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Calipari sends ‘message’ to recruits as signing day approaches

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Determined to put Kentucky in the best possible position entering the start of the early signing period on Wednesday, John Calipari condemned the dirty recruiting tactics of his competitors in a story published Friday on his official website.

Calipari doesn't specifically name another coach or refer to a particular incident, but he uses his platform to advise the prospects he is recruiting to be wary of whatever criticism is being levied against Kentucky. He also warns prospects to be skeptical of "outrageous" promises other coaches make about starting jobs or playing time.

I would hope everyone — players and fans — understands that if you start hearing outlandish things, understand it's out of desperation. Some of the stuff I've heard thrown out there during this recruiting process is ridiculous and crazy.

Desperate people will do and say desperate things. I want everyone to understand that we're not desperate at Kentucky. We're not talking about other programs.

If someone asks me about another school or another coach, it's going to be nothing but positive because we don't concern ourselves with other programs. What these kids see when they visit here is exactly what they get when they come to play basketball and study at the University of Kentucky.

We don't guarantee anybody a spot or make any outlandish promises. This is a player-first program built on the foundation of helping these players reach their dreams, but the only way they get there is by working hard and taking advantage of opportunities. Nothing is given here. You earn what you deserve.

Let me leave you with this: If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true. If it sounds too outrageous to be true, it's probably too outrageous to be true.

The propaganda-filled post from Calipari is an example of what makes him the most polarizing coach in the nation. His proponents will laud him for fighting for his program and for being honest to recruits. His critics will contend that he previously has used many of the tactics he's arguing against.  {YSP:MORE}

It would be nice to know whether there was a specific incident that led up to Calipari's decision to pen this message.

Kentucky recently landed 6-foot-10 big man Willie Cauley after DaJuan Coleman chose Syracuse over the Wildcats. Calipari is also dueling with Memphis and Florida for forward Alex Poythress and vying against UCLA, Duke, UNLV, USC and others for guard Shabazz Muhammad, the nation's No. 1 recruit.

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