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Kentucky should have agreed to Monday night game




 

 

Paul “Bear” Bryant, who was voted the greatest college football coach of all time, was on record as saying that he would agree to a 3 a.m. kickoff if that’s when TV wanted him to play.

But what did the Bear know about college football and TV? It turns out that the director of athletics at the University of Kentucky knows everything about the two subjects, college football and TV.

Yes, more than what’s his name at the University of Louisville. You know, Tom Jurich. All he has going for him is that he was selected at the best A.D. in all of the college athletic world.

What’s a contract?

Jurich and his UK counterparts have a contract that says the schools will alternate with the right to choose the game date. After playing the third game of the season in Lexington last year, that gave U of L the right to choose the date this coming season. Naturally, U of L set the game for the first week. Because ESPN (not ESPN Classic or any of the other little ESPNs) wanted the game to be played in the National Football League’s Monday Night Football spot, Jurich agreed. Anything is better than Classic, which did last year’s game.

Not so fast, my little brother, said the UK A.D.

Well, now that I know his reasoning, I don’t blame him.

It turns out that UK’s second opponent is mighty Norfolk State.

“That would put us in a situation where we’d have a short week of preparation,” said the UK A.D. “We’d have to take a day off after the (Louisville) game while our opponent would be preparing for us. That would give us basically a day and a half to get ready, and I just don’t think that’s fair.”

Norfolk plays football?

Tears came to my eyes when I typed those words.

No, not because of when the game will be played, but because I guess UK obviously is going to have a terrible season after two consecutive bowl victories. It’s denigrating the Wildcats to say that missing a day of practice could put them in jeopardy against Norfolk State.

Truthfully, I didn’t know Norfolk State played football. Did you?

U of L plays Tennessee Tech after being host to UK, and then Kansas State and Big East Conference rival Connecticut.

U of L will wind up its season with six consecutive Big East games: South Florida, at Syracuse, at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, West Virginia, and at Rutgers.

U of L’s Kansas State game has been switched to Wednesday night to avoid a conflict with the Ryder Cup at Valhalla that weekend. ESPN2 will televise the game.

Copper John, Doodle Another stellar class will be inducted into the Dawahares- Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame on April 12 in Lexington.

One of our most famous basketball coaches, Copper John Campbell, along with one of our most colorful players, Charles “Doodle” Floyd, and a current Major League Baseball player, Brad Wilkerson, are included.

Other inductees: Ervin Stepp, Joe Carr Jr., Gene Hilen, Grant Talbott, Gloria Compton, E.G. Plummer, Nancy Crutcher Martin, Skipper Rankin and Rozella Young.

Copper John had the pleasure of coaching King Kelly Coleman at Wayland. Howard Crittenden and Doodle Floyd teamed up to lead little Cuba to the 1952 state basketball championship at Memorial Coliseum. With Floyd scoring 20 points and Crittenden 12, the Cubs beat Manual 58-52 in the final after nipping Hindman 44-41 in the semifinals.

Wilkerson, an outfielder, is a product of Apollo High in Owensboro.

Tickets are $50 each and must be ordered by March 14 from the KHSAA, 2280 Executive Drive, Lexington, KY 40505.

The banquet will be held at the Bluegrass Grand Ballroom, Lexington Center. A reception will start at 5:30 p.m. with the banquet at 6 p.m.

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