By LARRY VAUGHT
Most college basketball programs would love to have a facility like the Joe Craft Center. But after using the facility for 10 years, Kentucky coach John Calipari is ready for upgrades to the facility that are scheduled to be made.
“It was built at a time where everything was kind of cut up. We’re in this building 300 days a year, and it was time. It’s funny, I’m driving through campus and I go by and I see softball, soccer’s new, and football. I see what it looks like from the road – golf – and what we’re doing. I think it’s great – baseball, track,” the UK coach said.
“You knew we had to be in line. There’s a line because of us. I didn’t mind being last. We just had to be in line, and they knew it. It’s good that they’re doing it. It’s the same with the lodge. I mean, the lodge was built the way it was built because the NCAA told us no a thousand times. Then Taj-Mahals were built and they said, ‘Well, those are fine, though.’ We were told no.
“Believe me, I was in the middle of it. Joe Craft doesn’t want to hear that the lodge isn’t this and that. We built what (the NCAA) allowed us to build. We’ll probably have to go through that again. I’ll say this: It’s different than the locker room (at Rupp Arena). The locker room, when we built it, was what it’s going to look like in 15-20 years out at Rupp.
“The difference is we’re down there 20 times a year. You’re in this building 300 days. This thing gets a lot of wear and tear. It’s 10 years old, and I think that it’s nice what they’re doing. It’s great for these kids. They’re here, they’re working. They deserve to feel good.”