Monday, April 07, 2008

Resentment Is Perceived As Lack Of Respect

People want to know why Memphis doesn't get the respect that they deserve. They are in the championship game and have been in the top five teams all year. The program has a lot of skeletons in their closet working against them. A lot of the new fans that don't remember pre-Calipari days. Probably won't know what I'm talking about. The older fans do though, if they care to remember. University of Memphis fans aren't blessed with the level of competition that Memphis State fans were. There lies the basis of of the lack of respect.

A lot of these coaches and commentators remember the days of the Metro and Missouri Valley conferences. I remember going down to the coliseum and watching one nail biter after the other. To win those titles you had to beat the likes of Cincinnati, Louisville and Virginia Tech on the regular. To win the C-USA, the Calipari tigers haven't consistently beat teams like that. The royalty of college basketball is a very select group. They mostly reached their status through blood , sweat, tears and winning twenty plus games a season. They don't take kindly to a coach whose specialty is recruiting hardship players for the NBA.

It doesn't make a difference what conference you were in, if you win the whole thing. Whether the other coaches like it or not, everybody knows that. Once you win the NCAA it doesn't matter who you played to get there. You have arrived in the big time in a big way. If by chance he wins, or even if he doesn't. He won't be looking for a head coaching job anytime soon. I think a lot of these people are upset with the fact that Calipari has built in less than 10 what it took others 30 yrs. to build.


Blogger Common said...

I was watching ESPN this morning and they didn't even mention John Calipari and the tigers.

Digger Phelps, Bobby Knight and Dick Vitale were giddy as young girls.All they talked about was Coach Self getting a big raise, and the rich tradition of Kansas basketball. It was obvious they enjoyed not having to welcome a none blue blood to the club.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That resentment doesn't carry over to the Memphis fans.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Common said...

Calipari agrees in principle to contract extension, raise
By Dan Wolken
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One week after taking the University of Memphis to college basketball's national championship game, coach John Calipari has agreed in principle to a raise and multiyear contract extension.

Though athletic director R.C. Johnson declined to reveal the terms of the deal when reached Tuesday morning, sources previously told The Commercial Appeal that the school was working on a package to pay Calipari about $2.5 million annually.

The deal is also expected to include raises for Memphis' assistant coaches and various facility upgrades.

"Until we get everything resolved, I don't want to get into specifics but we've agreed to the main areas both in redoing his contract and extending his contract," Johnson said by phone after returning from NCAA Management Council meetings in Indianapolis. "We've got some things that are not difficult but things that have to be worked out that we just have to get together to do. We wanted to redo it and extend it, and we've done that."

Calipari was paid $1.8 million in guaranteed salary this past season, not including bonuses for leading Memphis to a 38-2 record and its first Final Four appearance since 1985. In addition to the raise, Calipari is set to collect a $2.5 million annuity if he stays through the 2010 season, which would be his 10th at Memphis. Calipari already had been under contract through 2011-12.

Calipari, who won the Naismith National Coach of the Year award last week, sent a text message deferring questions about the deal to Johnson. Last week, Calipari indicated he was pleased with the negotiations.

A contract valued at $2.5 million annually would make Calipari one of the highest-paid coaches in the country, in the same stratosphere as Louisville's Rick Pitino ($2.25-$2.5 million), Kentucky's Billy Gillispie ($2.3million) and Kansas' Bill Self, who is currently negotiating a new deal after beating Memphis for the national title.

Though Duke's Mike Krzyzewski reportedly is paid $1.3 million and North Carolina's Roy Williams is paid $1.4 million, they both reportedly pull in more than that through shoe contracts. Florida's Billy Donovan is the nation's highest-paid coach at $3.5 million per year.

"I'm going to do everything possible to take care of him," Johnson said. "We're excited we'll be able to get a nice new package put together for him."

This is the third straight spring in which Calipari has negotiated a significant raise. In 2006, Calipari's salary was increased to $1.3 million after he strongly considered taking the head coaching job at N.C. State. After last season, Calipari spoke briefly with Arkansas about its opening before signing an extension with Memphis at $1.8 million.

This time, however, Johnson said he first approached Calipari about renegotiating his contract after the Tigers beat Pepperdine on Jan. 5. Over the past three months, Johnson has been meeting with boosters to secure the resources necessary to close the deal. He confirmed Tuesday that the funds for Calipari's raise would come from the "private sector."

Though Calipari has not been seriously linked with any college openings this offseason, Johnson revealed that at least one school has inquired about him. Though he wouldn't reveal which school or schools, Oklahoma State has reportedly been reaching out to several high-profile coaches with the financial backing of billionaire booster T. Boone Pickens.

"I've had people talk to me about John, but that had no bearing on wanting to redo his contract," Johnson said. "That's always part of having a coach as successful as John on board. I don't worry about that. I want to do everything we can to keep John happy and keep him here. It doesn't matter if anyone's talking to him or not. That doesn't have any bearing on what we're trying to do."

Even a signed contract, however, wouldn't prevent Calipari from leaving before next season if he chose to do so. His name has surfaced in various reports around the country as a potential candidate for NBA openings.

On the other hand, Calipari has little reason to leave Memphis. With the likely addition of McDonald's All-American guard Tyreke Evans, who is expected to choose Memphis today, the Tigers seem poised to continue their run of national prominence, which now includes three straight trips to the Elite Eight or beyond.

Calipari is 219-65 in eight years at Memphis, and his next victory will tie him with Larry Finch for the school's all-time record.

3:07 AM  
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10:22 PM  

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