Lute Olson calls John Calipari act “unprofessional”

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

In an interview with Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman, former Arizona coach Lute Olson, while defending his former assistant Josh Pastner, takes a shot at UK coach John Calipari.


He defended his former protégé, Memphis coach Josh Pastner. “He needs to get his type of kids, the kind of kids he wants in the program to fit his style of play and coaching,” Olson said of Pastner, who played and coached under him. “I also thought it was unprofessional of John Calipari to take all those kids out of there to Kentucky. Very unprofessional.”

Olson is referring to former Memphis recruits DeMarcus Cousins and Darnell Dodson following Calipari from Memphis to Kentucky. If they had remained at Memphis, they would have played for Pastner, who was Cal’s assistant at Memphis and became head coach when Calipari left for Kentucky.

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  1. siluah says:

    His recruits, not the schools. I would say Cal left it up to the players to choose and they chose to play for Cal. Pastner has shown he can recruit, he has some top players now.

  2. JackB says:

    “All those kids….” Two. Another went to Kansas. And they all signed LOI with an “out” clause for that very reason. In Cuz’s case, he turned down a prior scholarship offer at UAB b/c the school would not give him the out clause if the coach left, so it was obviously a deal breaker for him. I think folks should remember that, especially in Cuz’s case, he would not have signed with Memphis but for the permission to follow Cal away from Memphis. Perhaps that is true of Dodson as well, though there is no history to support that like with Cuz.

    The “unprofessionalism” is not nearly so easy when the whole facts are put out there. I’m sure Lute knows them, however, is this is just him backing up his former assistant much like John defends Tipton from the bashers here (both the rational and the irrational bashings :).

  3. Ironic says:

    But it was OK for Lute back in the day to use Kentucky coaching offers as leverage for some hefty raises.

  4. grant says:

    Uhm, They did not want to play for pastner , is that not good enough. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, including senile lute , and myself. So heres mine. Lute , arizona is under self a imposed penalty that happened on your watch. Mind your own business. If the players did not want to stay then too bad, uk does not exist to please lute. I want to say another thing, calipari has really taken some shots over his career, whether warranted or not i don’t know, however since he’s been at uk its has doubled and i think he has handled it with extreme class and i appreciate that. Its open season on uk and calipari and i am getting sick of it. Calipari has operated with class in my opinion.

  5. willdcat1 says:

    Lute is entitled to his opinion; its not cool to criticize him as a windower. Will just say, there were plenty of questions about Lute and how he ran his program, but they were mostly dropped after his wife died of cancer.

  6. grant says:

    wildcat 1 you need to look in the dictionary as to what senile means. your the only one who brought up anything about his wife. by the way , its widower not windower.

  7. [...] » Lute Olson calls John Calipari act “unprofessional” John Clay’s Sidelines – view page – cached In an interview with Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman, former Arizona coach Lute Olson, while defending his former assistant Josh Pastner, takes a shot at UK coach John Calipari. [...]

  8. Conquistador says:

    Lute is a little late in coming to the table with this. If he was going to say anything, it would have been a little more pertinent 18 months ago. it looks like he may be trying to deflect any heat which may have come on Pastner after his current team’s fall from grace earlier in the season.

  9. steve says:

    And so WHO gives a hoot what LOOT Olsen says about anything.

  10. Mdbran says:

    The next time I care what Lute Olson thinks will be the first.

  11. [...] Brandon Knight the great shooter and Brandon Knight the Wildcat point guard and distributor.5.  Lute Olson says it was “very unprofessional” for John Calipari to take DeMarcus Cousins and Darnell Dodson with him from Memphis to Kentucky [...]

  12. Mark Liptak says:

    Two players. Wow that will make or break a program! LOL.

    And in reality one of those two players weren’t very good.

    Really don’t understand Lute’s comment or his reason for stating it.

    Mark Liptak

  13. kybasser says:

    OK, so Lute thinks Coach Cal is unprofessional? Lute who left AZ basketball in pieces, right? With self imposed punishments in an attempt to escape the ncaa’s punishment for his breaking rules. Then to call Pastner his protege… really? It appears to me that Pastner got the head coaching job after learning the right way to do things from Coach Cal, otherwise he would never have been Coach Cal’s assistant and would have already been a head coach after old Lute taught him everything.

    See, as my wife likes to say, no matter how thin the pancake, there are still two sides to it!!!! Yeah, I know she got that from someone on TV, but I hear it from her, not the TV personality!!!!

    Go CATS!!!!!!!

  14. Hummer says:

    On the subject of people suffering loss being criticized (just my personal rule): if the subject of comment is related to the loss, they get some consideration for a while given the personal nature of the loss. The more the comments have to do with public policy, however, the less consideration they get after a while. As a general rule, people who suffer peronsal loss are often useful in understanding some problems, but they are usually the worst guides for good public policy on the issues.

    If the subject of comment is unrelated to the personal loss, then you are open to any fair criticism on the subject.

    Coach Cal and Coach Paster have nothing to do with Coach Olson’s personal loss. Thus, if Coach Olson wishes to speak on a subject unrelated to his personal loss, he is subject to having –his comments– fairly criticized without restraint.

  15. Tom says:

    Olson has a right to state what he thinks of Calipari’s move. And we all know that Dotson and Cousins came to Kentucky to matriculate and Cal being there had nothing to do with their decision. They wanted an education and didn’t Cuz say about the Cornell game, “it ain’t no spelling bee”? We use to brag about how many players we graduated. I don’t think we’ll have to meet that quota now.
    No, we aren’t going to say Cal is out for himself and his NBA placements. That would be wrong. And when he said he would rather put players in the NBA over winning championships, we all understood his position didn’t we?
    I see now he wants to do away with summer recruiting. Were is WWW hiding now?

  16. Alex says:

    After the way he handled his last couple of year at Arizona, Lute lost the right to call another coach unprofessional.

  17. Hummer says:

    If I ran a business school and could put my students into high paying executive jobs prior to graduation, I would consider my job well done. If I taught musicians and put them in successful careers recording music or performing for symphonies, etc., all prior to their getting a music diploma, I would consider myself a great teacher doing a good job. I honestly don’t think getting the diploma is the most important job of UK when it comes to its basketball program. If the player can make a living at basketball prior graduation, there is no shame in that player not graduating in 4 years. Most Liberal Arts majors will not make his first year’s income in their first 10 years after graduation.