Mark Stoops is still unhappy with comments made by John Calipari

John Calipari wants a new basketball practice facility at the University of Kentucky and in his campaigning for that, called Kentucky a “basketball school,” something that Wildcats football coach Mark Stoops took exception to. On Saturday, Stoops was still peeved about the matter.

Following a scrimmage on Saturday, Stoops made it clear that his frustration over Calipari’s comments hadn’t simmered yet.

“I don’t care about anyone’s program, I stay in my lane,” Stoops said, per Jeff Drummond of Cats Illustrated. “But when you start talking about mine, and people I compete against, I’m going to defend my players… Don’t demean and distract from what we’ve done to get to this point.”

Stoops’ comments got the attention of the college football world.

The comments also got the attention of Calipari, who issued an apologetic statement in response.

“I was told about comments Mark Stoops made in his press conference,” Calipari said on Twitter. “I reached out to Mark Thursday & will try again. Comparing our athletic dept. to others was my bad. I have supported Mark & the football team through good and bad. I will continue to support them & cheer them on.”

Tension between the basketball and football programs is not new at Kentucky. While it was a long time ago, it happened between two of the greatest coaches in the history of their respective sports. Bear Bryant left Kentucky for Texas A&M in 1954, feeling that his football program would always be second fiddle to the basketball program, then led by Adolph Rupp.

Hopefully, at least for the sake of both Kentucky programs and their fans, this tension will simmer quicker than that. Stoops took over the Wildcats in 2013. After going 2-10 in that season and 5-7 in the following two years, Stoops has led Kentucky to six straight bowl appearances and four consecutive wins. That’s a huge step forward for a program that had only played in 11 bowl games between the departure of Bryant after the 1953 season and the arrival of stoops 60 years later.

[Jeff Drummond, John Calipari]

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. Fan of most sports, nerd when it comes to sports history. Bay Area based for now. Likely leaving sometime early in 2023.

Other loves include good tacos, pizza and obscure Seinfeld quotes.

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