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Coach Cal, UK Athletics welcome students back to campus

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For most, the first day of school is something to be dreaded. It marks the end of summer vacation and the beginning of nearly 200 days in a classroom.

Some students feel that way, but we at UK Athletics do not. The arrival of students back on campus for the fall semester injects Lexington with energy and, more importantly for us, it means the beginning of another athletic year.

John Calipari passed that message along to students at Big Blue U on Saturday night and is doing so again on Wednesday with a letter to students on both his website and President Eli Capilouto's blog. Here's part of what he had to say:

A new year opens the door for new opportunities, new goals to achieve and new barriers to break. For those of you returning to UK for your second, third or fourth year, let's not rest on the success of 2011-12. Let's all dream bigger. For those of you joining the Wildcat family, push us to become ever greater.

You are all a part of something greater than yourself. UK just isn't an institution in Lexington - it's the UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY. You have probably heard me talk about our basketball team being the Commonwealth's Team. That's exactly what this university is - it's the Commonwealth's University. We move the needle in the state. Our state - our country - looks to you to lead us into tomorrow.

I often tell our fans that we are trying to become the gold standard of college basketball. It's time we start thinking of that as a university. Let's become not only the premier institution in our state and in our region, let's become one of the best universities in the country. With your help, your bright ideas, your vision and hard work, I believe we can get there together. See Blue, Big Blue Nation, and good luck on another fantastic year at the University of Kentucky. I can't wait to get started.

Go to or President Capilouto's blog to read the full message and to watch Calipari talk to the freshmen at Big Blue U.

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