Kentucky Basketball Boosters Donate $4M in NIL Money Following Mark Pope Hire

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The University of Kentucky's hiring of Mark Pope as the school's new head basketball coach has not gone unnoticed by supporters of the program, with Kentucky Sports Radio reporting that two boosters have combined to donate $4 million to the Wildcat's NIL efforts this offseason. 

The donations come after longtime head coach John Calipari left for Arkansas, following the Wildcats' disappointing loss in the first round of this year's NCAA tournament to 14th-seeded Oakland.

ESPN's Pete Thamel and Jeff Borzello reported Thursday night that Kentucky was nearing a five-year deal with BYU head coach Mark Pope to make him the Wildcats' next head coach.

On Sunday, Pope was announced as the new head coach of UK's basketball program at a press conference. 

Pope took the occasion to reference his roots as a former UK player. 

"I’m about to break tradition," Pope said. "At every one of these press conferences the coach comes up and stands there with the AD and takes a picture with a jersey that they made that ends up in a closet somewhere. We’re not doing that. (Cheers). (Cheers).

"Hey, this jersey comes from a hallowed place in my home because it is a jersey I got to wear with my teammates and all of Kentucky nations in the national championship games in the Meadowlands of New York. And that’s not just a jersey that will go in the closet. It is a jersey that has blood, sweat, and tears and love and it is all of us together."


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