The Reuters global sports blog
John Calipari scored big with his new eight-year, $31.65 million contract to coach men’s basketball at the University of Kentucky, but many fans don’t approve.
Seventy-seven percent of the 631 fans polled by the Seton Hall Sports Poll found Coach Calipari’s contract was an indication of what’s wrong with college athletics.
The deal garnered attention not just because it made him the highest-paid college basketball coach in history, but also because it was signed amid a recession that has seen unemployment surge to above 8 percent. Kentucky’s athletic director defended the deal, saying most of the money will not be paid by the school.
The backlash against high pay is not unique to college sports, however, as executives in such industries as banking and autos also have faced anger over compensation.
John Calipari’s hiring as the new basketball coach at Kentucky signals an immediate renaissance at one of the nation’s most storied programs.
Lexington is the perfect home for the master salesman. If Calipari can lead relative lightweights Massachusetts and Memphis to the Final Four, it’s scary to imagine what he could do at a powerhouse.