By LARRY VAUGHT
Morehead State coach Sean Woods was not originally scheduled to be available to media members when his team practiced in Rupp Arena Tuesday night. However, after making some controversial comments about Kentucky players during a teleconference Monday, the former Wildcat met with the media to apologize if his comment offended UK players and/or fans going into Wednesday night’s game.
“What I meant was just in today’s society, kids are different. I didn’t want and would never try to degrade Kentucky basketball players or this program. I’m just saying society in general – and heck, I’m dealing with it. Phil Simms (former NFL QB) was at our game a week and a half ago at the Barclays Center. And here’s a Super Bowl MVP and my guys have no idea who he is or played at Morehead State University,” said Woods. “To set the record straight I love my university. Everybody knows that. John Calipari has been great to me and I would never do anything to hurt him in his situation. He’s doing a heckuva job and I love him dearly.”
Calipari didn’t seem particularly upset by Woods’ comment that he picked up a “bad vibe” from UK players at a recent telethon for Hurricane Sandy victims.
“They were hugging volunteers so I don’t know where he got that. There may have been somebody that didn’t know them or something, I don’t know. I love what our kids are about, what they’ve done academically, what they do in the community. Being here is a big deal and it’s hard to deal with all the stuff that goes around but these guys seem to do it pretty well,” Calipari said.
“Knowing Sean, I figured he misspoke. I chalk it up to that and I move on. I’m not taking it personal. Our kids, you may have talked to them, I bet half of them didn’t know he said anything. This program, do you know how much is said about this program and me personally? I don’t listen to it and then the other stuff is that I walk on water. Guess what? I don’t.
“I’m a regular guy, a sinner like everybody else and I try to do my job. I don’t buy into all that stuff. Say what you want 50 years from now people will evaluate the jobs we’ve done, where we’ve been and that’s all I can count on.”
Woods appreciated Calipari’s understanding and admitted he was wrong.
“I didn’t mean how it came out. I’m sorry how it came out. But I was just talking in general about this day and age more so than anything else. And the situation about the deal at WKYT (the Sandy telethon), that was just something I shouldn’t even have said,” Woods said.
He’s hoping UK fans will forgive him and remember he was a starting point guard on The Unforgettables 20 years ago and that he loves Kentucky.
“I still love this place. I’m still the same Sean Woods. I didn’t mean to p??! off anybody when I said what I said the other day. If I could take it back, I would. It’s just what I was feeling at the time. This is my favorite place and I’m fortunate to be a head coach at Morehead State. I admire John Calipari to the fullest. I think he’s one of the best and brightest minds in college basketball,” Woods said.