Ever wonder how the University of Kentucky and Coach John Calipari are able to land top recruiting classes year in and year out? Tradition, television exposure, and a one year fast track to the NBA all play roles in Big Blue Nation getting these 5-star prospects, but it’s obvious that Coach Cal is the major factor.
When Calipari wants someone, he doesn’t send some assistant coach with a care package. No, Cal travels across the country to woo these recruits first-hand.
From The Courier-Journal:
How does he do it? Apparently the “gold standard” at Kentucky that Calipari often talks about includes all but unfettered access to private jets. According to flight records obtained by The Courier-Journal, Calipari and football coach Mark Stoops combined to take $450,000 worth of chartered flights just for recruiting purposes during the 2013-14 fiscal year. Calipari took a private jet far more often ($342,713.91 worth total in 2013-14) than Stoops, largely because the basketball program recruits from coast to coast — Calipari was in California twice last year — and the majority of UK’s football recruits come from within reasonable driving distance of campus.
Unlike some schools, Kentucky does not have its own private plane, instead using a handful of charter services, most often Honaker Aviation and Alliance Services. Calipari frequently flew last year on an eight-passenger 2007 Cessna Citation turbofan-powered jet or various 8- to 12-passenger Learjets.
It’s evident that Calipari goes about his business in a very lavish and excessive way, so why would we expect anything different than private jets? The University of Kentucky has been very supportive, and rightfully so. Every recruiting class the Wildcats have had since Coach Cal took over has been ranked number 1 or 2 nationally. In his five years at UK, the Wildcats have been to three Final Fours and won a National Championship.
Just imagine if the school shelled out for his own private jet. Coach Cal and the Wildcats would be unstoppable.
[via The Courier-Journal]
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