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'We will not be an entitled department,' Barnhart and Stoops address 'basketball school' comments

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Posted at 3:30 PM, Aug 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-14 12:58:59-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — UPDATE: LEX 18's Keith Farmer spoke with Calipari Saturday night after the win over Carleton University. "I said the wrong thing. Mark and I will be fine. We'll get back and talk about it," he said.

ORIGINAL STORY: On Saturday afternoon after practice, UK Football Coach Mark Stoops, Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, and a few players addressed the media.

There has been some tension after Head Basketball Coach John Calipari made a statement Thursday.

"This is a basketball school. It's always been that." That line from Calipari sparked a debate with Coach Stoops.

"Anything I said or do is in defense of our players, our staff, and the fans," Stoops opened with on Saturday morning.

"Believe me. We want to continue to push, but don't demean or distract from the hard work, and the dedication, and the commitment that people have done, to get to this point," Stoops added.

Stoops said that he is very appreciative of the history that basketball has at UK. "I'm proud of it. I love it."

Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart also spoke saying that he had spoken to both coaches about the matter. "I'm glad they are competitive and proud of their programs."

"What occurred this week is not who we are. It is not what we want to be. I have communicated that directly, and we will continue to work our way through that," he said.

"To be clear, we aren't a football school we're not a basketball school. We are both of these and much more. We're a university with an outstanding athletic department," Barnhart added.

Calipari responded via Twitter today as he and the team play in the Bahamas at 6 p.m.

"I was told about comments Mark Stoops made in his press conference. I reached out to Mark Thursday & will try again. Comparing our athletic dept. to others was my bad. I have supported Mark & the football team through good and bad. I will continue to support them & cheer them on," he said.

You can watch the full press conference here.