tryout and I broke it. I was told I had made that dorm team too BTW and there were some pretty good players there. But I was fast and could handle the ball and I knew defense would get me on that team because it seemed everyone else wanted to be the shooting star. It worked too. Almost. It worked even better than I had dreamed actually.

    I could have walked on at UK without having played varsity basketball in high school at all. I was in. Mainly I had some athletic ability. I could dunk the ball easily, I could run 100 yards (it was a different time) in under 9.5 seconds, and I had worked on my passing game like a crazy kid for years. My dad had taught me and my brothers to play the UK way long before we set foot on a basketball court playing organized ball. I knew how to pass the ball.

    You don’t have to be a high school star to walk on. Trust me. I know. I know I probably talk about this too much. But it burns big time that my luck went the way it did. I could have played for the Cats. You come that close and it does things to you.

  3. That poster needs to calm down. He is coming on as a walk-on. Some people just find the weirdest things to complain about.

  4. First of all, very few understand just how tough it is for both Father and Son to be on the same team. Since Brad has been in Ky. for the past 7 years, he should be considered a home state son, and if he happens to make one basket in his 4 years that help the Cats win a game, he will be LOVED BY MOST UK FANS. Not even Christ pleased everyone.

  5. I believe Coach Calipari exercised his authority to enjoy coaching his son, having his son close, and this is not the first time this has happened in college basketball, nor the first time for UK basketball. Coach Rupp exercised this same authority, and Herky Rupp is regarded with great respect to this day by the Big Blue Nation.

    Nothing wrong with what Coach Cal has done here, not in the slightest.

  6. If common sense was common everyone would have some!

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