John Calipari: Coaches know what happens on campus

ByMyron Medcalf ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Coaches always know about scandals that occur on their campuses and they should be held accountable, Kentucky's John Calipari said Tuesday on the "Mike Lupica Show."

Calipari, who dealt with scandals during his tenures at UMass and Memphis, also said coaches should not be blamed for the incidents that unfold when athletes go home.

Calipari did not mention Louisville, Kentucky's chief rival and the focus on an NCAA investigation surrounding a sex-for-pay scandal that prompted the school to self-impose a postseason ban in 2015-16 and could result in severe sanctions in the near future.

"All I can tell you is this: If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on," Calipari said. "It happens back in their hometown, it happens back with their family ... there's no way you can know. You just can't know. All I can say is most coaches have an idea if it happened on their campus. You might not be the first to know about it but you eventually hear about it."

Calipari, who has assembled the top-rated recruiting class in 2016 per, said public perception fluctuates based on the coach facing accusations of impropriety.

"It depends on who that coach is," he said. "There will be some coaches that everybody will say, 'There's no way he knew,' and there will be other coaches who [people] will say, 'He knew what happened with that family in eighth grade, he knew, you know he knew, he knew.'"

He added that it's difficult to trust the NCAA's investigations of scandals due to their "selective" nature.

"It's unfortunate," he said. "You wish there was more consistency about how they do things in the NCAA. There's a belief out there of selective enforcements and some people will call right to [Mark Emmert] and say, 'Get these people off me,' and it changes. It's selective. If it isn't, it appears to you and me and everybody else [that it is]."

Calipari said he's not worried about his comments creating controversy because he's no longer concerned about the way he's perceived.

"My life, even as a college student, has all been through the NCAA, and I'm telling you there's so much good that comes out of it," he said. "We have lost our way. They have lost their way. That's all I've been saying. And everybody's mad at me and I'm the worst guy in the world and I'm fine with that. I'm at that age where I really don't care what you think."