Originally Posted by WMR
Mike Pratt, backed up by a a team of the big money donors, are what brought Cal to Lexington.
Mitch has been neutered when it comes to the basketball program. Cal won't have him anywhere near it.
Why do you think they created a "basketball AD" once Cal arrived? It ain't rocket surgery.
I wish we COULD send Meetchy to WKU, that would be about his speed.
Not to doubt you, but this is what Calipari said during his initial interview after being hired at Kentucky:
"I told Dr. (Lee) Todd, and Mitch (Barnhart), 'If you want something to happen in a year, do not hire me," Calipari said, tempering 'Cat fan expectations. "'But when we get it right, you notice we're No. 1 in the country, we're No. 1 seeds (in the NCAA tournament), we're playing in Final Fours, when we get it right.'"
Those are the guys that hired him. Those are the guys that interviewed him for the position. He was one of three public members of the search committee that went looking for a coach (with Pratt and Lee Todd). I realize that not all laundry gets aired in public, but, were Barnhart and Calipari truly at odds, Barnhart wouldn't be there now. No chance. He's got too much juice to be a lame duck at a place like Kentucky. Too, Cal's got too much power and is enough of a control freak to take down anyone who would get in his way.
Kentucky fans often seem to read tea leaves and get an entirely different read than anyone else. IMO, this is one of those times.
(This is not to say that they're thick as thieves. Cal has his own group, I'm sure. As does Barnhart. But they absolutely respect each other-- frankly, I'm shocked that anyone wouldn't respect Barnhart.)
An ADs two most important jobs are to improve all sports under his watch and to make the university as much money as possible. While graduating players and making sure their noses are clean. He's done all of that pretty much flawlessly.
Gillespie was a reach after Donavan turned them down at the last minute. But it was rectified very quickly. (Two years? No one is that quick on the trigger unless he's willing to own up to the mistake. Barnhart was.) With Cal, Barnhart was worried about the rumblings and grumblings of cheating. With good reason. There's a lot of smoke there. (Most of it from the ignorant, biased, or mean-spirited.)
But, make no mistake, it was his hire.
If he didn't want Calipari, he'd have quit first. His reputation was already fairly secure, especially on the Pacific Coast.