Apparently Kentucky coach John Calipari has heard enough criticism about his scheduling.
He used his website, coachcal.com, on Wednesday to let Kentucky fans know what lies ahead for the Wildcats — and did so not long after the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, an alliance of faculty senates from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, blasted him for dropping Indiana from the schedule.
"University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari recently announced that Kentucky will apparently demand that its non-conference basketball games be played off campus to provide better pre-professional training to the ‘one-and-done’ players it recruits, accommodate non-student fans, and increase revenues,” the coalition noted.
However, Calipari explained Wednesday that what he meant when the Indiana-Kentucky series ended that he was merely reshaping the Kentucky schedule.
First, he confirmed that North Carolina would be back on the schedule starting with the 2013-14 season after a one-year break to allow both teams to redo their home schedules.
"We are adding North Carolina back to the schedule for the 2013-14 season. The game will be played opposite of our Louisville series (when we play Louisville at home, we'll play North Carolina on the road, and vice versa),” Calipari said on his website. “(North Carolina coach) Roy Williams and I both agreed this was a good year to take a break. We both look forward to continuing this series in 2013-14 for two more years and beyond.”
Then, as promised when the Indiana series went away, Calipari announced plans for another annual marquee matchup — with Duke. The Wildcats will play Duke this year in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, but Calipari says he is working on bigger plans with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
"I am currently in conversations with Coach K of Duke for a multi-year, neutral-based series that will be played around the country in the best facilities. The games would take place on the same weekend every year and would be THE GAME to watch,” Calipari said on the site.
He went on to remind everyone that Kentucky was also playing Maryland in the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., this season as well as Michigan State in Chicago during the 2013-14 season as part of the series in which the Wildcats faced Kansas last season and will play Duke this year.
“We're working on finalizing an event that we hope to have in Lucas Oil Stadium that same year (2013-14),” Calipari said.
Remember, Calipari and Kentucky offered to play Indiana annually in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with the two teams splitting the tickets each year.
But he already has one of those dome games set for the 2013-14 season. Kentucky’s men and women will play Baylor at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“Matthew Mitchell's team will play Baylor, who won this year's national championship, in the first game, and then we'll follow it up with our game against Baylor's men's team, who we had to get past last year in the Elite Eight to make the Final Four. The tickets will be split down the middle for that game, and we hope to break the NCAA attendance record. It's an opportunity for both of our programs to do something that has never been done before — TO CREATE EXPERIENCES for our players and fans,” Calipari wrote on coachcal.com. "Baylor will return the game to Rupp Arena this season on CBS. We will also be going on the road to a Big East opponent this season."
That Big East opponent likely will be Georgetown. That means Kentucky will play at Georgetown and Louisville, host Baylor and take on Duke and Maryland in neutral-site games next season and already has North Carolina, Louisville, Michigan State and Baylor on the 2013-14 schedule.
And it is no coincidence that the 2013 Final Four is at the Georgia Dome and the 2014 Final Four will be at Cowboys Stadium.
"Let me be clear: It is important that we play in at least one if not two football stadiums every year to prepare our players for NCAA Tournament venues. Not every program can play a regular-season game in a stadium like we can,” Calipari wrote on the website. “The NCAA Tournament plays half its regional games and the entire Final Four in those venues.
“Who do you think will be in those domes and stadiums? It will be us. I'm convinced we would have won the title two seasons ago if we would have played in a dome during the regular season. Our guys weren't prepared for it."
Apparently, though, that won’t happen again, as Calipari is putting together schedules he thinks can get Kentucky to the Final Four — and that’s exactly what he was hired to do.