By LARRY VAUGHT
Before he was on John Calipari’s staff at Kentucky, Tony Barbee was the head coach at Auburn.
That didn’t end well for Barbee as he was fired and then Calipari hired Barbee, who played for him at UMass, at Kentucky.
Barbee returns to Auburn Wednesday night when UK plays there. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl wants Auburn fans to respect Barbee in a game that will be nationally televised.
“I would like to reach out to all of our fans and students in preparation of that [Tony Barbee coming to the game]. I know what it’s like. In coaching, for better or for worse, you give it your heart and soul. You give it everything you have,” Pearl said Monday.
“I think it would only be fitting with Auburn to be classy. He was our basketball coach for four years. He moved his family here and he was a part of this family. I would rather it be us welcoming him and his family back to where they were for four years. There should be nothing else.
“I would even ask the Jungle and the leadership, and I might just tweet this out, that nothing else would be appropriate. I want great spirit and attitude. I want to get after Kentucky really hard, but that other stuff I would be disappointed with that.”