One of the key concerns going into the name, image and likeness era in college sports was the potential distraction that comes with setting up endorsement deals and fulfilling contractual obligations with time-consuming events and opportunities on the side rather than focusing on practice and training.
After NIL restrictions were lifted on July 1, though, Kentucky head coach John Calipari says things couldn’t be going better in Lexington. In fact, the 62-year-old head coach says the team is having “some of (its) best practices” since he first arrived at UK back in 2009.
“Really proud of our guys for how they’ve handled all that’s been thrown at them in this #BBNIL era,” Calipari said on Twitter. “It’s a great opportunity for them but also an added responsibility, and they’ve done all the right things while having some of our best practices since I’ve been the coach here.”
Calipari also thanked the fans for their support of the players, adding that Big Blue Nation is what “separates us from every other program” in college basketball. In the end, that support is only going to help UK on the recruiting trail, as the engagement allows for greater NIL opportunities and builds the program’s brand even further.
“We have the best fans, the most engaged fans and the most connected fans, which separates us from every other program,” said Calipari. “You people are crazy and I love it! You follow these kids on every platform and give our kids an opportunity because of how engaged you are with them. Thank you for being the difference over the years and keep following them!”
Really proud of our guys for how they’ve handled all that’s been thrown at them in this #BBNIL era. It’s a great opportunity for them but also an added responsibility, and they’ve done all the right things while having some of our best practices since I’ve been the coach here.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) July 6, 2021
Some of the best practices since Calipari first arrived in Lexington? Sounds promising if you ask me.
Speaking of practice, former Kentucky forward Reid Travis stopped in on Tuesday and talked to the team, telling the players they will “get out of this what (they) put into it.”
“(Reid Travis) stopped in practice today and he is in unbelievable shape,” said Calipari. “He’s working to put himself in a position to get into the NBA and I told him if I can help in any way, I’m there for him!
“Reid also talked to the team after practice and told them, “You get out of this what you put into it.” He talked to them about how much he and (Immanuel Quickley), (PJ Washington), Keldon (Johnson), (Tyler Herro), etc. were in the gym together!”
First Tyler Ulis, then Darius Miller, and now Reid Travis? Busy times in the Joe Craft Center this summer.