By LARRY VAUGHT
After Kentucky beat Texas A&M Tuesday, I made a point to ask UK coach John Calipari what he thought about Orlando Antigua, his former assistant, getting fired after just 2 1/2 years as head coach at South Florida.
“He and I talked. I’m disappointed. What’s he been there two and a half years? I mean, that’s how this is now. You have two and a half years to get it going or we’re going to get somebody else. Just kind of disappointing. But that’s why coaches want contracts. That’s why coaches — they fire us and we leave. I mean, it’s just, it’s crazy,” Calipari said.
Antigua knew he faced a challenge at South Florida. His first team went 9-23. The second season it was 8-25 after Antigua’s brother was forced to resign from the staff after an NCAA investigation started into possible academic fraud.
It looked like things could turn around this year but top recruit Troy Baxter never made it to South Florida and leading scorer Jahmal McMurray transferred after just three games. South Florida was 6-7 when Antigua was let go.
“He’ll be fine. They owe him money, and he’ll either be a head coach again or be an assistant,” Calipari said.