There are many benefits to being immensely popular among your immensely intense college basketball fan base. Your paycheck, for one. Statewide public adulation, for another. The knowledge that any opinions critical of you will be swiftly met with the full force of Big Blue Internet scorn.
Above all, though, there is the ability to marshal that popularity for a good cause. This week, coach John Calipari will seek to do just that for the second time in his Kentucky tenure. This weekend, Kentucky announced it will host a telethon Wednesday to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the telethon will air 7 to 8 p.m. ET.
In 2010, his first season at Kentucky, Calipari held a telethon for victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Thanks to call-in donations and matching private pledges, "Hoops For Haiti" sent more than $1 million to the ravaged island, and UK got a personal call from none other than President Barack Obama thanking the players for their conscientious contributions.
Here's hoping the second telethon goes nearly as well as the first. In the meantime, if you want to pitch in, you can donate to the Red Cross at redcross.org.