Kentucky AD Statement Has Glaring Non-Denial

Today Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart released a statement responding to my report last night that he would soon be interviewing for the Kansas Athletic Director position.

Mitch Barnhart Kentucky Athletic Director To Interview With Kansas

(Get the UK fan reax to Barnhart’s statement)

Barnhart’s complete statement from the UK official site:

“Being a Kansas native with family in the area, having gone to Ottawa University in Kansas and my wife, Connie being a Kansas alum, I have many ties to the state. We have received calls from friends and supporters of the university about the athletic director position at Kansas. I have not been formally contacted by the University of Kansas. I am 100 percent focused on UK Athletics.

“We have made progress in many areas over the last eight years, but we need to provide our coaches and student-athletes with the facilities to compete at the highest level.

“We have initiated the process of building a new track and are now focused on how we can upgrade Commonwealth Stadium and our football facilities. Our 22 sports receive unbelievable support from the Big Blue Nation and our fans deserve championship level success across the board.”

The two lines that matter:

I have not been formally contacted by the University of Kansas. I am 100 percent focused on UK Athletics.

Does that look like a denial to you? (Somebody tell Mitch he’s not the football coach at Alabama.) Read more…

Kentucky’s Barnhart ‘Finalist’ For Kansas AD Job

Two SEC school administration sources have told me in the past 48 hours that University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart will interview for the Kansas University Athletic Director position in early December.

Mitch Barnhart Kentucky Athletic Director To Interview With Kansas

(Landing KU gig would likely mean bump in pay for UK’s Barnhart)

Joining Barnhart as a finalist for the position is current Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham. Cunningham will also interview with Kansas for the job next month, which was recently vacated by the retirement of Lew Perkins.

I’ve been told Barnhart and Cunningham are two of three finalists targeted by the six-member Kansas AD search panel, which is chaired by the managing partner of Pegasus Capital Management, Ray Evans.

As it pertains to Barnhart, I’ve been told there are three main factors fueling the interest of Kansas officials in the current UK AD. Read more…