How many dollars does it take to send Kentucky's men's basketball team to a tournament in the Bahamas?

About 800,000 of them, it turns out.

According to information obtained through an open-records request from The Courier-Journal, Kentucky racked up nearly $800,000 in expenses for a spring trip to the popular island destination.


Some of the line items uncovered are particularly shocking in the context of amateur sports.

For example, coach John Calipari was put up in a $1,550 per night luxury suite. Kentucky defended the cost, saying the suite was also used as a meeting space for the team.

A large portion of those expenses were attributed to Kentucky paying for the lodging and food for national teams from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, as well as a French professional team. The school insisted those expenses were necessary to keep the tournament as a viable option.

"I needed professional-level teams," Calipari said earlier this season, according to The Courier-Journal. "I needed men. I needed experienced, physical guys that knew how to play. That's what this team needed, which is different. That's why most teams don't do what we've just done."

However, not every expense was as defensible. The school also spent $24,000 to fund a reception for the teams involved. Part of those funds went to an open bar made available to the college teams.

There's no proof the players drank at the reception, but scenarios are in play here. After all, the legal drinking age in the Bahamas is just 18.

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