On Media Day this year, John Calipari was peppered with questions about his team as well as the latest FBI investigation into Nike.
Matt Stone/The C-J
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach John Calipari publicly addressed the FBI’s bombshell investigation into college basketball recruiting for the first time on Thursday.
“What’s out there right now is a black eye,” Calipari said at Kentucky basketball’s media day. “Here’s the thing for everybody here: I don’t want to come across as uneducated or dumb. None of us know where this thing is going. For me to really comment much on it, I don’t know where all this going. It’s obviously, what’s happened to this point isn’t good. At this point, I don’t think me commenting without knowing all the facts is the right thing to do.”
Kentucky has not been contacted by the FBI, UK executive director of public relations and marketing Jay Blanton told the Courier-Journal last week, or by the NCAA, Calipari said.
“I have no comment to it,” Calipari said when asked about reports of where the FBI investigation could go in the future. “We have not been contacted. The NCAA hasn’t contacted us.”
College basketball scandal: Rick Pitino is cooperating with FBI, but lawyer won’t say what Pitino told Adidas exec
The FBI’s fraud and money laundering investigation into college basketball recruiting, in which 10 people are charged, is based on wiretaps, undercover agents and cooperating witnesses.
Among those implicated, Louisville coach Rick Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave, which means he was “effectively fired,” according to his attorney.
The investigation alleges Louisville coaches and an Adidas executive were among the people attempting to pay $100,000 to the family of five-star 2017 recruit Brian Bowen to attend Louisville. In turn, the documents claim, Bowen would sign with Adidas and hire certain advisers when he turned pro.
Calipari refused to answer when asked about the rivalry between Kentucky and Louisville and if he would miss competition against Pitino.
“It’s unfortunate all the stuff that’s come down, but let’s talk about my team, please,” Calipari said. “Anyone here have a question about my team, please?”
Stemming from the investigation, James Gatto, the head of global sports marketing for Adidas, and college basketball assistants at Auburn (Chuck Person), Arizona (Book Richardson), Oklahoma State (Lamont Evans) and Southern California (Tony Bland) were arrested.
College basketball scandal: Breaking down Brian Bowen’s shot at reinstatement – it’s happened before, but it’s unlikely