LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari had planned to meet with the media Friday afternoon to preview a Saturday showdown with Missouri. But thanks to a bombshell report by Yahoo! Sports that morning, the Kentucky basketball coach found himself answering questions about an FBI investigation, agents paying players and potential NCAA violations.
Deputy athletic director DeWayne Peevy knew that onslaught was coming and tried to stop it. He appeared at the podium before Calipari and issued the following statement:
Before he could, associate AD DeWayne Peevy stood at the podium and made a statement:
“Each of you have been provided a statement from Dr. Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and Coach Calipari. We do not have any additional information to share with you at this time,” Peevy said. “Once we do have additional information to share, we will communicate that when appropriate. Coach Calipari is here today to talk about tomorrow’s game against Missouri, and if you don’t have any questions about that, we can let him go to practice.”
That did not stop a massive media horde from trying — or Calipari from speaking on the subject a bit.
“I know nothing more than you guys know and that’s why there’s no reason for me to speak on it,” Calipari said. But isn’t he disappointed by the report, which named several top programs and players, including former Wildcats Nerlens Noel and Bam Adebayo and current Kentucky freshman Kevin Knox? “I mean, yeah, for all of basketball, this stuff, yeah. But again, the statement I made is, for me, where we stand on this and how I feel about it.
This was Calipari’s statement in full earlier Friday, after Yahoo reported that Noel and Adebayo had received payments from Andy Miller’s ASM Sports agency and Knox or someone connected to him had met with a Miller associate:
“I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates. Neither my staff nor I utilized any agent, including Andy Miller or any of his associates, to provide any financial benefits to a current or former Kentucky student-athlete. We will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities.”
Calipari said Friday afternoon, just before the team’s practice, that he had not yet spoken to Knox. Asked if Knox will play Saturday against Missouri, the coach said: “At this point, I believe so [unless] there’s something that I don’t know.”
EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Knox Sr. denies meeting with agent
Another question about potential eligibility concerns prompted Peevy to step in again with his “no additional information” line. Calipari fielded one more question about the Yahoo report — whether it was a distraction to his team — and said, “I haven’t met with them yet, so I don’t know” before it was made clear the news conference would end if there were no questions about the Missouri game.
Later, unprompted, as giant droplets pooled on his forehead and ran down his face, Calipari reassured the media throng:
“I just got done working out, guys,” he said. “That’s why I’m sweating.”
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