Commentary

Calipari to Kentucky makes sense

Updated: March 30, 2009, 4:36 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

When Kentucky fired Billy Gillispie on Friday, the rumor mill started working around the clock.

One name prominently mentioned in the media was Memphis coach John Calipari.

Let me tell you, the head basketball coach of the Wildcats is an important as any job in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Yes my friends, that includes the Governor!

The next coach in Lexington will have to handle a challenging situation. There are very few guys who can fit in the magical picture at Kentucky. You have to be involved in the community, deal with all of the people there. You need someone with great credibility and a proven track record.

Calipari has the resume that works. He did the job at Massachusetts and at Memphis.

Think about what he has accomplished during his coaching career: he just competed is his 11th NCAA tournament, and now he made it to his seventh Sweet 16. He coached in the title game last year, and his teams have made the Elite Eight or better five times.

Then look at the resources he would have in Lexington, with the most passionate fans in college basketball, bleeding big blue. The practice facility and offices at Kentucky are amazing. I cannot believe what they have available there.

The visibility of the Kentucky program would lend itself to bringing in the best of the best recruits.

While Calipari would fit that mold, I believe the cash register in Memphis is going ding-a-ling-ling, baby! The Tigers have something special and the dollars will be getting bigger .

I would love to be in his position right now! This storyline could play itself out in the upcoming week ... stay tuned, baby!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.