Vaught’s note: Statewide columnist Ira Combs, a long-time UK follower, has a slightly different take on what John Calipari’s marketing might be doing to the Kentucky football program. Here’sÃ‚Â
By IRA COMBS
Make no mistake John Calipari possibly has been the best thing to happen to UK basketball since maybe Adolph Rupp . However , his latest publicity stunt with coaching the Dominican Republic national team and more importantly creating an enormous basketballÃ‚Â atmosphere right at the beginning of football season across the CommonwealthÃ‚Â byÃ‚Â creating two exhibition basketball games in Lexington and Louisville Ã‚Â may come home to haunt Joker Phillips and his staff in the recruiting process .
Especially with out of state recruits like in Georgia , South Carolina , Florida , and Alabama where UK has just recently broken some ground after years of work .
Here is my angle and of more importance how the extremely competitive recruiting game works . UK football media dayÃ‚Â annuallyÃ‚Â kicks offÃ‚Â the official start of SEC football in this state while across the south it started when the spring practices ended .
What happens in Lexington and Louisville the day after UK’s 2011 football media day? The states two most revered newspapers and all TV stations start a three week jaunt on Coach Cal’s Dominican National team as well as a few ex UK basketball players returning for a glory reunion in a two game exhibition game run .
If you think those competing recruiters across the SEC didn’t recognize this turn of events you are the most naÃƒÂ¯ve and innocent college football fan in America . They have assigned an assistant to cut out every newspaper article , dubbed every tape and / or TV segment of this basketball starved scenario attainable to them and placed it in their portfolio for when they make those home visits not to mention the on campus visits .
This fall and winter whenever Johnny sits down on the sofa with Mom and Dad to talk to the lead recruiter and / or Head Coach and they get to the point of the conversation that says now who are you comparing us to for your services . Oh , it’s Kentucky , well here let me show you what they think of football in Kentucky just days away from their opening football game .
It’s my understanding that there is some talk of possible UK and UL basketball games being kicked about for summer charity venuesÃ‚Â between ex players . If so , I suggest you do them in June or early July and not when the football team is busting their butt in 90 degree weather at Nutter Center trying to create some buzz for their program .