Coach Cal: “we’ve got to go with the science” (to have Hoops this Year)


University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari met the media, virtually, via Zoom this morning for a session that focused primarily on his recently having partnered with the McClendon Foundation.

Calipari will work with other college basketball coaches to help launch the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (follow this link for more), but one of the main takeaways from the session was Cal’s thoughts on whether or not we’ll have a college basketball season in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.


In terms of college hoops, Calipari made it be known that his opinion on this topic is only a guess. The same holds for the rest of us. All we can do is wear our masks, avoid crowds and wash our hands. It’s also crucial to consume Optimum Nutrition products, eat well in general and try to get as much sleep as we can. Let’s all do our best to live well and healthy, follow the advice of the scientists and hope it all works out. 

“If any of you here that would have an opinion, that’s a guess,” Calipari said. 

“My hope is that we tamp down this virus and we’re able to come back and play. But if you’re asking me, and let me say this, my hope is pretty strong for basketball because I have a really good team.”

 “So, I want us to play basketball in the worst way and be an NCAA Tournament team and make a run, but we’ve got to go with the science.”

“We’ve got to trust that people within that field, within our league, within our schools and we gotta roll with what they’re telling us to do.” 

Yes, trust the science. Sadly, it seems to be a major issue for so many Americans right now. It’s the same issue at work when Coach Cal made his pleas for people to wear a mask during the call.

It’s becoming quite obvious now, to anyone who’s paying real close attention that we’re not going to have college football. All the signs are pointing that way, and it’s only a matter of time until one power five conference says they’re not doing it, because it’s not safe, and then the rest of the dominos will fall.

Additionally, Calipari brought up how tough this is all going to be to all the non-revenue sports on campus.

All those overlooked and obscure sports, they’re set to miss out too. And with the debate to re-open schools and how to do so heating up, Calipari added this to the current national conversation:

“How about this one? we’re talking about, why do you want students on the campus? Can you imagine a student working in their whole life to have an opportunity to be accepted at school like Kentucky?”

“Their whole life, that’s all they thought about. They’ve trained. They’ve been studying. They’ve done it.”

“They finished in the top 15 in their class. They’ve done everything and then they can’t go to college. They’ve got to do it remotely. Think of that. How many young people are going to be, ‘My whole life, I’ve prepared for this and I’m not getting an opportunity.’ Or how about this? Worse, you’ve been on campus. You’ve had a ball. You’ve learned. You’ve interacted socially.”

“You’ve opened up. And now you can’t come back to campus. That’s worse than never coming because the other guy doesn’t know what he’s missing. That one is like, oh my gosh. So we just gotta—everybody’s got to do what they can, but we also got to follow the science. Gotta follow the science. 

There are certainly no easy answers here, but we’ve got to figure it out. We need to let go of all the idiots and conspiracy lunatics who question medical science, and work with the experts here, so that we can finally get out of this mess.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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