By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari is doing his best to promote his new book but one has to wonder if he wishes he had never gone on The O’Reilly Factor Monday night on Fox News after being asked about “rap stuff, hip-hop stuff and hustlers” by Bill O’Reilly.
Bill O’Reilly obviously did no homework on Calipari or the Kentucky basketball program, but the UK coach managed to make his points and not let O’Reilly paint the picture the host obviously wanted to paint.
Here’s some of what the conversation was like:
O’Reilly: Do they (players) act differently toward you? Do these use four letter words towards you?
Calipari: No, no.
O’Reilly: None of that?
O’Reilly: So you impose strict discipline on that.
Calipari: Yes. Here is what I would tell you. These kids come from good homes. People will say well he doesn’t have a father. Some of the best kids I coach were raised by a grandmother who was so firm that they understood.
O’Reilly: So you evaluate their character before you give them the scholarships.
Calipari: If I walk in a home and a young man disrespects his mother or grandfather, grandmother in front of me, I’m out. Because if that’s the case, he respects no one. He is not going to respect me.
O’Reilly: Okay. How do you keep them away from temptation with the hustlers everywhere?
O’Reilly: So they go out with a girl and the girl said hey you raped me. There is drugs everywhere. They are giving the kids drugs for free. How do you keep them away from that?
Calipari: One of the things I tell them coming to Kentucky as you know, if you want to smoke, drink, chase, do all that stuff, they will do a (ESPN) 30/30 on you. They will be on the ticker, every news show. You can’t do that here. You are coming here to be developed as a person and a player.
O’Reilly: How many do that?
Calipari: They all do.
O’Reilly: Temptation is strong.
Calipari: We’ll deal with issues as they come up. They all look at the results. You and I know it’s one thing to walk in and say we’re going to do, this we’re going to do that it’s another thing to say here’s what we have done. Here is how they have been developed. We have had 17 players drafted. We have had 10 players get their college degrees. Our apr is as high as anybody in the country. Four years of a 30-0. They understand they are there to be educated. People will say well, they don’t want to go to school. That’s a bunch of crap. They do want to go to school. But their genius is basketball.
O’Reilly: Now, do you have guys on them all the time? Curfews? Coaches watching them drug testing it do you drug test.
Calipari: We do all of that we have housing with no women that can go in there. Thirty beds. People get honest about it. Why would you have separate them from the college? Because of what you said.
Calipari: They have to be. We also, I’m embarrassed to say take NBA security with us on the road. You would say, what? Well, where do you get to these guys? You are not getting to them on my campus. You are getting to them when we gone 00 road. We bring NBA security with us to protect them. At the end of the day, how they were raised, what we looked at the when we recruited them, how we are now the standards that’s being set. They are going to be in situations where you are offered this, that, and the other. Do you take it or do you protect yourself to protect your brand? We used to call it our name. Now it’s your brand.