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Record: 6210 (3/13/2012)



  • I know alot of people are already done with Joker we read it alot. But to be honest i think everyome can see he is bring in a different type of athlete than we have had at UK as a whole.

    Some of us want him to have a chance to build the team like he wants it, with the staff he has in place now. Seems like kids love these coaches, but we keep hearing that some kids won't come because he and his staff may only be here for this yr.

    At the same time we hear Mitch will stand by Joker even after this yr no matter what, cause Joker bleeds Blue and is Mitches man and wants to see him succeed. And that brings me to my question.

    If that is all true and Mitch is going to stand by Joker why not go ahead and give him a contract extension to help him get some of these big time kids that may only go somewhere else because they aren't sure of Jokers future with UK?

    Kinda makes since kinda don't i know. I would like to see what others are thinking.

    Btw I want Joker here I just wish he would show some emotion on the sideline instead of the "deer in the headlights" stare. I want him to succeed he would never leave for a bigger fish so to speak.

  • Please show me where it has been said or
    Mitch has said that he will stand by joker no matter what..

    Further, Mitch's quote that I read was that he explicitly said that he wouldn't say he has "confidence" in joker but that he does think joker is working hard etc. he went on to say that we must show progress on the field this year. I agree 100%. We closed out well last year. But I think we have to be competitive In all of our games this year and make a bowl or be darn close with obvious signs of progress.

  • Hop i have never seen or read a quote from Mitch saying that, didnt mean for it to come off that way sorry.
    I was saying i had read from some fans (lod) that Mitch would stand by joker no matter what thats what i getting at. I guess i could have worded it differently.

  • I will acknowledge that Joker seems be be bringing in more SEC level players. But an extension must be earned with W's and improvement on the field during SEC games. Simple as that. Mitch would be doing the University a huge disservice by extenting Joker before improvement on the field is made, thus increasing his buyout.

    I've got a good feeling about this team. We're going to surprise some folks if we can stay healthy.

  • JOKER, gets IT for this program....

    You're never going to see a "big money" donor suddenly walk up & hand you a check.

    ....Keep bumping up the recruiting.......With the "tiny" budget that you get.......

    KY will pers-o-vere past these "artificial" restrictions........

  • In response to your post...btw, in no way am i ripping you or anything come to that...only giving my opinion here.

    1.) I could easily be wrong, but I've yet to hear one recruit say they didn't or wouldn't choose UK because Joker may or may not be on the hot seat. As i said, maybe that is true...maybe some kids have chose not to commit for that very reason but i have yet to hear any recruit actually say that.

    2. As Hop pointed out, MB has made it very clear that Joker needs to produce this year.

    3.) Finally, Over the course of the season Joker showed more and more fire on the sidelines. Most of the time you do not see Joker on TV. Several games i saw Joker fired up plenty. Yes Joker had those moments early in his position. However, when taking a promotion in most cases there is a transition period and feeling of being overwhelmed. The second half of the year Joker showed plenty of fire.

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  • We've got what we thought we had and that is a coach in training. Mitch still has his plan that started with Coach Brooks. I think he left earlier than was planned. So Mitch set down with Joker and made another plan with steps to improve this program.

    Plan started with we need better recruiting. 1st yr. Replace coaches with better recruiters and develop quality depth.

    2nd yr. Bring in someone to shore up the defense and help Joker lead this team. Minter was hired not only to run this defense but to help Joker gain control of this team.

    3rd yr. If this teams offense does not improve. I look for Sanders to move on. This is just my opinion but Joker is here to implement this plan. I could be surprised and both Joker and Sanders could be gone. If they are then Joker helped UK and someone else will coach Towles and crew. I also wouldn't be surprised if the coach isn't on this staff already.

    I come to this conclusion because I think Mitch has a staff at this moment that he doesn't have to worry about in violations. As when we might run in the gray area with recruiting on the basketball program he has the football program by the books.

    I'm looking for improvement this year whether that produces more wins, I don't know. I do know Joker and Sanders needs a little luck on they're side. If they do Mitch will be right on schedule with his plan.

  • Interesting take. I've read a lot but never heard it put exactly like that.

    But lets be clear about one thing. This basketball program is not doing anything that it shouldn't be doing. Cal has it sewn up. He doesn't even really have to operate in the gray era at this point.

  • I agree, but I meant to put it more like we are under a microscope. Instead of gray I should have said cutting edge. With Cals hire.

  • I've said many times that this program NEEDS Joker to be successful this season. It needs a guy in that spot who loves UK and will be here for the long haul. He's got the young talent in the program right now to be good in the next couple of years. He just has to survive 2012.

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    E-mail: JDRUM@247SPORTS.COM Follow me on Twitter:!/JDrumUK

  • Yeah no question. This could be big momentum year for Joker or a big fail. We'll see and it will ultimately decide his future as well as the short future for UK football. Its gonna be interesting to watch none the less. Its 4th and 13 for Joker this year.

  • As many have said before, go ahead and give him an extension for recruiting purposes, but structure the deal so the buyout is minimal. If he's succesful, he keeps his job and gets paid. If he fails, the buyout will not be an obstacle. Pretty sure Joker would accept those terms given the circumstances.

  • I agree totally with this suggestion by Catmando. At least he can say to a recruit that he has obtained a contract extension throuh 201_, and he intends to stay at UK for his entire coaching career. GO CATS!!!!

  • This!!! There is not another coach in the country that is ALL in for UK. While he has not had the success we would've liked, as fans we need Joker to be successful. This is the only job he wants. Once he turns the program around, he will see it through. UK football needs that.

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    "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." ~ Emerson

  • I agree with everything you say but one thing I would like to add is kids today aren't the same as kids 10-15 years ago. Maybe 1% of the kids today would come out and say "I'm not going there, their coach is on the hot seat" to the media were it could get back to fans and universities... But eventhough some won't say it most know it... That's the primary reason one of Joker and Co's primary pitch's or goals is to get these prospects to "Fall in love with the university" he says...

    There are HC's telling these kids "Joker's on the hot seat" you know it just as I do... I really hope that we can start off with a bang and put some of that to rest... A kid like Timmons has probably heard this from every school recruiting him... That really sucks too... Alot of HC's these days have no class, one thing I can say about Joker is I really don't think he uses those techniques. Joker has class his mentor had class as well... I'm just happy we aren't recruiting against USC because we all know that would be the first thing Kiffin would tell em...

  • Like others have pointed out Mitch did say in a letter (I think before the TN game) that he stands behind Joker 100% but in the past few months he went on record saying exactly what hoptown said... I saw the video I think KSR done the interview. But I do think Joker will be retained if we can play tough against teams like GA/SC/ARK and win 5 to 6 games... If we suffer any three game spells were we are outscored 120-30 like we were last year at one point Mitch could pull the plug during the season, I don't think that will happen but anything is possible at this point... Some may think i'm crazy for saying this but this 13 class could also play a role in Mitch's decision... If we win 5 games but look like a much better team and Joker can find ways to land a few kids like Timmons and a few more solid prospects that would help his situation immensely...

  • Could not agree more with this. IMO if Joker can survive this round, we've got some good times ahead. It's absolutely in UK's best interests for Joker to succeed.

  • If any coach in the SEC was given a contract extension based on recruiting effort and not wins the AD would be considered an idiot. Fella's, some act like its Joker or nobody at Kentucky. No one wants Joker fired but how can you build a program on good recruiting that doesn't translate into wins on the field. No one remembesr if you recruit well or if you play hard if you lose. You have to win games agaiinst other SEC teams period

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    The meanest dog in Taiwan.

  • JMHO, but I think CJP needs at least 2 more years to get this moving the way we hope. That said, except for the last few games of last season, his tenure so far has pretty much been an unmitigated disaster. Now, while we had all hoped for some better effort & results than we've seen so far, I still can't see showing him the door just yet.
    But we need to start seeing tangible, apparent positive results this season. Even if we don't win the game, if we're in it and fighting and at least make it look like a game, then I have to give him the benefit of the doubt.
    But if these players keep coming out looking flat, emotionless, lost and lackadaisical, then something is going to have to change.
    And once again, I am still of the opinion that it is NOT the coaching staff that is at fault, it is the players. These players are not doing what they're being coached to do. We have decent talent, and we have the talent to win some of these games that we keep losing. How does CJP get them to start doing that? That answer I do not know, but somewhere along the way something needs to give. Yes, CJP & staff are bringing much better players, and that is encouraging, but at some point these players need to start delivering, and so far they have not.
    It's not all Joker's fault, but he does have some responsibility in this, but ultimately it's the players who play the games, so it's on them to do what they've been taught and coached to do. So far......... they're failing, and looking real bad doing it. I still think that, even though the talent is there, we have a bunch of posers and pretenders wearing our football uniform, and all they're really interested in is saying they played football in the SEC.
    This is just what I think. Your opinion may differ. But we need to see positive, tangible results this season.

  • If Joker pulls out a "W" against the Cards, then I say give him a 10 year contract extension... what the hell. biggrin

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  • Here is the part of the exclusive sitdown series I did with Mitch in early May that discussed this topic:


    THE CATS' PAUSE: Your most vocal critics continually point to the football program as the basis for their ire with the athletics department, most specifically, you. Their contention is Kentucky isn't willing to do what's necessary in terms of committing resources to turn football into a championship-caliber outfit. How do you respond to that?

    MITCH BARNHART: “We've got work to do in my mind. Football is an animal that has to have financing help in some way, shape or form. You can't do (those projects) just by gifting. It's just too big. We're working our way through that.

    “We've put significant funding into football and paid cash for it but it's things that people may not really see, the fans might not necessarily feel it, but the athletes do. Joker (Phillips) walked into (Commonwealth Stadium) for the spring game and we had the video boards going and the field was in good shape and he walked by and said, 'Man, this a beautiful place.' I think he was sincere when he said that. Do we need to do some things? Yes, we do. We have invested in football so I don't want anybody to think we haven't invested in football. I come from a place where I spent 12 years in a football environment. We built Oregon State where we went to eight bowls in 10 years and won a Pac-10 championship so for them to say we don't understand...we understand the importance of football and we understand what it means to build football.”

    TCP: Does that perception, however widespread it may be, bother you?

    BARNHART: “Does it bother me? I think you've known me long enough to know I don't listen to a whole lot. I'm not deaf to it but I don't read much of the blogs and that stuff and I don't listen to talk radio so I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what people are saying about me. It bothers me a little bit when I hear people say I don't care about football. I care deeply about football. There is nobody that wants Joker and Kentucky football to have success more than me.

    “I love the guy. He's a wonderful person. People say that doesn't make him a good football coach but I think he's a good football coach and has a very good staff. I think he is getting his chemistry right in his locker room to the spot where he has some talented guys that have a chance to get us back to where we want to go. It's very difficult. There are a lot of things than can go wrong out of a 120 guys. If it's 5 percent that's five or six guys that can mess it up and send it the other direction. I think he's done a really good job of saying the locker room is going to have the really good people heard loud and clear in that locker room. I'm hopeful we can get back to talking about championships in the East.”

    TCP: You were recently asked in a radio interview whether you had confidence in Joker Phillips and the football program improving. Your response, in part, was 'confidence is a scary word'. Naturally, those five words were all anyone wanted to talk about, regardless of the context in which they were said. To set the record straight, what was the point you were trying to convey when saying that?
    Joker Phillips

    BARNHART: “The message was I believe in Joker but it doesn't do any good for me to have, quote-unquote, 'confidence'. We have to go out and do something. I believe we will get that done. People say, 'Well, how many wins?' If I say I think we can win eight games this year and then we win seven does that mean we haven't fulfilled expectations? No, we will have made progress and gotten better. If I say it's six and we win five then everyone says, 'Told you.'

    “Out of context, you can say he isn't very confident but I'm very confident that we can get this thing done. Does that mean I'm willing to sit there and say you have to win seven games, eight games, nine games? No, I'm not. I want to see progress on the football field. Everybody wants to see progress and you'll know it when you see it. Off the field we've seen progress being made. I've been around the workouts. We look more like the kind of football team we need to be in this league. The spring was encouraging to me. I think we have to be careful, and people in today's society want to take one word and completely spin it, and that's fine. It is what it is. I love what Joker is trying to do and how he's fighting for our kids. He deserves our full support to give him the best chance to go out and make progress.

  • Thanks a ton... I really wish I could do something to help Joker and UK FB but I can't. All I can do is buy tickets and I have, I just hate it that FB isn't the "prom queen", yet every other FB team in the SEC is... That is what really sucks... I know it's possible to have both a good BB and FB program. I know it is. Our BB program doesn't need multi million dollar projects every year for them to thrive yet they almost always seem to be building something to improve the BB's brand. It's time FB becomes equal to or higher in the foodchain. I know some have their own opinion but that's mine. I would believe it's not possible to upgrade more football facilities or raise the recruiting budget if they didn't upgrade or build a new BB facility every year...

    This post was edited by todd 22 months ago

  • The basketball stuff is coming from donors willing to pony up for those large scale projects. To date, no one has stepped up to do the same for football.

  • Obviously, I'd much prefer a "W" over the 'Tards, but as long as our guys "show up" and actually put forth a good effort, I can live with a loss. I won't like it worth a damn, but if they give a great effort and fall short, it's okay.
    We can't win them all. I just want us to start winning the ones we SHOULD win. So far, especially the last 2 seasons, we've fallen remarkably short on that count, and by a lot.
    I am happy that we beat Tennessee.......... finally..........but due to circumstances we had to go at them with an off-beat idea and strategy that barely worked. Yeah, we won, and in the end that's all that matters, but I am not happy with a 10-7 score, especially after all of these years.
    I'm just at a point right now where I am really not as enthused or enamored with football as I used to be, and I guess that happened when I went to Gainesville in 2008 and watched our team get absolutely dismantled by an obviously much better team(a national championship team to boot!)because the coaches didn't do their jobs and the players wanted to be anywhere but there that day(I was there for the Cat Walk and saw the blank looks on their faces when they got off the busses, and I knew right then we were going to get hammered........ and then that ST's(Ortmayer) coach we had LET Florida have 2 TD's within the first 4 minutes of the game because he couldn't make an in-game adjustment on punt coverages!). There was little good effort made that day, and since then I've just not been as happy about watching Kentucky football as I had been previously. And it sucks, but when you have players who won't do what they've been coached to do, we get what we get.
    That's kind of where I'm at with all of this right now. Yeah, I still love my team, but I guess I've come to realize that they're just not going to fight as well as they should on any given Saturday and most likely going to let the fans down again, like they usually do.