Tuesday, March 31, 2009
All this week Memphis has been abuzz about whether or not University of Memphis' head basketball coach John Calipari will leave to coach at the University of Kentucky. I will be the first to admit that while I am not really a basketball fan, I must weigh in on this topic. I don't care! Don't get me wrong. Calipari has recruited some great players to town to wear the Tiger jersey. And sure we got to the Sweet 16 playoffs this year before losing to Missouri and even came close as we played in the NCAA Final 2 last year. But the victory eluded us as we lost to Kansas. People have said that Memphis' conference, C-USA, doesn't provide enough stiff competition. But the Tigers emerged last year to break undefeated records. But they just could not bring home the title. Folks say that "Calipari is a better recruiter than a coach". I tend to fall into this category. Perhaps my views are jaded but hell, when your game is basketball or whatever your craft is, do the damn thing. Nothing frustrates me more than watching a player miss a free throw or an easy lay up. I do not accept the excuse that "Oh, Memphis has never been a good free throw shooting team". . . Make that happen. Why do little boys who grow up wanting to be great players not practice all skills? Recruit players who CAN shoot free throws. Being an educator has me too optimistic huh?
Calipari may have said to himself that if he doesn't bring the title home this time, he would leave. If Coach Calipari wants to leave, let him. When it is time for me to leave my job, I sure as hell don't want anybody trying to convince me to stay. People do set goals for themselves and once a person has made up their mind, respect that.
If Coach Calipari leaves, the university will not close, recruits may change their minds but you can best believe, some basetball will be played on the courts of the University of Memphis.