With Love From Kentucky (Part Six)

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: April 11, 2009

Kentucky Wildcats PHILADELPHIA – Unfortunately, comments regarding the column written by BASN staffer L.A. Batchelor ( The Devil & his Bride…) have not died a natural death.

We were sincerely hoping for a cessation in the nonsense, but because of the tone of certain comments, we feel it necessary that Mr. DeMarcus Cousins and any perspective new Wildcat players peep what some of their “neighbors” are thinking…

As with the others, all responses are verbatim, and reader discretion is advised…

From: Chip Michalove <outcastfishing@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 2:40 AM Subject: Did you see who DeMarcus Cousins is playing for?

To: labatchelor@blackathlete.com

Calipari is in Kentucky for a week and he’s already signed a top 5 recruit. Tubby couldnt land a top 10 player in the 10 years he was at UK! Amazing isnt it?

Yeah, Chip, we saw. And did you see what your fellow UK fan CYBERSINS said about your man Cousins? Take a gander below…is that what you will say when UK loses an important game because Cousins misses a free throw?

On Sat, Apr 11, 2009 at 3:59 AM, <cybersins@aol.com> wrote:

Racist ass school??? The whole state of KY is racist???

You are one sad individual..have fun with that hate in your heart and good luck with your internet radio show with 73 listeners.

BTW: Your great grandfather owes the US $1200 for a one way cruise from Africa ;)

Another clear waste of sperm; they should’ve left you down your daddy’s throat!

Remember to tell Mr. Cousins and all the Wildcat basketball players their relatives need to kick in too, dumb ass. Make sure that’s before you start sucking on his jockstrap, bitch bait…

From: <MPaulTampa@aol.com> Date: Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:29 AM Subject: The Devil and his bride are finally together To: labatchelor@blackathlete.com

This truly has to be one of the most ignorant, uninformed and untrue articles I have ever read. You are wrong on Calipari’s graduation rate and wrong on his record concerning NCAA violations (he has never, NEVER, been cited for any infraction by the NCAA).

Was Adolf Rupp a bigot / racist? Maybe, but that was 35 years ago; get over it. It has nothing to do with UK now.

Sir:

Some of what you say is all speculation and how you are perceiving it; which is fine because I see the facts and interpret them differently. Instead I would like to invite you to the Commonwealth. You will see first hand that our southern hospitality matches any other. And my email wasn’t written with hate. There were no racial slurs or foul language or anything remotely close to that, and I didn’t use all caps at any time, much like your email. It seems that you may have misinterpreted my email in the sense of vocal inflections. What you saw as derisive and unpleasant was merely me trying to get my point across. It just bothers the overwhelming majority of us to have this stigma on our state, and I felt the need to defend it. I also didn’t know we had to measure up to a level of “blackness”.

In the past, yes, there were racial incidents as there have been in nearly every state in the union. But those things have long since past. I don’t think that any state should dwell on its past, especially the parts that aren’t so flattering. In this new age of change and national renewal we need to focus on the future, and I think that is what you are lacking. You see Kentucky as a racist state because of our past. Do you consider then the entire south to be racist because of their past? Are there racists here? Absolutely. Are there racists everywhere? Absolutely; and not just against blacks. Again, I am sorry you feel this way about our state because I think that if you came here you would be pleasantly surprised. You would find your “the entire state of Kentucky is racist” ideology to be completely unfounded today.

I leave you with a quote regarding your feelings on Kentuckians. “Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

Thank you,

Jason

Jason, we appreciate your response and the invite; and I would suggest Dr. Dyer’s quote is adequately applicable to both ends of this equation. Mr. Batchelor’s words spoke more for what he fears will happen. For your sake and the sake of all passionate but rational KU fans, we wish you well; but if you run into cybersins, he may wanna hit you up for that $1200…

On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:44 AM, Oboysfan <oboysfan@yahoo.com> wrote:

Dear Mr. L.A. Batchelor,

I enjoyed your UK article. I am unfortunately a Kentucky fan, right now I am only supporting the players. I am no fan of UK’s current coach or will ever be. I think the Kentucky administration will one day wish they ever hired him and unfortunately have to deal with “Kentucky Shame II.”

Several years ago I met Mr. Calipari and what you saw on television during the news conference is a act. I will be surprised he has not turned other fans off. Anyway wish he could just go away somewhere, like back to Memphis where he will not bug anyone in Kentucky. Everything was fine for Kentucky basketball anyway execpt for a few minor things that the bias Lexington sports media here made a big deal over about our now former coach.

The UK A. D. should be fired though for allowing the media to have their helicopters fying around the basketball team dorm and them standing outside the dorm trying to get interviews with the players. Since that didn’t work the called the players parents. One of the television people followed the former coach around trying to get a interview. All this was on the day of the firing. The university I guess didn’t care if they local media turned their sports department into a play area.

If Kentucky administration dont’ care fine then I have the right to support universities who do care. Oh I will still support the UK players under the former coach who stick around. I might still support the other players, I don’t know. Calipari will never have my supprot.

Kentucky fan

For the sake of you and all KU fans, we again say, “let the buyer beware!”

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 2:06 PM, <wo1fs8urgt@gmail.com> wrote:

Greetings L.A.,

I just finished reading your article and to say the least I am very appalled. Kentucky is not a place plagued with racism and to suggest this is very insulting. In fact the Kentucky basketball program has had African American athletes on the roster since 1969 and scholarship offers were made to other African Americans as early as 1964. You also say “Calipari brings a legacy of Final Four appearances to a program that hasn’t made to that kind of prominence in well over a decade.” This is indeed another incorrect statement as it has only been one season over a decade and in this time the University has had 2 NCAA #1 seeds, three trips to the elite eight, two trips to the sweet sixteen, four SEC tournament championships along with four overall SEC championships. You also speak very negatively of Jon Calipari’s track record of recruiting only athletes and having a very low graduation rate, but you speak nothing of the nobility this man has. As an African American I believe that you should be able to realize that Jon often gives troubled youth a second chance, a chance to stay away from the streets and on the court, a chance at setting their life straight. If these players don’t get that chance, quite often these young men make some bad choices and end up in trouble. Your writings obviously makes reference to information that has not been proven to be factual and reports it in a factual manner. You sir are a racist and your article is very supporting to my opinion.

Bryan

Bryan – you forgot to add “gives troubled youth who can play basketball really well.” If 25% is “noble” enough for you, who are we to disagree?

Oh, and cybersins says you owe $1200 as well…

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 11:08 AM, <BLUnWhite@aol.com> wrote:

Mr. Batchelor,

I found your recent article regarding the hiring of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari to be misinformed and insulting. I realize you must print sensational articles to generate attention, and after all, that is why I am writing you, so it worked. But I think you do your readers a disservice and create issues and tension where there need not be any .

“But he also brings elements of lies, deceit, recruiting violations, a poor graduation rate of students, arrogance and anger among his peers. “

He has allegations of violations, but none have ever been proven. Does that mean a university should do their homework? Absolutely, and UK did, they called the NCAA and the SEC to get an opinion on the coach and both gave a thumbs up. Most coaches have a streak of arrogance in them, it comes with the business, but coaches that have worked with Coach Cal have never come forward with a complaint about working for him. Are you referencing anything here or like the rest of your article, did you not bother to research any facts?

Graduation rates: You say Mr. Calipari has a bad track record, however, research (had you done any) would show that moved the graduation rate from 16% to 80% while at UMass. In Memphis, he graduated 19 of 22 seniors. Those rates are above average, and in fact, Mr. Calipari’s tenure at Memphis, despite losing several players early to the NBA, was above the acceptable NCAA line for academic work. His standards will also be kept higher at UK.

“If it means Kentucky wants a coach who only recruits players who have great athletic ability, but poor academic ability, sign him up”

College sports is a business, we all know that. Could you please explain to me which of the major basketball or football schools, with few notable exceptions such as Vandy or Duke, aren’t accepting players that just barely make it into college? How is a coach responsible for a player’s academic ability? Wouldn’t it also be worth making the point that these non-achievers in the classroom wouldn’t have any shot of a future if it weren’t for schools making them do the basics of an education to be able to get into college and stay there because of basketball?

You also implied that John Calipari left UMass to avoid the scandal and headed to the greener pastures of Memphis. Did you forget, fail to do the research, or did it not make your point strongly enough to say that he was cleared of any wrong doing and the reason he was not at UMass the following year was because he accepted a $30 million dollar deal with the Nets?

You imply he leaves schools “filled with scandal, animosity, player departure and transfers.’ Yet, Memphis did everything in their power to retain his services, hired one of his former assistants, and encouraged his players to stay at the school when they wanted to follow him.

“Now, he goes to a school with a pedigree of racial discrimination, hate, violations and scandal. A school that has a past of inequality and injustice that represents a state that supported the very same practice.”

When does the race card for UK become unacceptable to play? Yes, coach Rupp had some racial views, over 50 years ago. It might be worth pointing out that no SEC school was recruiting black players at the time Coach Rupp was not, but that would have required research and objectivity. You might also mention that the first man to recruit black players in the SEC was C.M. Newton at Alabama and was credited for tearing down racial barriers in Southeastern sports; by the way, he would later become the Athletic Director at Kentucky. During his time at Kentucky, Mr. Newton, also saw that UK hired it’s first black men’s head basketball coach. How many schools can still not say the same? I am sure you are also aware that only a handful of schools has two black coaches as the top assistants on their football team, and UK is one of them. By the way, one of those coordinators will be our next head football coach. Not because he is black, but because he is qualified.

“He cares about his success, his family and his money at the detriment of the black athlete that cares about the same things but is prohibited from those things unless he eventually left college to “play for pay”.

If Coach Calipari’s success is at the detriment to the black athlete, why are so many athletes interested in playing for him? Why were these athletes moved to tears and anger at the thought of losing their coach? By the way, what about the detriment of the white athlete? Do they not matter in your equation? Do they not have to put in the same blood, sweat, and tears on the practice and game floor? What a racist view you have. What about the fact that these athletes are given an education, room, board, and all essentials for up to 5 years free of charge. If they choose not to take advantage of that education, it is the player’s fault, not the school’s or the coach’s. As for the “pay for play” athletes, very few are gifted enough to make it to that level with college level coaching and preparation. It is the school’s investment in the player in terms of a great coach, quality facilities, education, that leads to their improvement to be able to either a: make the pay for play level, or b: improve their draft status. Playing for a school such as UK affords a player the ability to market themselves with national exposure. Who is forcing these players to come play basketball if it is such a detriment to themselves?

A black man has now achieved the office of the President of the United States of America, yet you can’t move past a view from a coach over 50 years ago at a school that has in the last 10 years been a leader amongst big time programs in their minority coaching hires and promotions. I ask you, who is being detrimental to who?

Sincerely,

Jeff Wheeler

Oh, Jeff – you wax poetically about the “free” room and board, education, et cetera; but the NCAA makes more $$$ from the men’s basketball tournament in those three weeks than the Super Bowl and the entire NFL playoffs combined.

The school’s “investment” is in putting $$$ in the tills, and about $32 million in Calipari’s wallet. I don’t know what kind of return you’ll get on your “investment,” but I do know the kids won’t get one damn dime – for the sake of a handful of “one and dones.” And by the way – so you’re saying because a Black man is now President, it justifies hiring a man with a 25% grad rate because it might mean 25 wins a season???

Shit…a mind really IS a terrible thing to waste…

The struggle continues…