For the first time, Eastern Kentucky University and Purdue meet this Saturday on the football field. In other opening games recently, the Colonels have caused a few anxious moments for their opponents. EKU has fallen short in two of the last three years to teams, which were on paper, stronger. In 2009, Eastern lost to Indiana in Bloomington. Last year, in a real nail biter, the Colonels fell to Kansas State by three points. Eastern Coach Dean Hood says it’s important for his players to stay grounded
A new book about Kentucky’s minor league baseball teams is out. Written by journalist Katya Cengel, “Bluegrass Baseball” (University of Nebraska Press) is an intimate look inside the 2010 baseball season, starring Kentucky’s minor league teams: the Lexington Legends, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Florence Freedom and the Louisville Bats. The book documents the highs and lows of the players, groundskeepers, managers and fans of the game’s smaller outfits.
The Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats open their football seasons against each other next weekend. UK and UL will battle for the Governor’s Cup Sunday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Coach Charlie Strong’s Cardinals are coming off two consecutive bowl appearances and were the Big East co-champions last season.
A reunion offers a time for reflection. Over the weekend, Americans who played basketball during the 1972 Olympics had that opportunity. They came to central Kentucky on the 40th anniversary of their controversial loss to a team from the Soviet Union. The Americans also reflected on the changes they’ve seen in the sport since they played the game. From its very beginnings, basketball has seen a lot of change, especially in its style. Mike Bantom, who came to the 1972 Olympic squad from Philadelphia, says in some ways it’s improved.
The 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which lost in a controversial gold medal game to the Soviet Union, is holding a 40-year "Courage in Munich" reunion at Georgetown College this weekend. Former players were introduced at the Lexington Legends game on Thursday night and will participate in free public seminars at Georgetown on Friday to discuss the history and implications of that 1972 game, in which the U.S. refused to accept the silver medal.
Hall of Famer Arnie Risen, known as “Flash” and “Stilts” during his illustrious basketball career, died Aug. 4 in Beechwood, Ohio. Risen, who played basketball at Williamstown High School before playing in the NBA, was 87. He tried out at UK but then played for EKU before transferring to Ohio State where he became an All-American.
Pony and rider are both scrutinized in a national competition this week at the Kentucky Horse Park. The six day US Pony Finals has attracted some 500 ponies of all breeds. In addition to judging ponies on confirmation, handling, and jumping, U-S Equestrian Federation’s Helen Murray says riders are also graded. “So where as in the hunter championship, it was the pony that was being judged, on Sunday in the Pony medal championship, the riders and the kids’ equitation and their riding ability is what’s judged,” said Murray.
The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions card is once again a victim of the Thoroughbred industry’s economic struggle. In order to maintain daily purses, Turfway Park announced Wednesday it will cut all stakes from the fall schedule, including the Kentucky Cup card, when the track opens its 16-day fall race meet beginning Sept. 6.
Churchill Downs officials have announced its $9 million renovation project to create "The Mansion" and will soon offer its preferred guests a chance to enjoy races in luxury. This is how significant the new space will be: The Mansion is pushing the Gold Room--which serves certain VIPs--down to floor two. But, given the Gold Room is expanding as well it’s not such a bad thing.
40 years after one of the most controversial sporting contests in Olympic history, members of the 1972 U-S-A basketball team will re-unite in central Kentucky. The Olympic gold went to the Soviet basketball team in 1972. Some 40 years later, the outcome of the game is still disputed in the United States. At its finish, as the U-S team celebrated what it thought was a victory, the game clock was turned back and there was time for one more play.
A pre-season poll of football coaches names the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels as the favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference this fall. E-K-U last won that honor in 2009l. The Colonels, who have won a record 21 O-V-C titles, received two-thirds of the first-place votes. Jacksonville State finished second, followed by Murray State and Tennessee Tech. Eastern Kentucky last year had a six-and-two record in the OVC. This fall, the Colonels returns 17starters. Ten were named to the 20-12 preseason All-OVC team.