Thursday, February 13, 2014

Video: Chaney threatens, attacks Calipari 20 years on

Once upon a time, the University of Massachusetts and Temple University were led by a pair of equally-driven head coaches. John Calipari led the former, while John Chaney guided the latter.

UMass, in large part due to Calipari being, well, Calipari, provided a recruiting boost and flair to the Minuteman program never seen before. That success became a threat to Temple, which pretty much owned the Atlantic 10 for the better part of a decade before the resurgence out of Amherst.

The Owls dropped the 1993 A-10 final to UMass, a 69-61 defeat in what was in effect a home game for Calipari's team, whose university hosted the conference tournament. The next time the two squads met, it was February 13, 1994, again in Amherst. The home team claimed a 56-55 victory on that Sunday night, the third of six in a row they'd take from their Philadelphia rivals.

In the post-game press conference, all Hell broke loose:

Chaney ended up serving a one-game suspension for his tirade, and made the following official statement to remedy the situation:

"I apologize to coach John Calipari, the students, fans and supporters of both Temple University and the University of Massachusetts, all young persons, and all others who witnessed all or part of this incident," Chaney said. "I let you down."

A day later, with his team in Olean, NY to take on St. Bonaventure, but Chaney in Philadelphia, he let on just how much his own behavior affected and cost him: "It's the first time in my life I've been . . ." he said to the Inquirer, halting as tears welled in his eyes. ''. . . without my team."

Chaney later half-joked that his wife had left him as a result of the blow up, but the humor ended up being lost in the media storm and ramifications that followed. Eleven days later, the two teams hooked up again at McGonigle Hall with UMass winning.

Temple wouldn't beat Massachusetts until the following February, a 72-63 home result. In the ensuing years, both coaches patched up their differences and have joked about the infamous incident. 

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