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Coach Cal blogs about the end of the IU-UK rivalry

May 7, 2012, 7:00 PM EDT

Kentucky Basketball News Conference Getty Images

By now, you’re surely sick of hearing about the demise of the Kentucky-Indiana rivalry.

I’m sick of writing about it. I’ve done it three times already. But the fact that there is enough juice in this story to squeeze our four separate posts should tell you a thing or two about how important and meaningful it is to the sport.

The latest news comes straight from John Calipari himself, who took to his website to explain precisely why the rivalry was not renewed:

When we schedule, there are three factors my staff and our administration must take into consideration: (1) preparing our players for the postseason, (2) our fans and (3) the financial component.

None of this should surprise you. It’s not a secret that Coach Cal’s single concern when it comes to everything that he does that is basketball related centers around preparing his team for the NCAA tournament. If it doesn’t better his program, he’s not interested in it. The history of the rivalry between Indiana and Kentucky means nothing to him if he feels it hinders his team’s chances of winning a national title.

And, frankly, there is nothing wrong with that. I’m not here to blame Coach Cal for the end of the rivalry. I’m not here to blame Tom Crean for it, either. Both men did what they felt was right for their program. The NCAA tournament is played on a neutral court, so Coach Cal wants to play marquee non-conference games on neutral courts. That would also allow him to generate more revenue and open up tickets for UK fans that can’t get into Rupp. Crean wants to keep the games in on-campus venues, in large part to avoid the free recruiting that would be possible if the game were to be held in Indianapolis, Marquis Teague’s hometown.

Understandable. Defendable. Justifiable. However you want to put up, Cal and Crean both had valid reasons for refusing to budge on the matter.

That doesn’t change the fact that it sucks.

Think about how awesome Rupp Arena or Lucas Oil Stadium — or anywhere that the game would have been played — would have been. Think about how awesome it would continue to be with these two programs sitting atop the polls.

The bottom-line is this: John Calipari and Tom Crean have different goals than I do when it comes to college basketball. I want to see as much great basketball as possible. I want to see Kentucky play Indiana, UNC, Duke, Louisville, Michigan State — I could go one — each and every season.

John Calipari and Tom Crean want to hang banners.

It’s a shame those two things can’t coincide.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

  1. jthammerstix - May 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Cal is a scumbag.

  2. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - May 7, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    This is about money. Neutral sites would offer more revenue, fitting one of his primary motivations.

    • kingghidora - May 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Yeah UK doesn’t make any money and neither does Cal. It’s common knowledge. LOL BTW who’s to say IU won’t be 15-15 again real soon. Yeah Cal is “scared” to play mighty IU. Of course UNC is different. Why is it UK plays them home and home without complaining I wonder? Oh I know! They don’t have riots after they win games. And their coaches don’t declare their eternal, undying hatred of all things Kentucky like most IU coaches do. And unlike IU they have actually been relevant in the past 25 years. 1987 was IU’s last title. UK has won 3 since then. UNC has won a few too. I wonder why it is IU fans think UK is scared to play their team but not UNC? Don’t think too hard now. You’ll strain a brain cell and you don’t have that many to spare.

  3. forgoddondon - May 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    If Indiana finished 15-15 this past season, like many predicted before the season, Calipari would still have them on the schedule. This has nothing to do with fans for Kentucky; they want to have their cake and eat it too. Crean made the correct call in standing his ground and not caving into what UK wants. An IU-Kansas series may not have the history, but the games will be just as good!

  4. kingghidora - May 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Good grief. The way fans create mythology out of thin air is pathetic. Indiana wins ONE game and suddenly they’re relevant again. We’ll see. We’ve been hearing about how great Ohio St. is for years but they don’t have any banners up to prove it. Same goes for the rest of the Big 10. In the past 20 years there has been exactly ONE national title for a Big 10 team and it wasn’t IU. In that period there have been SIX national titles for SEC teams. Some actually think Indiana is the key to UK being good. The monumental arrogance of IU fans is staggering to behold. If Cal is so scared to play good teams on the road explain how they managed to get through the SEC without losing a game last year. Half of those games are road games. The one time they did lose to an SEC team was in the tournament on (pay attention) a neutral court.

    Yes Cal is mighty scared to play IU. At UMASS he played 10 home games and 27 road games. At Memphis he was usually on the short side of the home / away game ledger. He won a national title and somehow that won’t happen again if they don’t play IU at Bloomington. Ha! That’s the biggest load of bull droppings I’ve heard in years. Spread it on the farms guys. I know you have a big supply of it but the corn can always use a good dose. That has to be why you think it will work now. But it isn’t working. Funny. You guys thought it was good for everything, didn’t you?

    No one is telling the truth about this issue. It’s because of the way the IU thugs acted in the last game. If IU is such a great program why did they act like a middle school team that just beat the Miami Heat after that game? You proved you don’t even believe it yourselves that your relevant.

    Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room here, Mike Davis. The guy gets IU going the best they have been since 1987 actually making the title game in 2001. The next year when the annual UK game comes around Davis tells the world how “he hated UK with a passion”. If that isn’t bad enough he loses his marbles over a call he thought should have been made, runs out on the floor banging his head like he was at a Quiet Riot concert, and gets TWO technicals for his effort and effectively hands UK a victory. In short, you people are UK crazy. You became relevant for a while with a psychotic coach (I’m not even talking about Davis here – I’m talking Bob “I won’t say the word Kentucky” Knight). When the school finally had to fire one wacko you hired another one and they both hate UK. I gotta tell you this stuff is pure entertainment for me. But it has gotten to the point where your entire fan base is just as wacky and dangerous as your coaches. Deny it all you like. I know people who have been there first hand. I’ve seen it first hand. IU fans are off their rockers. When Cal talks about thinking about the UK fans he’s talking about the way they were treated in Bloomington. I know the UK boosters. They will get their way and when they get assaulted for attending a game what they will want is an end to the series. So it’s bye bye IU. But please, by all means keep coming with the wacky theories about how the national champion team with a 4 year streak of top recruiting classes is “afraid” to play mighty IU. It beats all those summer reruns on tv any day.

    • nolanwiffle - May 10, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      Funny how a UK fan can so easily and quickly put the Billy Gillispie Era in the rearview mirror. It wasn’t so long ago when Kentucky was down, remember?. You’ve now embraced a coach who is a confirmed cheater at his two previous coaching stints (UMass, Memphis). He is managing to recruit boatloads of NBA-ready talent…..and he’s winning. The bill will eventually come due.

      “If you wanna dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, you gotta pay the fiddler.”

  5. rrussellndfan - May 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Man it really gets old hearing all these Kentucky fans act like Coach scum bag Cal isnt scared to play IU. Face it you got beat by a descent IU team and now that IU gets some talent coming in Cal is scared to get beat by IU again. Say what you want and talk all the garbage you want IU finally has a coach since the bob knight era and Cal knows it along with every other person who knows college basketball.

  6. dexterismyhero - May 14, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I saw Cal banging Ashley Judd at Pitino’s restaurant in Louisville.

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