Some of Kentucky Coach John Calipari's remarks at the annual UK Tipoff Luncheon in Louisville will likely ruffle a few Cardinal feathers. Coach Cal told the 800 or so attendees at a downtown hotel there's no question where the basketball capital of the state is located.
Creation of a Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in Elizabethtown took a pivotal step Monday. Elizabethtown City Council entered a memorandum of understanding with the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches, outlining the roles and responsibilities of both parties in creating the hall of fame. The city under the agreement will loan the KABC $25,000 that would be matched by the organization as seed money to start the project.
The University of Louisville football team is on the road this weekend at North Carolina. The Tarheels are off to a 4-1 start. U of L is 2-2 after last week’s home loss to Marshall, a defeat that Coach Charlie Strong called “unacceptable.” “We’ll just see where we are,” Strong said this week. “We’ll see if we can bounce back from losing here to going on the road. It’s really going to see what the character of the football team is and just exactly what we’re made of.”
Thousands of race fans are brushing up on their handicapping and flipping through the Daily Racing Form for an October tradition in Lexington: the fall meet at Keeneland. Nine graded stakes races are slated for this weekend, including the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile and the Dixiana Breeder's Futurity.
If boos rain down on him in Rupp Arena later this month, former Duke All-American Christian Laettner will not ask for an umbrella. He's more likely to look upward, stretch out his arms and welcome the drenching. "I miss that," Laettner said Thursday of his role as villain in an upcoming charity game. "I'm 42. I'm getting that less and less. When you retire from the NBA, you don't get the yelling and booing as much."
Rupp Arena is about to host another NBA-caliber exhibition game. Former UK great Jeff Sheppard on Thursday announced details of a Big Blue All-Stars versus the Villains basketball contest for Monday night October 24th. The Villains, a squad of professional players who once competed against UK will be coached by none other than former Duke dagger-thrower Christian Laettner.
Every day, Andrew Rogers has to remind himself he’s not dreaming when he awakes. “Sometimes I sit back and think, ‘Am I really here or really there?’” he said. “It’s just so much fun.” The George Rogers Clark graduate serves as a manager for former University of Kentucky standout and Sacramento Kings standout DeMarcus Cousins and making sure his schedule is intact and performing other pertinent duties.
Dozens of diehard Kentucky Wildcat fans have already taken up temporary residence outside Memorial Coliseum for Big Blue Madness tickets. Glen Mathis of Northern Kentucky is one of the many perennial campers. "We've got tents and sleeping bags, a cooler with some drinks, cornhole boards and cornhole bags. We just plan to have a good time", he said.
The Oak Grove Outlaws is developing into a real, live team, now that it has adopted a name and has begun to bring in players to work out in the off-season. The team will be a member of the Gridiron Developmental Football League. Thus far, the roster consists of 15 to 20 players from the area — some soldiers, some former players — willing to participate in semi-pro ball. The season begins in June 2012.
The University of Kentucky football team returns to action tomorrow night, hosting 15th ranked Florida. UK has lost 24 straight to the Gators. Wildcats coach Joker Phillips doesn’t believe his team needs to play a perfect game to break the streak.
Coach Cal was in South America with the Dominican Republic team when he got a text message that a Central Kentucky farm was mapping his face into a 10-acre corn maze. “My first reaction was, ‘Is my nose really that big?’” Calipari recalls. The University of Kentucky basketball coach’s response made corn maze designer Jack Lane a little nervous.
FRANKFORT – Enforcement officials from Kentucky’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted a concentrated enforcement effort in areas adjacent to the campus of University of Kentucky on Saturday during the University of Kentucky vs. University of Louisville football game.
The University of Kentucky men’s basketball program has released additional televised non-conference games for the 2011-12 season, including the annual Blue-White scrimmage and both exhibition games. CBS Sports will televise five games, adding the North Carolina (Dec. 3) and Louisville (Dec. 31) games to the three UK conference games announced earlier.
The annual battle for the Governor’s Cup is tomorrow night in Lexington as U of L and UK square off for football bragging rights. Second year coach Charlie Strong’s Cardinals are coming off a home loss to Florida International, a defeat he calls frustrating and disappointing.
A new website is now online for Lexington's proposed Rupp Arena, Arts, and Entertainment District. The city launched RuppDistrict.com Thursday. It has details of the arena task force appointed by Mayor Jim Gray to investigate whether the home of UK basketball should be renovated or replaced.
An offshoot of the Kentucky Coal Association will be the "signature sponsor" of the University of Kentucky-University of Louisville football game on Saturday. Friends of Coal has paid $85,000 to sponsor three athletic events this year, Kentucky Coal Association president Bill Bissett said. However, coal has turned into a highly controversial issue at UK. In addition to protests from students and professors, author Wendell Berry pulled his papers from the UK library system.
A divided University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Tuesday narrowly approved hiring Kirby Willoughby, the daughter of UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, as a graduate assistant in the athletics department. The trustees voted by voice, and no individual votes were counted. When reporters polled trustees as they left the meeting, eight of the 19 who were present said they voted against the hire. Trustees James Stuckert, Pamela May and Sheila Brothers would not say how they voted.
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees will be asked Tuesday to approve a graduate assistant job in the athletics department for Kirby Willoughby, the daughter of UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. UK has an anti-nepotism policy that says no relatives of its administrative leadership team can be employed in a position within the officer's administrative area. However, the director of athletics is not among the positions specifically listed in the policy, which covers the provost, associate provosts, executive vice presidents, vice presidents and associate vice presidents.
Longtime prominent Kentucky sportswriter Billy Reed told University of Kentucky journalism students Monday that UK Athletics did a disservice to the university's mission in recently revoking the student newspaper's access to an invitation-only media event. The panel discussion that also included editors from the student newspaper was to include UK Athletics spokesman DeWayne Peevy, whose actions were at the center of the controversy that has drawn attention from national journalism groups. However, Peevy on Friday canceled his commitment to appear because UK Athletics was holding its weekly football news conference Monday.
The Kentucky Wildcats defeated Central Michigan 27-13 Saturday in their college football season home opener. The Wildcats trailed 13-6 at halftime but sprang to life with three second-half touchdowns, including an 87 yard run by freshman running back Josh Clemons. Kentucky returns to action against U of L Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.
Turfway Park begins its Fall Meet today with reasons to be optimistic about its future. Turfway bucked a national trend with its 2011 Winter/Spring meet which experienced a 6.3 percent increase to on-track handle and a 3.3 percent bump in all-sources wagering. Instant Racing, a slot-machine-style wagering machine based on pari-mutuel wagering, was introduced in the state for the first time at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 2. Turfway Park will wait until outstanding court challenges are resolved before installing the new machines, but they would provide a new revenue source for the racetrack.
The decision of whether to renovate Rupp Arena or build a new home for the Kentucky Wildcats is still far off, but members of the arena task force heard some initial thoughts today from the recently-chosen master planner. Gary Bates of the architecture firm Space Group is familiar with downtown Lexington. He once taught at UK’s College of Design. At today’s meeting of the Arena, Arts and Entertainment District Task Force, Bates said preserving Rupp Arena’s atmosphere is a top priority.
Coaches at the collegiate level have responsibilities that extend beyond instructing players on the x’s and o’s of their specific sport. Coaches are asked to help mold and shape the character of team members. Eastern Kentucky University football coach Dean Hood admits that comes with challenges.
The Kentucky Wildcats opened their 2011 football season with a 14-3 victory over Western Kentucky last night in Nashville. UK notched the win despite struggling offensively for most of the game. Meanwhile, the University of Louisville Cardinals defeated Murray State 21-9 tonight in the football season opener for both teams.
The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels head west to take on a different breed of Wildcat Saturday. Eastern goes up against Big-12 foe Kansas State Saturday night. Kansas State was eight and six last year, beating the likes of UCLA and Texas. EKU finished last season with four straight wins. So, Colonel coach Dean Hood says a ‘huge upset’ is always ‘in play’.
Today, and even the next few weeks, won’t be the measure of success for instant racing at Kentucky Downs, which launched today. It could be a month or more before track officials have a handle on how much interest is generated by the $3 million investment Kentucky Downs made in its facility, according to President Corey Johnsen. With just 200 instant racing terminals and a capacity of about 1,000 people on the first floor of the facility, Johnsen doesn’t want Kentucky Downs to be overrun with patrons until employees have had time to make sure everything is operating smoothly.
In life, Hall of Fame thoroughbred Noor always seemed to play second fiddle to Seabiscuit, both owned by Charles Howard. But Noor finished ahead of Seabiscuit on Tuesday, becoming the first Hall of Fame racehorse to be re-interred at a special memorial garden set up at Old Friends thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown.
The University of Louisville Cards open their 2011 football season this evening, hosting Murray State. Second-year coach Charlie Strong says this is a young team, but he’s pleased with how the more experienced players have stepped forward in practice.
The University of Kentucky Athletic Department is again at odds with the school’s newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. A Kernel reporter called two walk-on basketball players to confirm they were joining the team. Afterward, he reportedly sought further comment, which UK officials say violates the school media guide. It says all requests for comments from players should go through the school’s public relations staff to prevent players from being bombarded by questions.
As a western Kentucky horse track prepares to implement instant racing Thursday, a conservative policy group is announcing its latest attempt to stop the effort. The Family Foundation says Kentucky Downs is violating the state's gambling law by moving forward with instant racing, which allows players to bet on previously run horse races using a video terminal that looks like a slot machine.