Photo courtesy Dave Martin/AP

Photo courtesy Dave Martin/Associated Press

If nothing else, John Calipari is great for a sharp sound bite.

Whether it be hurling racial insults at journalists or making tongue cheek jokes about Louisville’s title run (who’d they take it from again? I don’t recall them making the tournament), Cap has always been the kind of guy to run his mouth first and think about the ramifications second.

So if you want to take Calipari’s rant on a Louisville radio station yesterday morning about the stagnant NCAA as a “call to arms” for major programs to rebel, go ahead. I, for one, pay it virtually no mind.

The reason I say Calipari, if nothing else, is great for a sound bite is because he’s not a great coach. You didn’t misread that sentence. John Calipari is not a great basketball coach.

What he is is a successful basketball recruiter. Go ahead and look. Everywhere he’s gone, he’s been able to find premier talent to come and play for him. How else do you explain the career of a guy whose coached 28 NBA players since 1995 but only got his first NCAA championship a little over a year ago?

Photo courtesy Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Photo courtesy Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The fact is you can’t. And, speaking of that NCAA championship, how are you going to break away from the organization that hosts tournament like you encouraged fellow schools to do, John? How are you going to create a business model that rivals March Madness for you and everyone else who wants their budding superstars to stick around?

Yes, if you haven’t figured it out already, Calipari’s rant was about the infamous “one and done” rule, a rule that the NCAA had nothing to do with and is entirely the brainchild of the NBA and NBAPA. But as Stephen Colbert once said, the man did not let little things like facts get in the way of his argument.

“But the NCAA’s gotta do some stuff. And if they don’t do it, we need to separate from them,” said Calipari, “I’m not afraid to say it. Look, they’ve embarrassed me. I’ve done nothing, so they’re not going to come and show retribution to me and do stuff.”

Well, as impressed as I am in Calipari’s confidence that he’s running a tight ship, the repeated infractions of programs he’s presided over says otherwise. Remember the big joke when they won in 2012? About how the countdown to the vacated title was on? That didn’t come out of nowhere.

But we’re not talking about Marcus Camby or D-Rose. Really, we’re not even the ones talking. That much, once again, is reserved for the coach with slicked-back hair from UK.

“I seem to be the only coach saying anything. You know why? No one wants to see these kids two years here.”

Ah, that’s it, is it, John? Every other coach in charge of a Division I program is just jealous of what you’ve got at Kentucky, so they’re playing politics to keep the field even. First of all, if that were the case, then why would they even be speaking up in the first place? They can’t be against the rule but secretly be in favor for it because they dislike you’re program.

The amazing thing is that John Calipari has brought me to the defense of two things I often can’t stand: the NCAA and the “one-and-rule”. The rule needs to go and the NCAA has been decidedly overzealous in their pursuit of many basketball (and football programs, for that matter) when it comes to violations. But their motivations I at least can understand.

John Calipari didn’t fire the first shot at Fort Sumter with this little speech. No, rather, he was just another guy standing on a soapbox. If the average Joe had called into the radio station and offered such opinions as his own, any host with half a brain would dismiss them as fast as it takes to hang up on a caller.

So let’s take Calipari’s words Thursday morning for what they are: a recruiter recruiting, a lobbyist still lobbying. Once again, Calipari is just trying to give his program every advantage possible. And if that means coming on airwaves during everyone’s morning drive to give a fact-bereaved, illogical argument as to why teams need to separate from the NCAA, I say let him.

Why not let people keep doing what they’re so good at?

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch for NCAA Basketball updates and other shenanigans!