By LARRY VAUGHT
Kenny Payne certainly has plenty of experience as a college basketball recruiter. His success doing that at Oregon is what led Kentucky coach John Calipari to add him to his staff when he came to UK from Memphis.
Now Payne is in his first year as the head coach at Louisville, his alma mater, and he recently said he was surprised by the negative recruiting during a talk at the St. Stephen Baptist Men’s Ministry Prayer Breakfast/
“One of the things that I’ve been surprised about is how many people across the country have interest in us. With that comes something that I wasn’t prepared for and that was the hatred. I wasn’t prepared for universities to say, ‘Louisville’s going on probation, why would you ever go there? to deter these kids from listening and especially from people that I’ve helped in the past,” Payne said in a story shown on WHAS-TV in Louisville. “It’s a lesson for me.”
That was followed by a really interesting quote.
“I hate to say this, my relationships with certain people that have been in my life for 30, 40 years have changed. That hurts me,” Payne said.
He admitted dealing with that daily has not been easy but he did not indicate which coaches or schools he was talking about.
Kentucky and Louisville play in Rupp Arena Dec. 31 at noon.