Julian Tackett’s 26 years on-thejob training paid off last week. The 49-year-old becomes the state’s seventh KHSAA Commissioner.
Man who devotes himself to one organization and is around for quarter century-plus, has earned his shot.
Recognized as a communicator and KHSAA voice to media already, Tackett has been a front foxhole man and knows complexities of prickly issues — public-versusprivate schools competition, to recruiting, to district re-alignments and Title IX . Best among his acceptance remarks:
1. “We’re not going to be afraid to try something new.”
2. “In the past we’ve sometimes relied on waiting until something became an issue to deal with it. We’ve got to get out there first and make sure people understand on what we intend on doing…”
3. “I will be my own man.”
A ringing endorsement for Tackett came from Ken Cox, longtime athletics administrator in Fayette and now Jessamine County, who served two terms on the board of control.
“Julian’s an excellent choice. On the board of control I appreciated his insights and how he presented issues for board consideration.”
Cox and Tackett officiated KIAC, Mid-South and Great Lakes Valley basketball games together. “When you ride to and from games with a fellow you learn his priorities and Julian’s have always been a positive voice for studentathletes. He’s in a position now to showcase his leadership.”
UK Board Squeezes Goose Again
The University of Kentucky Athletics Association Board put a squeeze on its golden-goose again last week, rubberstamping a ticket price hike proposal for football games. Single game prices increase $6, and the season-ticket package goes up $37 this year.
K-Fund contribution requirements — ‘eligibility’ to buy priority seats, (political correctness for legalized extortion), could add $3 million to UK coff ers a year. The extra money well help stem tide of tuition hikes, right? Improve campus facilities? Or, create pay increases for faculty and staff , right?
Wrong. K-Fund monies belong to University of Kentucky-at-Euclid and go toward funding a new downtown basketball arena, Commonwealth Stadium upgrades, and a new baseball park.
Readers (Right) Write
University of Kentucky has raised tickets prices to football games …
B in Lexington: “Let’s see. Economy is still pitiful. Kentucky has it highest unemployment in history. But, Lee Todd, Mitch Barnhart and UK powers-that-be have raised tuition prices and football ticket prices. Basketball ticket prices will probably be raised by July 1, in time for the next in-coming one-and dones.
SEC administrators sent Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury a message last week — send money! $30,000.
State’s coach blew a gasket following the SEC Tournament, criticizing game officials after Kentucky’s comeback overtime win over the Bulldogs. Two weeks earlier State blew a lead and lost to UK in overtime in Starkville. And yes, Kentucky got friendly calls or no calls in each.
Operative word here is lost, and, based on SEC rules on not berating officials, Stansbury earned his fine. However, in both UK games Mississippi State had lead enough at the end to prevent a referee’s whilstle, swallowed or not, from deciding the outcome. Bulldogs played into range for officials call or not call, and lost.
And so it goes. You may reach Bob Watkins at Sprtsinky@aol.com.