LEXINGTON – The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team was picked by the media to win its 45th Southeastern Conference championship this season as announced by the SEC on Monday. Each SEC school selected media members that cover their team and additional media from across the nation were selected by the conference office to form the voting panel.
Doctors at Jewish Hospital say injured U of L football player Anthony Conner could be released as early as this week. Conner suffered a broken neck during Friday’s win over Rutgers. A senior cornerback from Houston, Conner missed last season with a knee injury; he had worked his way into a starting job this year.
A couple of Frankfort brothers have been racing go-karts around the south and Midwest since 1993. The Dunns have won numerous races behind the wheel of a go-kart – which has an engine similar to a lawnmower with five horsepower but can reach speeds of more than 100 mph – throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and other states. The brothers have missed Christmas or Thanksgiving almost every year to compete on the track.
For 75 years, the park-like ambiance of the Keeneland race track in Lexington has attracted visitors and horse racing fans from across the globe. The central Kentucky atmosphere also has an effect on horsemen. With the fall meet in full swing, Brenna Angel reports on what keeps trainers and jockeys coming back to Keeneland.
Oversight of athletics at the University of Kentucky would move from the UK Athletics Association to a committee of the UK Board of Trustees under a proposal approved Thursday by a special committee of trustees. That proposal was unanimously approved by the committee, which was created by board Chairman Britt Brockman to study how the university oversees athletics. He formed the committee shortly after former President Lee T. Todd Jr. gave Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart a contract extension and a raise without consulting the Board of Trustees or the UKAA Board.
Georgetown College’s 15-year relationship with the Cincinnati Bengals appears to nearing its end. In an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer posted on the Bengals’ website Friday night, President Mike Brown said the team is considering keeping the training camp closer to home.
Meeting an Indianapolis 500 winner would be an unforgettable experience by itself, but Trey Taylor got to do more than shake Dan Wheldon's hand or ask for an autograph. The spunky 8-year-old from Clifton won a Sept. 30 shopping spree with the 2011 Indy 500 winner at the Macy's in Florence Mall, and a couple days later met with Wheldon at Kentucky Speedway before the IZOD IndyCar Series race. Tears welled in Trey's eyes Sunday when his parents somberly broke the news that Wheldon had been in a serious crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and did not survive.
Kentucky Coach John Calipari took questions for three quarters of an hour Thursday as part of the annual UK Basketball media day. Calipari was asked about a variety of topics ranging from coaching philosophy, leadership amongst the players, and always having a young team; some of whom may only play one season for the Big Blue.
If the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approves -- and there appear to be no reasons it wouldn't -- Ellis Park will reopen for simulcasting on Jan. 1 and stay open year-round as Instant Racing machines are installed early in 2012. The Henderson track also will have no overlap with Churchill Downs for its live race meet, which would encompass 30 race dates from July 1 through Labor Day. Churchill did not ask for the July 4 holiday when it made its presentation to the racing commission in Lexington.
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.