Why did John Calipari not shake hands with Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse after UK win

John Calipari is trying to risk as little exposure as possible to COVID and that means no postgame handshakes or in-person press conferences. (Vicky Graff Photo)

After Kentucky’s 77-70 victory over Vanderbilt Wednesday coaches John Calipari and Jerry Stackhouse did not shake hands. Both coaches picked up a technical foul during the “rock fight” that produced 42 fouls and 58 free throws because of the physical play.

So why didn’t the coaches shake hands? Was it something that happened during the game?

“No, no. What happened, I’m looking around the country, and many coaches are just doing what they do in the NBA, which I did. I acknowledged him,” Calipari said.

Calipari said he got worried after UK played Kansas Saturday and a Kansas player who played in the game later tested positive for COVID.

“Basically he played with COVID,” Calipari said. “Now I’m saying, I’m not sure we should shake hands. Give us another two weeks. The stuff we’re doing with you (in the media), Zooming, it’s perfect. I don’t need to be in everybody’s company.

“It’s the same thing with, I think, South Carolina and Mississippi State. I saw those two coaches – great guys, both of them – they gave the peace sign and left. They told the team that we don’t need that right now. But no, that was nothing.”

Kentucky junior Keion Brooks, who had 20 points against Vanderbilt, said he understands the health concerns but insisted UK has the “right people” looking out for the players.

“They take it off our plate so we can just go out there and play basketball,” Brooks said.  “We’re really locked in on practicing, watching film, getting better every day. And then, when stuff like that comes we’ll deal with it then.”

10 Responses

  1. Ok ..well..the coaches are being exposed by virtue of the players intermingling on the floor and back to the bench.. Sorry love you Cal but not buying it.

  2. I wouldn’t shake Stackhouse hands either after what he tried to pulled. Cal can sayl all he wants the reason behind it and the thing. IsI hope SEC doesn’t tolerate this again or there could be some real issues on the floor.

  3. If anyone noticed, their handshake after the game in Nashville was weird IMO, and showed that there was no love lost between these two "heavy hitters." Body language says volumes. Cal seems "eat up" with political correctness. Very physical game without shoulder pads, I’ll take the win though and move on. UK got the last laugh Jerry.

  4. Cal has seen what Covid can do to his system. I don’t blame him for doing everything he can to minimize exposure. Let’s not blow this thing out of proportion.

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