Memphis is doing its best to make a clean break from John Calipari.
It might sound odd, given that Calipari's nine years at the school resulted in its most glorious seasons. The Tigers racked up wins like no other school in NCAA history, dominated Conference USA and came this close to an NCAA title in 2008.
But between the offseason double whammy of Calipari's departure for Kentucky and the NCAA vacating 38 wins and that runner-up finish because of an eligibility mess, a clean break seems smart. And this is as clean as it gets. From the Memphis Commercial-Appeal:
Now, just seven months after the Calipari-Memphis divorce, it's hard to find evidence that he was even here. The Elvis-like poster of him hanging on the wall of the Finch Center has been taken down. The 2009-10 Memphis media guide includes no mention or picture of Calipari outside of the school records.
At Memphis Madness, Calipari's image was excluded from a video montage highlighting every great era in Tiger basketball history. In perhaps an even more poignant statement, the video opened with the words, "Not one player, not one coach, not one season."
To be fair, no school spends much time lauding the coaches who leave for other jobs, particularly in the media guide. That's a space reserved for the new regime and the current season's players. As Mark McGwire might say, why dwell on the past?
And it can't be easy for current coach Josh Pastner, who was a Calipari assistant last season. He knows how important his former boss was to Memphis' ascension the last few years.
But this seems like a smack at Cal, who did his best to promote Memphis and his own brand. Even now, Calipari is a non-stop promoter of Kentucky hoops … but he also does a fine job of touting his own success at the same time.
That's just who Calipari is. And as long as Kentucky is successful under him, it won't matter one bit to Big Blue Nation.
The same goes for Memphis. If the Tigers can win under Pastner, it won't matter one bit how he does it compared to Calipari. Then we can move on from media guide posts and back to games.