ESPN Hoops Analyst: Knight “Owes an Apology”

This past Saturday at a speaking engagement in Indiana, Bob Knight said that the starters on Kentucky’s 2010 NCAA basketball tournament team “had not been to class that semester.”

Jay Williams: Bob Knight owes Kentucky fans an apology for false statement about the program

(Audio of Williams’ comments on KentuckySportsRadio.com below)

Speaking to a group in Wabash, Indiana, Knight’s remarks were captured on video:


Knight’s exact quote was:

“Kentucky year before last started five players in the NCAA tournament that had not been to class that semester. That’s that one and none philosophy.”

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart released a statement Monday night that reported Knight’s comment about the 2010 UK hoops team to be “blatantly erroneous.


Tuesday ESPN college basketball analyst and former Duke basketball star Jay Williams appeared on KentuckySportsRadio.com to address Knight’s comments about Kentucky. After being read exactly what Knight said about the UK NCAA tournament team in question by show host Matt Jones, Williams said, in part:

He (Knight) does owe Kentucky an apology for that (statement) because those are accusations which are wrong.

Williams was later asked by Jones, “Do you believe ESPN as an entity, with Bobby Knight as an employee, should make a statement or address this in some way?Read more…

UK AD: Knight Made False Statement About Team

Monday Brandon Fisher of WKYT-TV in Lexington, Kentucky, reported that last Saturday while speaking to a group in Wabash, Indiana, ESPN college basketball analyst Bob Knight said that the five starters on the Kentucky 2010 NCAA tournament team did not attend a single class that semester.

Knight:

“Kentucky year before last started five players in the NCAA tournament that had not been to class that semester. That’s that one and none philosophy.”

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart released a statement Monday night that reported Knight’s comment about the 2010 UK hoops team to be “blatantly erroneous“:

“The University of Kentucky, our student-athletes and their families take great offense to the blatantly erroneous comments made by Bob Knight that ‘Kentucky, year before last, started five players in the NCAA Tournament games that had not been to class that semester,’ ”UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Academic performance has always been a priority at UK and it’s unfortunate that, although every starter from the 2010 season finished the spring semester in good academic standing, these myths exist. Our men’s basketball team’s APR score reflects our attention to academic progress and our student-athletes take great pride in representing the University of Kentucky on and off the floor.”

Patrick Patterson, who played on the 2010 Kentucky team Knight referenced, responded to ESPN analyst’s false claim on Twitter:

Ha I’m not even gonna comment on such #bullsh– (excuse my French) think me graduating & teammates GPA’s speak for themselves.. don’t u?

Read more…

KU Rules Out Barnhart; Targets 2 New Candidates

Two weeks ago I reported that current Univ. of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham were getting heavy consideration for the vacant Kansas Athletic Director position.

Mitch Barnhart Kentucky Athletic Director To Interview With Kansas

(No interview? Thank you come again)

After my report, Barnhart released a statement that included, “I have not been formally contacted by the University of Kansas. I am 100 percent focused on UK Athletics.”

From what I was told today by a source, Barnhart won’t have to worry about Kansas distracting him any longer.

Because of my report, Barnhart subsequently communicated to those associated with the search for the new Kansas AD that he was still interested in the job, but that he couldn’t interview in order to keep up appearances in Lexington.

In other words, if KU wanted Barnhart, it would have to hire him without an interview.

That didn’t go over so well in Lawrence, so Barnhart is no longer a candidate for the job.

That leaves current Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham as the leading candidate for the job.

I’ve also been told of two other candidates that Kansas now is targeting for the job: Read more…

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…

Fired Billy Gillispie Isn’t Leaving Lexington Quietly

A couple of months ago, we theorized that the whole Billy Gillispie contract dispute had had all the makings of an ugly showdown, but that both parties might want to keep the dispute out of the public eye (especially Gillispie, who I assume wants to coach again). Well, that ain’t happening.

Billy Gillispie

Gillipsie has sued UK for the $6 million he says he’s owed under the terms of the “memorandum of (mis)understanding” he signed in 2007. The university, not merely content to defend itself against Billy’s lawsuit, has countersued Gillispie for being a giant d-bag. Unfortunately for UK, though, it looks like Gillispie might have the law on his side.

Read more…