SHARP: Harsh treatment of Cal ridiculous

Editor Andrew Sharp of http://www.sbnation.com wrote a column — Why Does Everyone Hate John Calipari — that surprised some because of the way he defended the Kentucky coach against the national criticism he's received since the New York Times ran a story questioning Eric Bledsoe's high school academic performance and other parts of Bledsoe's life.

Editor Andrew Sharp of http://www.sbnation.com wrote a column — Why Does Everyone Hate John Calipari — that surprised some because of the way he defended the Kentucky coach against the national criticism he's received since the New York Times ran a story questioning Eric Bledsoe's high school academic performance and other parts of Bledsoe's life.

I thought it was a great read and asked Sharp a few questions about the column and Calipari:

Question: What made you decide this was the right time to write the column about Calipari?

Sharp: "The Calipari column came about mostly as a response to this weekend's report from the Times. I've always felt like Calipari gets harsh treatment from the media, but this weekend's report--and the positive reception it garnered throughout most college basketball circles--was particularly ridiculous. First of all, there's not much there to indict Bledsoe. But second, there's REALLY not much to implicate Calipari in anything, and yet, everyone was acting like Kentucky's now UNLV all of a sudden."

Question: Why do you think it seems so popular for many media members to pile on Cal and/or Kentucky and do you think that will ever change as long as he's at Kentucky?

Sharp: "As I said in my article, I think his approach to coaching and building a program really undermines the traditional strategies in college basketball. Other programs will shy away from a guy like DeMarcus Cousins or John Wall, but Calipari will go after both, and get them. That threatens people--fellow coaches, media members that are friends of those coaches, and fans of opposing programs. So, he MUST be cheating, they think. And maybe he is (I don't know), but so far, nothing's ever been proven, and he's under a much brighter spotlight than coaches at other programs."

Question: What does impress you the most about Cal, especially when it comes to recruiting?

Sharp: "As far as Calipari's concerned, don't get confused. I'm not necessarily ‘impressed' with his style. I'm a North Carolina fan, and feel a lot more comfortable with Roy Williams' approach — get one or two superstars, and a collection of guys that'll stick around for three and four years. That said, his ability to recruit just about every single player he wants is pretty unbelievable."


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