John Calipari has Evolved from Coach to CEO and Kentucky is Apple


The title is a statement made by Andy Glockner in his article about how John Calipari and Kentucky has taken over the landscape of recruiting in college basketball.

Glockner goes as far as calling Kentucky an “unassailable monster” and Cal, Inc.

Here is an excerpt from an excellent look at how John Calipari has made college basketball his playground.

The marriage of Calipari with the storied history, resources and relentless passion of Kentucky, though, has created an unassailable monster. Calipari, always masterful at the off-court game within the game, now has the game’s most massive stage onto which he can invite guests. Like Jay-Z. Like Drake. Like the ubiquitous Worldwide Wes. Calipari has created the clearest, most enticing pitch possible to elite high schoolers. Come to Kentucky, play in huge games, hobnob with your favorite rap stars, and then be in a position to get guaranteed millions, compounded by access to all of the myriad connections that cycle through the Kentucky family. Calipari has evolved from coach to CEO and Kentucky is Apple. Cal Inc. may not always produce the best product, but it’s the best-branded product, and that means people will buy and buy and buy.

Getting the Harrisons is a big deal. They are excellent players likely headed to the NBA lottery sooner rather than later. The bigger picture, though, is what truly matters here. Calipari just busted Maryland for a pair of megarecruits whose father has local roots and who have longstanding ties to Under Armour, which is attempting to turn Maryland into Oregon East. Cal nailed down two of the No. 1 positional recruits in the class of 2013,all of whom have been considering the Wildcats, as well as two of the second-best players by position. And the kid who is considered the third-best power forward, only because two other Kentucky targets are ranked ahead of him. Julius Randle, the top-ranked small forward, all but batted his eyelashess at Cal this past summer, hoping to secure a golden ticket to Lexington. Now that the Harrisons will be there, the enticement is all that much greater, although the number of scholarships available is dwindling. Supply, meet demand.

I can see how other college coaches would think it isn’t fair that John Calipari and Kentucky get the pick of litter of the top recruits in the country, but when you are down on the mountain looking up at the top, the mountain looks tougher and tougher to climb.

Especially when they are looking up at the King of the Mountain.

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About the Author

Scott Anderson
I love covering the Kentucky Wildcats and even though I can't cheer on the outside when I go to games now, I am definitely cheering on the inside. You can follow me at @SAndersonNOB on twitter.
  • jgales

    coach cal didnt make the system the ncaa put in place for college basketball. but he does have a good knowledge of how to use it to his advantage !!!! if other coaches are going to sit there and use old out dated thinking for recruiting a new recruit then thats their fault !!!! dont blame coach cal for getting top recruits who dont want to waste 4 years in college to fulfill their dreams of playing in the nba !!! hes a great teacher of the game and that should be very clear from all the players he has coached in the last 5 years !!! and you call him the CEO/ king of the mountain ??? well i can promise you he works harder then any CEO for any 500 company !!!! and is well worth his salary !!! and all the bad publicity he gets from other coaches and press is just bs !!! because he gets the top recruits he must be doing something illegal ??? because when you come to KY the ncaa is already looking into your recruitment to see if they can find anything to bring down the program !!! i wonder what woodson at UCLA had to go thru with his 10 championship teams ????

  • bforbes

    The thing is, these kids have to play somewhere, so why not play for the be best program in all of sports….Coach Cal was great recruiter before he got to UK, and now, he’s a mega recruiter….But, the kids still have to play the game in order to win, and that’s where Coach Cal rises above all the rest. He is the best in the business at getting elite athletes to go to a level they didn’t even realize they had! Roll on Big Blue….the view is always best for the lead dog!!

  • Dave Ball

    I love the fact that so many “nervous” UK fans were questioning whether Cal would get “his guys” for 2013…seeing as how he never offered another PG should have been proof enough that Cal had a good handle on the Twins desire to play for him…or that Ol’ Roy Williams followed Cal’s in-home visit to Julius Randle (a PF, not a SF) by showing him 30 odd pieces of jewelry, to which Randle immediately cut UNC from his short list for his services…seems that Ol Roy is still worried about what the kids can do for him, as opposed as to what he could do for the kids…something that CALIPARI has mastered…he is there for the kids benefit, not the other way around, and kids pick up on that quickly…notice too, that Calipari didn’t offer Chris Walker (although Walker all but stated that had he been offered, he would have been the first commitment for 2013…at PF…Randle’s position)… I have a feeling that Cal knows something that we (as UK fans) don’t know….but will soon enough…Randle will be wearing Blue and White next year and Calipari will be elected governor of Kentucky in a LANDSLIDE in 2024 (ok, maybe not that last part)…have faith in Cal…he obviously knows what he’s doing