Calipari disputes Knight critique

December 19, 2009

Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn't agree with Bobby Knight that college basketball lacks integrity or that he is proof there is a problem.

Calipari refused to get into a war of words Friday when asked about the pointed criticism from Knight that Calipari's continued employment proves the game has a problem. Instead, Calipari said he remains a "big fan" of the former Texas Tech and Indiana head coach.

"I don't agree with what he says, but it doesn't change how I feel about him," Calipari said.

Calipari said Knight's comments surprised him.

"I get up to go to Mass this morning and there's like 100 text messages and I'm like what in the world happened?" Calipari said. "And I get word and what I can tell you is I'm a big fan, respect him as a basketball coach, always have."

Kentucky forward Josh Harrellson said he was surprised by Knight's comments, but Knight's words seem to be part of the perception of his coach.

"People hear stuff about him and they kind of guess what he's like, but playing for him and actually being around him, he's a great guy," Harrellson said. "He's fair to everybody."

The third-ranked Wildcats (10-0) host Austin Peay on Saturday. Calipari can break Adolph Rupp's record for best start by a first-year coach in program history with a victory.

A Duke departure: Duke sophomore forward Olek Czyz, who started two games this season, is planning to transfer to another Division I school.

AP

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