Is it time for Mitch Barnhart to go as well?

First the “microwave” comment and now the “real fans/personal agenda” comment.  Mitch is becoming a hard man to support.

Mitch, here’s a novel idea.  Kentucky Football fans may not be satisfied with losing and being the carpet over which the rest of the SEC (now including Vanderbilt) stomps.

Joker Phillips is not earning his keep.  He is now 1-9 on the year.  He’s lost the fan base because he is losing games.  No one gives a damn about his color.  If he were winning, everyone would be behind him.  He’s not winning.  He’s being paid to win ball games.

He’s a terrible coach who hasn’t had a prepared team in his three years as coach.

He should be employed based upon his talent, skills and record as an SEC Coach.  His employment should not be guaranteed based upon cronyism (i.e., his friendship with the AD).

This isn’t the first bout of poor judgment on the part of Barnhart.  He kept Tubby far too long after letting Tubby pimp a larger and wholly undeserved pay raise.  He let Tubby squeeze a loyalty bonus out of UK even as Tubby planned his move to Minnesota.  Barnhart hired Gillispie and nearly killed Kentucky Basketball.  He missed the opportunity to hire Mike Leach.  He was against hiring Calipari and has caused turmoil with his attempts to exert control over the basketball program risking a rift that might have caused Calipari to depart the program.

It’s past time to let Joker go.  Do your damn job, Mitch Barnhart.

Why Does the University of Kentucky Snub It’s Fans?

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I’ve been to three or four SEC Tournaments and 50 plus games thus far.

At each tournament, several local Alumni clubs and Kentucky Websites have organized events for UK fans.  I have not seen one event organized by UKAA.  UKAA seems to think that it’s above it’s fans.  It seems to want to “lord it over” the fans and the various organization that support UK and the Wildcats teams each year.

I find this incomprehensible.

It seems as though the UKAA takes the fan base for granted.  The UKAA does not seem particularly interested in returning the support that the fan base lavishes on UK.

Truly, I do not understand this.

Other SEC Teams organized various functions for their fans.  UKAA organized NOT ONE function for it’s fans.  The pep rally was organized by the local Nashville Alumni association.  No one from UK became officially involved.

Without the fans, the UKAA would not have been able to pay that HUGE salary to John Calipari.  Without the fan base, UKAA would be hard put to find boosters to support the UKAA. After all, why do boosters support UK?

Because they make dump trucks full of dollars off of the UK fan base.

If the Wildcat Nation or the Blue Haze stopped following UK to every tournament and game, there’d be no dollars to be made.

Why does UK seem to distance itself from it’s own fan base?

I know many organizations and websites who get the UK fan base mobilized and motivated.  UKAA attempts to control them and the dollars that these organizations raise without lifting so much as a finger to assist in planning or logistics. If you don’t follow the overly structured rules of the UKAA, they’ll attempt to bully you and/or shut you down completely.

It’s a bit sickening.

I’ve even heard that they sic their attack dogs on fan organization for daring to use the combination of colors of blue and white.

Should not the UKAA be thankful for the fan base and be more supportive.  After all, if the fan base dried up, there would be no Kentucky Wildcats program.

Look at the UK football team as an example.  UK football is mid-level at best.  Why does it remain so?  Because the UKAA knows that the UK fan base will purchase those tickets, apparel and related items regardless of the product on the field.

UKAA cares about one thing.  The bottom line.

Had the UK fan base stayed awake for the Gillispie era or the end of the Tubby era, those coaches would still be in Lexington.  As soon as UKAA started losing profit, Tubby had to go.  The same occurred with Billy Gillispie.  Had UK fans and boosters continued to spend the dollars, Gillispie could have stuffed one of his athletes into a toilet.

The UKAA should not neglect it’s fan base.  They should provide the same support for the fan base that the fan base provides for UKAA.

Billy Gillispie Gone? It’s official?

With the loss to Notre Dame in the NIT, Billy G is gone.  So say the talking heads. It’s all over the message boards. I think UK is making a mistake.

I think given the time and space to grow into the job, Billy G would have made a fine coach at UK.  Let’s face it.  UK has no Roy Williams waiting in the wings.  That may never come to pass now.  In years to come, UK will regret this day.  Billy Gillispie is going to go somewhere and take some team to the Final Four.  He’s going to win some Championships.   And he’s going to do it with a team of players that he recruited.

UK and it’s fans are going to look on ruefully and be left with thoughts of what might have been.  We may be looking on happily.  Having recently watched our Team win a  Championship with Calipari or some other coach.  If the UKAA makes the right hire post-Gillispie.  Or we make look on wistfully.  Wishing that we and the UKAA  hadn’t made the mistake of a precipitous decision to fire a coach who just needed a bit of time to turn it all around.

I’m a bit saddened by all of this.  Two years ago, I was excited.  It was the end of the Tubby era.  I thought we would enter a Golden Age with the gunslinging, Dr. Pepper drinking man from Texas.  I had a rug made in Herat, Afghanistan and mailed it back as a welcome gift to Billy Gillispie.  I wonder what will become of that rug.  Will Gillispie take it with him or leave it for the next coach.  It won’t be something that he will look on with fond memories if he takes it with him.  For all I know, it winds up in the garbage.  Hopefully, he’ll pass it on to the next coach if he doesn’t want to keep it himself.

Both sides have made mistakes.  Both sides need to step back and re-evaluate before they move on.  Billy G needs to sit down and realize that UK is not just any other job.  Mitch and Pres. Todd need to realize that they have a coach who can win and who needs the time to make the transition from the small pond to the Big Blue Ocean.  The fans need to make this same realization.  G needs to learn how to manage this program and be it’s caretaker and not only it’s coach.  Patience is called for here.

If not, I think we are making a mistake of epic proportions.  I’m no one to whom anyone will listen.  No one to whom anyone should necessarily listen.  These things may have already been discussed by one side or the other and dismissed for all I know.

Something just doesn’t feel right, though.  And the truth doesn’t seem to be out there.  Those outside the circle may never know the truth.  Certain people have an invested interest in keeping the truth away from the general public.  Such is always the case.  Some folks are saying that they are only telling “10% if the story.”  Perhaps, there is a lot more out there concerning Gillispie that we don’t know.  If it’s in the interest of the UKAA for it to come out, it will be made plain.  If not, we will never find out.  Perhaps, that’s simply damage control.

Lots of the things that people are complaining about seem to be small to me.  If Gillispie were winning already, he’d be forgiven most of this.  But since it’s taking longer to win, he’s been hit hard.  I don’t think Gillispie realized how big of a jump he made and how fast he was expected to produce.

It’s probably all moot now.

It seems as if the regretful decision has been made.  We’ll see.

I know this much.  If Mitch doesn’t hit a GRAND SLAM Coaching Hire this time around.  He’s next!  If not, Lee Todd should be.

The next phase of UK Basketball, begins Friday.   Will it be the beginning of a new Coaching Era or an extension of the ongoing era.  I’m hoping that G stays on and leads UK to many victories.  I’ve never liked the media anyway.