College basketball fan sends message to John Calipari: ‘Please go to Texas’

 

A college basketball fan’s message to Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari got him into hot water at the Rupp Arena as the Wildcats took on South Carolina.

The man was seated in the lower bowl of the arena and held up a sign that said “Please go to Texas,” as speculation ran rampant that Calipari could be taking the Longhorns job after Chris Beard was fired following a domestic violence arrest.

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Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Jan 10, 2023.
(Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)

The man held up the sign for several minutes in the first half before security came over to talk to him.

Kentucky basketball spokeswoman Deb Moore said the man was given the choice of putting the sign away but refused, and he chose to leave.

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Kentucky’s Sahvir Wheeler, left, receives instruction from head coach John Calipari during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Carolina in Lexington, Kentucky, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
(AP Photo/James Crisp)

South Carolina defeated Kentucky 71-68. It was the first time in 14 years the Gamecocks had won at Rupp Arena, and it gave coach Lamont Paris his first victory over an SEC opponent.

Calipari and Kentucky dropped to 10-6 and 1-3 in the conference.

After Texas fired Beard, 247 Sports reported the school contacted Calipari about its coaching vacancy. Calipari said on his radio show Monday night he has not spoken to Texas and remained focused on his Wildcats team.

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts after a play during the first half in the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rupp Arena on Jan. 10, 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky.
(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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“If you want to get on me, that’s fine,” Calipari said. “I’m the coach. If we weren’t ready to play, then I’ve got to look at me and say, well, what, why, where were we mentally.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.