Pete Thamel of the New York Times sums it up: "Kentucky basketball is the unintentional comedy king of college sports. It’s a haven for neurotic fans, questionable administrators and TV personalities with 40-yard sprint times that would make Pete Carroll drool."
Two reports have Calipari leaving Memphis to take over Big Blue. Another has Tiger boosters working late into night to keep their coach. Perhaps Ashley Judd knows for sure. (Thanks to reader Tim for the image.)
Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story questions the wisdom of hiring Calipari. His 1996 Final Four Massachusetts squad was forced by the NCAA to "vacate" its tournament results because star center Marcus Camby was being paid by an agent.
In 2006, a would-be agent alleged he paid almost $50,000 to former Memphis forward Shawne Williams when the standout was playing college basketball. The lawsuit was dropped, but it was another knock on Calipari's reputation.
Story writes: "Kentucky's choice isn't hire John Calipari or never win big again. There are several coaches who I believe are available right now — Sean Miller; Travis Ford; maybe Thad Matta or even the best coach in the country, Tom Izzo — who are capable of winning at Kentucky at the level UK wants to win."
Update: Former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall told Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal that Calipari called him to say he was taking the job. "That was awfully nice of him," said Hall, who coached Kentucky to the 1978 NCAA title.