John Calipari talks about Kenny Payne being named in Nike's "Pay To Play" claims

(Photo: NCAA)

LEXINGTON, Ky (WYMT)- After Kentucky Basketball Assistant Coach Kenny Payne was mentioned in connection to Michael Avenatti claims of Nike paying players to attend schools, Head Coach John Calipari broke the silence.

According to Kentucky Sports Radio, this morning at a preseason round-table with reporters, Calipari was asked if he was concerned about Payne’s name coming up in connection to the claims.

“No, no,” Calipari said. “How we’re set up here, you guys know. It is what it is and we go about our business.”

Calipari did say that it didn’t come as a surprise that the program drew so much attention.

“It probably proved that — [Reporter: “Did it bother you at all?”] No, but here’s what it is, what I found out. You put Kentucky in a headline, or you put me in a headline? Oh, you’re getting eyeballs. So, the minute they see a K, ‘BOOM! Which K was it? Is that Kentucky — ah, it’s not Kentucky.’ I mean, it’s what it is, but then somebody called me and said Kenny was in it and I said, ‘What?’. They said, ‘It said his name.’ No, I said, ‘Yeah, it didn’t say his name because they wanted it to be me, so they left his name out and thought it would be me,’ and I was like, I got tents in the front of my house. The media, they set up tent city. Why are you laughing? Because you know it’s true. So, when it became Kenny and you read what it was, something to the effect of, make sure you don’t get — basically, he wanted him to do right, which would have been good, but because it’s us, it’s eyeballs.”