By LARRY VAUGHT
With all the speculation in the Bluegrass about what the perception should, or should not, be of Kentucky coach John Calipari, I thought it might be interesting to get an outside, unbiased perspective.
So I asked Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook Editor Chris Dortch, who is respected nationally by coaches and media members, what he thought the national percpetion of Calipari was.
“Good question. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s obviously a good coach, which most people have to acknowledge. I think critics are piling on after the second Final Four vacated under his watch. But the first one at UMass wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t his fault Ã¢â‚¬â€ even the NCAA ruled that UMass couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have had knowledge about Marcus Camby dealing with an agent. And he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t blamed in the Memphis deal with Derek Rose, either. Still, it looks bad and overshadows a lot of the good heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s done,” Dortch said.
What should the perception be?
“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to say. As I said, some of the issues have overshadowed what the man does best, which is coach. He also handles the other duties he has as a head coach better than most. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got good public relation skills,” Dortch said.
Myself, I give him an A for coaching and an A for public relations. Same for recruiting.
Until the NCAA does implicate him for wrongdoing, I think Dortch is right. The issues have overshadowed his coaching and that’s too bad because he’s certainly shown he can flat-out coach.