With Love From Kentucky (Part Two)

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: April 7, 2009

Kentucky Wildcats PHILADELPHIA — Recently, a column by BASN’s L.A. Batchelor sparked some passionate responses from many readers. The text of the column made reference to the hire of John Calipari as the new men’s basketball coach at a salary of approximately $5 million a year over eight years, and the history of Kentucky, segregation and how those were intertwined with athletics – specifically basketball.

So we decided since some of you took the time to write, we would share our input with the public. Again, the responses are verbatim, and reader discretion is advised:

On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 12:03 PM, mapdude <mapdude@comcast.net > wrote:

Memphis Fan here. Don’t let facts get in the way of your internet smear. I have no use for Cal anymore so don’t think I am defending him. 19 of the last 22 players through the basketball program have graduated. Not that facts mean anything to you.

Mapdude.

‘Dude – we know his grad average improved; take a look at UMass and his overall grad rate…

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 2:17 PM, <Streatballer42@aol.com> wrote:

What a hater you are! An arrogant writer who claims to know for a fact that John Calipari is a criminal and that the University of Kentucky is a racist college. I have three things to say to you:

1. You are an idiot.

2. You are a racist punk.

3. You are jealous of UK and it’s fan base.

Get a life, punk! Notabatchelor@whiteathlete.com

Feel free to make an argument whenever you’re ready…

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 3:54 PM, Don J. Kress <djkress@insightbb.com> wrote:

Dear Sir:

I agree with you 100% on your article The Devil and his bride are finally together.

Don Kress

Jasper, Indiana

Oops! How’d that get in there?

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 4:14 AM, < JSVice@aol.com> wrote:

Wow. You’re reaching man.

No final fours in well over a decade? I guess. If by “well over” you mean the minimum over, as in, one year.

What does a Memphis State violation 24 years ago have to do with today? The answer is jack shit.

As far as this part of your article:

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.

I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve heard of playing the race card before, but you went out and bought a whole deck full. I graduated from UK. When I went, I hated no one, and there were no “scandals.” You may be shocked to learn that I had classes where there were {gasp} blacks and whites together! You can basically shove this paragraph right back up your ass, from where you obviously pulled it. Join the 21st century sometime.

Oh yeah, the word you were looking for in the last paragraph was “glitz.” I don’t know what “glits” is, but it sounds like some kind of food all us Jim Crow southerners fix, right? You clearly can’t write facts, and you don’t understand college basketball. Go back to covering the madcap action in the MEAC, or being a Michael Vick apologist. I’ve never read an article filled with such inaccuracies and stereotyping relating to sports. It sounds much more like racial, nay – racist propaganda written by some hack with a chip on his shoulder. In a word – sickening.

Sincerely,

John Vice

How the fuck did Michael Vick get in this conversation????

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 4:07 AM, lisa traylor <traylor_lisa@yahoo.com> wrote:

I am writing in referance to your article about Ky basketball and the hiring of our new Coach Cal. It appears to me you are one of the people that like to scream racism. Exactly what are your facts?? If you are referring to Tubby Smith, then you are as crazy as you seem. Tubby was given ample time to do his thing at KY. The only great thing he did was when a championship but he won it with Petino’s boys. Tubby was a bad recruiter and a mediocre coach.

It sounds like you are one of those Kentucky haters. If you want to talk about KY basketball and anything or anyone that is affiliated with it, then by all means go ahead. It is most definately something we have become accustomed to.

The majority of people in the great commonwealth of KY bleed KY blue and I am sure they would agree when I say you and Tubby both have something in common and that would be you both are mediocre when it comes to your jobs. Get your facts straight and then we will talk.

Seriously, is it really that big of a deal that The Big Blue Nation will be back and as strong as ever. You better believe it is. Your article proves that.

Perhaps – but will Big Blue Nation’s grad rates improve? I’m just sayin’…

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 1:57 AM, Chip Michalove <outcastfishing@yahoo.com> wrote:

An AGENT gave Camby that money. Not Cal. He was found NOT guiltyLL.

One reason his graduation rates are low is because he inheirited programs with ZERO graduation and worked to improve the rates with major results. It takes time to get the numbers up, which admirably he has a history of doing.

As for racism, I’m thinking you’re talking about useless Tubby. Kentucky is the only elite program in America that would give lazy Tubby 8 years to torch a top program to the ground.

Tubby inherited a fantastic program full of serious talent, unfortunately he filled it full of 2 and 3 star atheletes that couldnt even make it past the 2nd round his last two seasons in Lexington. If you kept up with college basketcall maybe you would notice UK was barely making the tourny and getting worse every year.

You said “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.”

Geeez, are you serious? The only fact in that paragraph is a violation, which was almost 20 years ago by a coach that went elsewhere. Its a real shame you dont know what you’re talking about.

You’re other comments are borderline insane. Next time you write an article, see if you can do you’re homework and report the uncovered truth.

Damn, I guess Tubby’s shiftless too, since you said he was lazy; can’t have one without the other…

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 2:46 AM, David Shelton <dshelton333@gmail.com> wrote:

www. whiteathlete.com Go Ahead, Keyboard Warrior, Perpetuate the race argument in this country!

I have served UNDER and WITH proud black gentleman in the US military! There is no such thing as a race barrier in the US military it is brother for brother all day an day! And I dare you to refute that SIR! While it is easy to sit behind a desk and spew your “OH WHY ME BS” Take a look at the brothers in the INNER CITY as F up as it is it pales in comparison to what me and “My squad” have seen! I am married to a beautiful sister and this shit makes me sick. Point being, Quit whining and chase a real story you fucking Coward, my contributions in far and foreign lands is what allows you to breathe the air you breathe and enjoy the comforts of the melting pot that is America! Get off your high horse and give UK BBall some love. RACIST ASSHOLE!

There’s more love for UK basketball from us than you would think – if you opened your own damn eyes…

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 11:55 PM, Noel McCullough <Noel@worldnetconsulting.com> wrote:

LA,

Be careful with your assumptions. Have you lived in Kentucky? Have you competed with a brother or sister from Louisville, Lexington, Paducah, or Ashland? You are using a very large paint brush. Projection of your own biases and experiences does not mean tht this applies to everyone.

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.

Noel – this isn’t a hate on Kentucky or Kentuckians; we know you want a national championship; hell, you just spent $41 million to try to get one! We’re just saying be careful what you ask for here. “Caveat emptor” is definitely in effect…

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM, Tom Ballinger <klb1719@comcast.net> wrote:

“Now, he goes to a school with a pedigree of racial discrimination, hate”

As a reporter I think you have done an injustice to your readers.

Why would you bring up racism in association with the University of Kentucky when up until two years ago a black man (Tubby Smith) was running the basketball program for 10 years. Maybe Adolph Rupp was racist but last time I checked he had been dead for 32 years.

You remind me of the ignorant rednecks who keep dredging up the Civil War.

Thanks,

Tom Ballinger

Tom, you couldn’t prove that by the tone of some of these “love letters.”

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 11:04 AM, <DailyDoubleCat@aol.com > wrote:

Well I guess we can put you in the camp of “hating” on Kentucky. It is a pefect marriage as we finally have a coach who is a big hit on the AAU scene, can be a CEO of the Commonwealth and make Kentucky basketball fun again.

I don’t know if you knew this but the person who turned in Calipari is on the staff at Kentucky in Sandy Bell. If we skip ahead 3-5 years if you are still a journalist you will write a piece about Calipari bringing Kentucky back doing it the right way. I suggest if you ever want to write somewhere ‘BIG” you get on board like ESPN, and others have done to knw that it is good for Kentucky, the SEC, and college basketball. Kentucky will be back and it is great to be hated again–I have missed that :)

Jeff Cook

Ocala, FL

(Author’s Note: Mr. Batchelor worked several years at ESPN; I suppose that’s “big” enough for you considering your mindset. And, again, we have no hate on for Kentucky – but don’t count those championships just yet. In 3 – 5 years, unless some asshole incapable of offering a dissenting argument without resorting to violence acts on his stupidity, I suspect Mr. Batchelor will still be here…)

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 10:33 AM, JL Phillips <jlphillips309@charter.net> wrote:

Hey, LA:

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I find the continual old theme of playing the “race card” elitism etc, relative to UK a bit tiring and old school. Yes the university has many sins in the past to account for —-as does the rest of the country for that matter—but in consideration we hired a black coach , Tubby Smith, and now have a black coach in football set up for head coach in football including his offensive and defensive coordinators I believe that argument lost water many years ago!!! If you know anything about basketball at all and have watched UK for the last few years you may have noticed the poor play and less talented athletes on the floor—-the vast majority recruited by 10-loss Tubby!!!

As far as Calipari is concerned, that remains to be seen. No one is forcing the black athlete to play for him. He gets them to the pros and they help him win more games—–sounds like a good deal to me. If he is truly mistreating or taking advantage of them then don’t play for him or go to Kentucky. While it is true that schools do take advantage of athletes, it is equally true

That athletes take advantage of schools as well—– many of them don’t give a damn about their education or the school that they play for just the exposure and getting to the NBA quicker.

Why don’t you practice some real journalism instead of playing the old-school race card relative to UK or others? It is getting old and was out of style several years ago. As for your

“elitism” comment , I thank you!! Yes, UK is and was elite and will be returning to its natural place in the near future. And no, we didn’t run Tubby out of Lexington—he left on his own after

Bargaining under the table for the UM job. His recruiting at UK was some of the worst in our history and he needed to move on—-nothing to do with race, all to do with the poor product on the court. Until you “hacks” quit taking the easy way out with the race card this crap will continue. You perpetuate the very thing you claim to hate—-racial bias—-with your lazy and outdated journalism. Why don’t you get on Duke’s ass for a change—-they certainly claim to be elite and play mostly white boys -does that qualify as racial bias and elitism as well???

Sincerely,

James L. Phillips

So…it’s okay to jump on Duke? Well when Coach Krzyzewski’s grad rates get funky and he’s involved in a scandal or two, we’ll jump on his ass as well. Hey North Carolina – can you feel the love coming from James tonight?

To: svp@espnradio.com Date: Monday, March 30, 2009, 3:07 PM

That all of you at ESPN radio fail to mention Calipari’s poor graduation rate and the controversy he had at UMASS. So often we celebrate guys like him because he is flamboyant and wins games but the reality is he produces basketball players not men. He is arrogant and cares nothing about his kids getting an education rather than his kids getting him his next gig.

It’s a shame a coach like him gets glorified while a coach like John Chaney, who graduated his kids, was vilified.

So, Kentucky…is this really what you want?

To be continued…