Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball coach John Calipari stirred up a hornets nest on his own campus Thursday when he gave a quote that certainly caught the eye of the other revenue sport leader on his campus in football coach Mark Stoops.
The longtime hoops coach stumped for the program to get a new practice facility on Thursday, insinuating that his program should be the top priority of the university since UK a basketball school. That drew this comment on Twitter from the head football coach.
This seems like an unforced error on Calipari’s end, especially considering how the two programs have performed in recent years. The men’s basketball program’s last Final Four appearance was in 2015, which is eons in the eyes of diehard UK fans. The team missed the NCAA tournament outright in 2021 before being infamously bounced by 15-seed St. Peter’s in the first round of this year’s tournament this past March.
Stoops didn’t hold back when it came to the retweets too, going positively Kevin Durant on someone with whom he shares a generous university foundation paycheck .
I’m case you thought this Twitter back-and-forth was a joke. Also worth noting, even at Kentucky football generates more revenue than men’s basketball. pic.twitter.com/r914V3iwyW— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) August 11, 2022
Meanwhile, Mark Stoops is currently leading the football program through its most successful run since Bear Bryant was in charge in the late-40’s/early 50’s. He’s led the Wildcats to a record six straight bowl appearances and has produced two 10-win seasons in the process.
The football Wildcats are entering the 2022 season as a dark horse SEC East contender, with a dark horse Heisman contender in quarterback Will Levis. They were picked to finish second in the SEC East behind defending national champion Georgia in the preseason media poll.
The reality is, Calipari is correct in his assessment of the totem pole in Lexington, KY, and will most likely get his new practice facility at a certain point. But signs of the marriage between him and the university wearing thin has cropped up in recent years and this is another situation that may push him a step closer to his exit.