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John Calipari responds to Rick Pitino’s social media comments

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Frenemies John Calipari and Rick Pitino are at it again.

Earlier this week, some comments that Pitino made about the use of social media went viral. The irony of it? Twitter is the reason that his comments made it to every blog and every website, with social media being the catalyst for words being taken out of context.

Essentially, what Pitino said was that, for an athlete, it’s a waste of time to sit there and read through the responses that come through on twitter. It’s either over-the-top praise or vulgar, and at times racist, hate-speak.

He had a point, and a valid one.

Calipari was on Mike and Mike this morning, and he was asked about social media use among college athletes. Here is his response, in full. (If you’d rather listen to it, it starts at the 4:45 mark here):

“This is no disrespect, the coaches you mentioned, I respect them all. They know nothing about social media. Nothing. They don’t do it. They feel it’s another job. What I’m trying to tell our players, we train them, we bring in professional people, we talk about it, we oversee what they put out. If they put out something dumb, we talk to them and tell them why [it’s dumb]. ‘Why would you do that?’ We tell them, if you’re into reading the responses, don’t go on twitter!”

“Twitter is an opportunity. Facebook is an opportunity. To say what you feel. To try to pick people up. To try to be positive. To try to add something to society. To let people see you transparently. You cannot be defined if you’re on social media by someone else. You will define who you are, and if you’re negative, that’s your fault. But here is who you are. If you are negative, it will come through. Five years of being on twitter and facebook, are you gonna lie for five years? You are who you are. But we’re trying to tell those kids, you build your brand or you break your brand down. You are who you are through social media.”

“I’m not going to hold my team back from twitter or facebook, I’m going to teach them. How do you use it for a positive. I don’t read one response on twitter or facebook. There are a lot of bullies and haters on twitter. I don’t read them, I don’t see them. I give out information, I’m transparent to our fans. I tell them how I’m feeling. I talk about the last couple of practices. There are things I want my players to read that I’ll put out. I also have things that we do that only go to our players, that I put out that I want them to see and hear. Videos and different things. Social media, for anyone to say don’t do it, it’s crazy. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I go home, I got a 17 year old son, he doesn’t watch TV, he’s on the computer all day.”

Here’s the irony: Cal and Pitino basically put out the same message.

Both of them essentially said that it’s pointless to read through any response that comes through from anonymous fans on the internet. They are called trolls — or, as Cal put it, bullies and haters — for a reason.

The difference?

Cal is selling his program. He’s always selling his program. Saying ‘we teach our players how to build their brand through social media’ is a soundbite that will play better when recruits see it in headlines than ‘the great class of underachievers live on the Internet and social media’.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry’s personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?

 

VIDEO: John Calipari vows to lose some weight

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John Calipari has a goal this offseason: to lose some weight.

“Mid-50s, I let it go a little bit,” Calipari said as he worked out on an elliptical. “Had a heck of a year. But going forward, gotta get in better shape. Gotta get the body right. Started a week ago. What I will say to you is really simple. I’m not showing you my body for a month.”

The reason why Cal needs to get into shape?

He’s going to have to coach this year, because Tyler Ulis is heading to the NBA.

“I shoulda got some of his salary,” Ulis joked.

Cal won’t have to coach too hard. He’s got one of the best recruiting classes in the country coming into the program, including three top ten players and five of the nation’s top 30 prospects.

Four-star PG Jaylen Fisher de-commits from UNLV

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Coaching changes can wreak havoc on a program’s recruiting class, and that’s been the case for UNLV thanks to the tumultuous nature of their search for a new head coach. Thursday evening one prospect who remained committed to the Mountain West program throughout the process that ultimately led to Marvin Menzies landing the job announced that he’s decided to reopen his recruitment.

Four-star point guard Jaylen Fisher, ranked 55th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, announced via social media that he’s decided to de-commit from UNLV.

“I was very much looking forward to the opportunity to be a Rebel this year,” Fisher wrote. “But there have been a lot of changes with the program since I committed to UNLV; changes that have made me reconsider whether UNLV is still a good fit for me. So with that in mind and after much consideration with my family, I have decided it’s best that I reopen my recruitment.”

Fisher’s decision leaves wing Justin Jackson as the lone member of UNLV’s 2016 class at this point, with Jackson telling Scout.com in early April that he was undecided as to whether or not he’d reopen his recruitment. The school’s search for a coach began in January when they parted ways with Dave Rice, promoting Todd Simon in an interim role.

After deciding not to retain Simon, who’s now the head coach at Southern Utah, UNLV hired former Little Rock head coach Chris Beard…who left for Texas Tech less than two weeks later. UNLV landed Menzies, who they passed over for Beard, and he’s got a lot of work to do to field a roster that will be competitive in the Mountain West next season.

As for Fisher, the Arlington, Tennessee native should be a popular prospect with his decision to reopen things. And with Memphis losing former commit Charlie Moore, the Tigers are in need of help at the point. The question now is whether or not new head coach Tubby Smith will look to reach out to Fisher.

h/t Memphis Commercial-Appeal