"They didn't renew his scholarship," James Pilgrim said Thursday of his son Matt. "I don't know if there was a particular reason or not. We've got to understand this is a business. It's not about the kids. Matt doesn't have a problem with the kids. But is it fair to commit -- and I am not just talking about my kid -- to a school and think your future is set and then have this happen? Kids do not understand that sort of business."
A tough business to be sure. It happens every day in the business world; companies that are performing poorly get acquired and the first order of business is to bring in new management, who evaluates the existing talent, cleans house, and brings in new, stronger talent to turn the company's performance around. As ugly as some of that is, that is the job.
The decision to not renew scholarships for Pilgrim and Galloway had to be incredibly tough, but Calipari had little choice. He was brought into the head coaching position and charged with restoring a program back to national prominence in the shortest possible amount of time. Calipari took on that challenge by bringing in a stable full of premium talent that the Bluegrass has never seen before in any given year; and to make space for that talent, tough decisions had to be made, and they were.
The entire Wildcat nation is sad that Galloway and Pilgrim lost their scholarships but in the end, the decision will likely be one that serves the best interest of not only the program, but for the players as well. Both players are solid athletes, but even so, it is unlikely that either would have seen much, if any, time on the court playing behind the incredible wealth of talent that Calipari has assembled.
"Matt's phone is ringing off the hook," James Pilgrim said. "He has a lot of options. He'll play basketball somewhere. My main objective is for him to get his degree."
And there lies the bottom line. Pilgrim and Galloway will both receive many calls from teams that will be virtually licking their chops for the opportunity to get them on campus. The calls they receive will be from coaches who have a specific itch that these players can scratch. In the end, both players will undoubtedly have a number of attractive options – all of which will result in playing opportunities they would not have received playing for Calipari.
Inevitably, there will be many media outlets that will view reasoning such as this as massive justification for an unceremonious ousting of two youngsters and certainly there is nothing elegant or desirable about what has transpired. Still, when the final chapters are written on the college careers of these young men, I will be shocked if both players do not end up playing for teams where they will play a primary role and I believe every Kentucky fan will be rooting for their success.