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Let the comments begin....
If you can keep your lunch down.
During an appearance in front of a local business group, UK athletics director briefly discussed the current state of the football program under Joker Phillips.
What do you expect him to say at this point? Any AD would say similar. Look at the situation at Auburn. Same thing being said by their AD.
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." ~ Emerson
Interesting that local media has requested interviews multiple times and not gotten them but he's discussing football other places.
That said, I don't think those comments mean much of anything in terms of what decision is made about Phillips' future.
I don't know how they can possibly keep Joker as HC. Makes me wonder if Mitch won't try to work a deal where Joker stays but not as HC. Would Joker buy into this, maybe?!? Only he could answer that. And the next questions would be is that really what is best for UK football?
I agree Matt, I dont really get the feeling that hes making a defining stand that joker is coming back...but yet hes implying that his friendship will play a part in that decision and that should never be the case, this is a business and business that he his allowing to bleed money this year and possibly beyond because of that relationship.
And its just how he seems to minimalize the whole situation (stubbing your toe) and that comes off as somewhat condescending to the fan base when speaking to the overall state of the program right now.
And if he going to make a statement like this, its pure Mitch to do it in front of some benign audience, rather than in an interview or press conference format...that way he doesnt have to answer any questions at this point.
Matt, I tend to agree re those comments not meaning much. It's not the time or place for him to get into that, to pile onto Joker, etc.
There's simply not much Barnhart can say right now that is going to erase fans' frustrations. But IMO, these comments are particularly likely to dump gasoline on the fire burning among frustrated UK football fans. I'm one of those who thinks he has been a great AD overall for UK, modernizing the department, cleaning up the mess left by previous administrations, and growing revenues significantly. But he REALLY needs to get some help with the PR side of things on football. For this particular alum/fan, it would be easier to defend the administration's support of the football program if Barnhart's public comments regarding the development of the football program were less equivocal, less focused on how tough the SEC is (I truly understand that already), and more ambitious/determined to find a way to make the program competitive.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Jeremy Grey 18 months ago
I think that's a pretty fair evaluation of this.
What hill have we climbed even just a bit? Ijust cant believe that whole statement but it was the only thing an AD would or could say in that situation.
Here is how I take this. Barnhart is going to have to make the hardest decision he's ever had to make at the end of the year and will eventually do what's right for the program and make a change. This isn't a Billy Clyde type of deal where the head coach actually all but dared Mitch to get rid of him. Joker has been a loyal and great representative of the school and it's just really sad that he doesn't have the skill set to succeed as the HC of the football program. If Mitch and Joker are as close as it seems, then I can't find fault w/the statements that Mitch made in this speech BUT at the end of the day, it won't change the fact that he also knows that there is no way he can bring Joker back. I think Mitch wants to make this move in as dignified way he can in order to let Joker go with no grudges or animosity. What's wrong with that??
In my mind, if he wants no grudges or animosity with the fans, he would make the move now and let everyone, including the fans just worry about the last three games.
Barnhart is not a PR guy. That guy now calls the shots at Mississippi State. Mitch is building a wall around football program and unless you guys figure out a way to cross it. The media will be left in the dark.
Mitch's comments may just be comments that don't indicate what decision he'll make at end of year....but all comments are cryptically leaning toward staying with Joker.
- "stubbed our toe a bit"...what do you call the last 2 years?
- "we were climbing"...when. About the only positive moment in Joker tenure was beating USC in his first year.
- "the dear friends comments"...who cares one way or the other. Joker got a 5 year at 1.7M per year out of UK/Barnhardt. That is more than he'd have ever made in a lifetime. WHy does friendship even matter.
The whole comments were at best neutral and at worst...talking down to fans on the obvious wreck of the program.
Stubbed our toes a little bit? 1-8 is stubbing your toes a little bit? He makes it more clear every day who really should be fired at UK.
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