Dan Wetzel is joined by SI's Pat Forde & Ross Dellenger to have fun with the battle of words between University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari & football coach Mark Stoops. Coach Cal called UK, "a basketball school," during a recent exhibition game, a statement which Stoops took umbrage with and subsequently took to Twitter with his response.
PAT FORDE: Well, here's something, Dan and Ross. Since we thrive on conflict and cattiness here at the podcast, we have a little bit brewing in the Bluegrass State at the University of Kentucky.
DAN WETZEL: Oh.
PAT FORDE: Mark Stoops is starting to understand how Bear Bryant felt when he was coaching alongside Adolph Rupp and nobody paid attention to Bear Bryant and the football program. So Kentucky is playing basketball right now in the Bahamas, right? They're on this exhibition tour. Their games are on TV. They're on the SEC Network.
And John Calipari, who has been known to promote his team and himself rather vigorously, said-- and this was quoted by Kyle Tucker of "The Athletic"-- "This is a basketball school. Alabama is a football school. So is Georgia. No disrespect to our football team. I hope they win 10 games and go to bowls, but this is a basketball school."
So Mark Stoops, his colleague, tweets, "Basketball school? I thought we competed in the SEC." Hashtag four straight postseason wins.
DAN WETZEL: Oh.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. We know that Kentucky basketball is on a two-game postseason losing streak, one of which was to Saint Peter's.
ROSS DELLENGER: Firing shots within the own athletic department. Got to love it.
DAN WETZEL: Delicious. Delicious. Cal versus Stoops.
PAT FORDE: Yeah
DAN WETZEL: What an insult to Kentucky football. I hope they win 10 games.
PAT FORDE: 10 games, right?
DAN WETZEL: Pat them on the head. A little--
PAT FORDE: Yeah. How about they win 12--
DAN WETZEL: How's your Outback Bowl, boys?
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, we're trying to win national championships and have half the NBA all-star game Kentucky alums. You try to win your 10 games.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. Yeah, that was back in the day, in the '50s. I didn't explain that very well. But when Bear and Adolph Rupp were both coaching there, and they were both doing well-- Bear Bryant was doing really well, obviously. And Bear's bonus one year was like a cigarette lighter or something, and Rupp got a Cadillac. And that kind of was the indication, OK, this is a basketball school. So that was only 70 years ago, but I think the perception is at least still there.
DAN WETZEL: It's a basketball school.
PAT FORDE: It is. It is.
DAN WETZEL: It has a good football program, good, but it's a basketball school.
PAT FORDE: An increasingly legitimate football program that's-- yeah, I mean, they're starting the year ranked, I think, for the first time. So--
DAN WETZEL: However, if football was on a two-game postseason losing streak, the fans would not be losing their marbles the way they are in basketball
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: --where they're angry with John Calipari because we ain't as good as we used to be. And there's-- I mean, Cal's won one title there. He probably should have won another. He had a 38 and 0 team. He probably should have won that year. He probably should have won when he had DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall. He probably could have won-- maybe they could have won it in 2020. There were real shots that they didn't get done.
PAT FORDE: Yep.
DAN WETZEL: But John Calipari has been great for Kentucky basketball.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Make no mistake, right? So you have that. Cal is correct, in my opinion. It is a basketball school.
PAT FORDE: 100%.
DAN WETZEL: Why in the world you would actually say that--
--I have no idea. I also know this, John Calipari does not say stuff by accident.
PAT FORDE: No, everything is a message.
DAN WETZEL: Everything, everything is calculated. Every single thing. So what is going on that he would even utter such a statement and take a crack at the football program? Because you could walk it back and say, I said I hope they win 10, but it's a-- what? Remember Dean Smith when the women's soccer team was winning all the championships? They had the national coach. Talk about a recruiting advantage he's had. The US women's national coach, Anson Dorrance, was their soccer coach.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Might help in recruiting, OK?
You want to play on the national team? You come play at Carolina. Because we're going to go to the World Cup. We're going to the Olympics. But they were winning every year. And Dean Smith very, very deftly, because he was such a smooth-- we're not a basketball school, we're a women's soccer school, right? Very smart. Didn't take offense to the idea. Very, very smart. Cal, there's got to be something there.
PAT FORDE: Well, here it is, the rest of the story.
DAN WETZEL: OK, here we go. I'm sorry. All right.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, there's something.
PAT FORDE: No, no, no, but you're right.
DAN WETZEL: That was good setup. This is good radio.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah--
PAT FORDE: That's it.
ROSS DELLENGER: --a tease.
DAN WETZEL: Wasn't that Paul Harvey-- this is like that Paul Harvey guy.
PAT FORDE: The rest of the story. Your instincts are dead on, of course. The subhead is Kentucky's Calipari demands new practice gym.
DAN WETZEL: Ah.
PAT FORDE: That's it. He's been crabbing ever since they lost to Saint Peter's with all of their opulent facilities--
--about our facilities have fallen behind. We need more. And so he's been--
DAN WETZEL: Practice gym?
PAT FORDE: He's been talking about this for five months now. Yeah, we need better facilities. We need a better practice-- the practice gym that they are in is like, I don't know, seven years old or something
DAN WETZEL: Craft Center or something, isn't it called?
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Or that's the football one.
PAT FORDE: No. No, it's the Joe Craft Center Wildcat Lodge A-Go-Go. And it's frickin' ridiculously fantastic, but it's not new enough.
DAN WETZEL: It was good enough for Anthony Davis.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, it was. It was good enough for Karl Towns.
DAN WETZEL: Were the rims crooked?
ROSS DELLENGER: All that money needs to go to the NIL now. Forget the facilities.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, right?
ROSS DELLENGER: All that money needs to go--
DAN WETZEL: Enough with the facilities.
ROSS DELLENGER: --the NIL.
DAN WETZEL: Pay your players. Exactly.
ROSS DELLENGER: That's right.
DAN WETZEL: Oh, we got crooked rims. That's why we lose to Saint Peter's. Yeah, Saint Peter's which they got to transfer three buses just to get to their outdoor playground in Jersey City to play.