COLUMN: Calipari’s foul language no big deal



­­­Freshman forward Terrence Jones ran to the sideline in the second half of UK’s game at Alabama, only to be greeted by a heated exchange from his coach.

It’s a common scene on the UK sidelines with UK head coach John Calipari at the helm, even when his team isn’t losing by 20 to a lesser opponent. In fact, it’s a common scene on the sidelines of most Division I basketball games.

Calipari apologized on Twitter Tuesday night for his foul language during the game.

Wednesday afternoon, Calipari’s foul language was a topic of discussion on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption.” However, if it weren’t for Calipari’s apology, the story likely wouldn’t have gained the national attention it has.

As a coach at a premiere basketball program, Calipari expects the best out of his players, and they expect the same out of him. Sure, not everyone is comfortable with the cursing that takes place on the sidelines of sporting events, but believe me its common. Not to mention, no one is forced to listen it.

The professional lip readers that were abuzz after Tuesday night really shouldn’t be too surprised. A similar controversy broke out as a result of the Louisville game last season, when the firs­­t minute of the game saw a handful of fights and Calipari was seen having an exchange with a Louisville player on national TV.

Both Calipari and the players have a drive to win, and both athletes and their coaches are known to get caught up in the moment. As a coach with five straight 30-win seasons, facing a 20-point deficit on the road goes against the grain of what you’re used to.

“The sport that we’re in is emotional,” Calipari said on his radio show Wednesday. “For me, whatever I’m trying to do to change these guys, to get these guys to play different, to get them to really listen and do the things they do, sometimes you say things you regret.”

Jones immediately followed up his coach’s apology on Twitter with his own tweet saying he felt “blessed” to play for Calipari and immediately accepted his apology.

On the road again

The Cats have already lost more games this season than they did last year. None of those losses have come at home. The problem: UK seems intimidated on the road, gets the bearings, but not until its too late.

UK seems to make surges midway through the second half, but can never quite seem to close out the comeback.

Following the loss at Georgia, Calipari said comebacks help you figure out how good your team is.

The good news for the Cats is come March, UK fans will dominate tournament crowds.

The bottom line for UK is they need to find a way to win on the road. Alabama is one of the weakest teams they’ll play on the road this season, and if they can’t find a way to get back on track, this team could find themselves on the bubble come Selection Sunday.