Despite unusual technical foul, John Calipari said officiating crew “did a good job”

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)


It was a call that is in the rule book but one that really has little, if anything, to do with a game.

Kentucky coach John Calipari was warned once for being outside the coaching box and then in the second half got called for a technical foul for a second violation when he was no more than a step out of the box. Louisville got a free throw it made — which turned out to be a huge point since the game was tied at the end of regulation.

What did Calipari think of the call?

“I don’t know. I wasn’t looking down. My wife said she was going to take pictures of the other bench because he (Louisville coach Chris Mack) was out,” Calipari joked.

Mack might have been. Most coaches do wander out during games and normally after a warning, most officials ignore making a second call unless a coach is blatantly outside the box. I’ve just never figured out why in a closely contested rivalry game any official would be watching the coaching box and not the game. But that’s just me.

Calipari was not overly upset about the call, especially after his team won in overtime despite being in serious foul trouble the second half.

“I said look, guys, just so you understand, I don’t care what an official calls as long as you make the same call down at that end. So if you call us on a carry or a moving screen and I see one down here, that’s when I lose my mind,” Calipari said.

“I don’t care what you call. Call fouls every time down, on both teams. Just keep calling them.”

This next statement might surprise UK fans.

“This (officiating) crew did a good job today. I was on them. If I see this called, you better make that call. I’m never saying, I don’t think that was a block, or, I don’t think that — I don’t do that. I’m like, whatever you call, you call down that other end, and I’m good,” Calipari said.

Then he had a unique idea.

“How about this? Be bad. Both ways. I’m good with that. You’re missing this and missing that and missing this, I don’t care, as long as you’re not missing this, missing this, missing this, now I got a problem. But I probably stepped out of the box,” Calipari said.

“But the officials are being told that and flops, you know, when guys throw their head back. Those are supposed to be, those are flops. That’s what that means. You know, all that kind of stuff. But must have had an impact on the game when I was out, so …”

Maybe Calipari needs a “get-back” assistant to keep him inside the coaching box?

“Oh, they have a get-back coach? See that’s the problem. They have so many guys on their staff and they’re telling me I can’t have another staff guy. They got a get-back coach. They got a get-out coach, a get-back coach, a guy walks them to half field. I need a guy. I need an assistant coach that walks me to the radio show now. That’s what I need,” Calipari said.

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