Memphis to Send Kentucky a Bill
August 16, 2011
Gil Espy, The College Basketball Enquirer
MEMPHIS, TN -- The University of Memphis announced on Tuesday that it intends on sending an invoice to the athletic department at the University of Kentucky for recruiting costs incurred during the final months of John Calipari’s tenure as Tigers’ head coach.
“After sifting through several hundred pages of account records, expense reports, credit card receipts, and other billable expenses, we’ve determined that Coach Calipari spent an absolutely ridiculous amount of University money recruiting players who ultimately followed him to Kentucky," said Memphis Director of Accounts Receivables Barb O'Hurley.
“The fact that he continued recruiting those very same players after he ditched us is the primary reason why we’re sending Kentucky a bill.”
According to O’Hurley, expenses accumulated during the recruitment of former Kentucky standout DeMarcus Cousins, who at one time was committed to play for Memphis, will prove to be especially costly.
"Coach Calipari himself spent a considerable amount of time and money recruiting that young man,” said O'Hurley. "Three nights in a row, Coach ate at a 5-star restaurant, and our records show that on two of those three nights, he ordered the Surf & Turf.”
“And we're not talking the Sizzler here,” said O’Hurley. “We're talking a Zagat rated, 5-star restaurant…and he's sitting there ordering the filet mignon and lobster every night."
During recruiting trips, according to O’Hurley, Calipari’s penchant for the extravagant extended beyond the dinner table.
“In the summer, during the AAU season, Coach Calipari stayed at the finest hotels,” said O’Hurley. “I won’t name names, but let’s just say he wasn’t holing up at a Holiday Inn Express.”
Calipari, who has compiled an impressive 64-12 mark in his first two seasons as Kentucky’s head coach, including a Final Four appearance last season, was conducting "recruit strategy meetings" at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and was unavailable for comment.