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Cats to play UTEP in Glory Road rematch in 2016


According to Darren Hunt, University of Texas-El Paso head coach Tim Floyd announced that his team will play Kentucky in 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kentucky/Texas Western game. The game will possibly take place in College Park, Maryland on Martin Luther King Day.

College Park was the site of the 1966 game, in which Texas Western’s coach Don Haskins started five black players for the first time in NCAA Championship history against Kentucky’s all-white starting five. In 1967, Texas Western was renamed the University of Texas at El Paso.


UPDATE: According to ye olde Jerry Tipton, the deal isn’t set and the teams are still exploring the possibility. Also, they’re looking to play the game at Cole Field House, the original site of the game. Maryland now plays in the Comcast Center, and the Cole Field House is used for classrooms and intramural sports; however, Maryland used it for its “Maryland Madness” festivities last week, and games have been played there are recently as 2002. It’s the only on-campus arena to host multiple Final Fours, and UK was one of seven #1 teams to lose a game there. If they can make it happen, it would be pretty cool.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

76 responses to “Cats to play UTEP in Glory Road rematch in 2016”

  1. DB11

    One would think UKs prerogative would be to not remind everyone this game ever happened.

  2. Scott Douglas

    Sounds like 2 plus hours of bad press for UK to me.
    What’s next… Make a movie about this game?

  3. catlogic15

    Definitely against this. Will only serve to dredge up old stereotypes, portray us as evil, show Rupp as a monster bigot, and launch endless stories not beneficial to UK moving forward, i.e. “Has Kentucky Really Changed?” and other such nonsense.

    Bad idea. Bad idea. Offers the BBN an advantage in absolutely no way.

  4. barn

    wonderful. who was the genius that thought this up

  5. trey

    How can this be bad press for UK right now? Something happened 50 years ago in a time where racism was very apparent everywhere, especially in the south. Thats why we never had black players. By the time that game comes around, we will have at least 30 players in the NBA and will be coming off a great season with the class Malik Newman is in.

  6. bob

    We should start 5 black guys and have them start 5 white guys this time…

  7. Uhhh no

    3. Is right. The lead up and commentary on this game will only resurface stereotypes from the past. Aside from steam rolling utep, no good will come of this game.

  8. Brad

    Not a fan.

  9. Huh?

    This is a straight-up—-no win situation for UK. No matter how you slice it. First of all, UK can’t “decline” to play in this, because we run the obvious chance of perpetualizing the racist perceptions that are already out there regarding the whole scenario. Thusly, we play the game. If we win, then it becomes, “Big UK spit on the little guy, the bad guys won.” If we lose, then it’s another 50 years of, “Remember where you were when UTEP upset mighty Kentucky in the 50 year rematch of one of the most famous of upsets in college basketball history.”

    Might as well just bend over—-it’s coming either way.

  10. Tony

    Oh wow, we get to read and listen to the media talk about the poor, mistreated….black, brown, people of color, African American, or what ever the political correct word of the day is talk about what racist people UK fans are for three weeks leading up to this game.

  11. Pat Riley

    This is an outstanding idea! It will really reflect well on the program and give all of us a chance to show what really happened and why the game was not what it is so easy to paint it as. I will be there and will promote the heck out of this thing. It’s a very classy move on the UK administration which means it probably was not the idea of Mitch “I am a moron” Barnhart.

  12. some guy

    I don’t understand why all of the commenters are so defensive. I think it’s great…a nice statement about how far we have come. Whatever you think about Rupp himself, major college athletics was not very integrated at the time and it certainly is now. I’m glad UK isn’t afraid to recognize the past and celebrate the progress

  13. KKK

    Will uk have to play all their white guys only? Rupp hated spear chuckers back then.

  14. trey

    The last few words went from “very cool” (my view on it) to ‘thoughts?” Seems like Mrs. TT thought people would enjoy this more instead of bicker about it.

  15. CatsfaninFL

    Wow… not really seeing this as badly as other people. Was it bad for UK? Yes, and not because we lost, but because we (and a lot of the country) held the notion that black players could not play the game as well as whites.

    UK agreeing to play this game only shows that we can be bigger than who we once were. We have grown. While racism still exists, we are light years ahead of where we were 50+ years ago. Will some construe this in a negative light? Possibly…but it’s far better to show how we’ve grown than to ignore what we once were.

  16. Wedding Planner

    Great move.

    Many people hate to admit but UK was a racist school in the Rupp era. UK has made tremendous progress in diversity and this game would be a celebration of our progress

  17. Remember

    This is a part of our past, whether we like it or not. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Instead, we can celebrate the progress we’ve made and recognize places where there’s still room to grow.

    I’m impressed by our administration’s courage to pursue this. It’s a good way to remember that we can overcome ignorance and prejudices.

  18. VandyCat
  19. Is that you

    11. Pat, if that really is you, you have to understand who will be the major promoter of this which is ESPN. If there is something us UK fans know it’s that we are not a “darling” of the sports broadcast giant. They will see this as a chance to “bad guy” UK, Rupp, and our fans. They will have us in the cross hairs and they will come out swinging with both hands.

  20. Cosmo Kramer

    I spent a week in El Paso one night.

  21. Musehobo

    #6 Just won the internet.

  22. BlooBloodcat

    As long as some of the commenters here and those like you don’t get a mike leading up the event, I would wager that we might come out alright in this one. My guess is that media savvy Coach Cal can make this game into something special for UK, the team and the rest of us. We could get Conley, Dampier, Riley and whoever else is still kicking together there with the TW players. I think it is a fantastic idea and those who’s first reaction has something to do with how bad it will make UK look…well you make me sad.

  23. Tim Kathlina

    Did Kentucky think this up or UTEP? Got to think it was UTEP, Kentucky doesn’t need the publicity and certainly not negative publicity.

  24. Joshua

    We should start 5 white guys, except we don’t have 5 white guys…

  25. Megan

    On a slightly different note, I do miss the short shorts. And I like the nice color photo.

    I always heard this game wasn’t regarded as iconic until about 1980, when Sports Illustrated’s Curry Kirkpatrick looked back and branded it as such. Pat says the players didn’t see it that way. It was romanticized well after the fact.

  26. Ridge Runner

    My first reaction is that we could spend our energy on how far we have come in another area if that is the spin the media will most likely take.

    Not for this to be honest…

  27. Dakari Stoops

    I think we may be blowing this out of proportion, Should be a good wholesome event….Or it could backfire and make us all look like racist hillpeople from the depths of hell. We will just have to wait and see.

  28. Laker Cat 18

    Is this what Coach Cal was referring to when he mentioned news in the next few weeks?

  29. bung

    why would we commemorate a game we lost?

  30. WillNotBeGood

    ‘Bama, Ole Miss, etc were hugely against intergrating the SEC, and Rupp’s recruitment of black players was definitely frowned upon in the South. Sadly, the press will bill this as the old white racist and his all white team against civil rights. The unfair part is that we don’t judge people by their skin color or looks, but Rupp is judged because he looks like a stereotyped southern, white racist. That just wasn’t the case, but that won’t be how it is portrayed. Many can argue Rupp would have preferred never to integrate and just wanted to win, but the fact is that Rupp was one of the first white coaches to integrate.

  31. RexRox

    The game in 1966 reflects badly not so much on UK as the nation in general and the south in particular. UK ‘took one for the team’ here, playing the role of the bad guy for most of the nation. UK was actually the 2nd or 3rd school in the SEC (depending on who is telling the tale) to integrate their basketball program, yet most don’t see our university as being progressive. I heard it said once that the semi-final between the Cats and Duke would have been one game UK would have been better off losing. Like UK, Duke at the time had never had a black player, but when was the last time you saw that school referred to as racist? Would there have been a movie made if the championship game featured Duke vs. Texas Western?

  32. mikeyUKfan

    Hey BBN, we are now behind in ESPN’s poll to Michigan’s Fab Five by 2% !
    Come on Tyler, we need for to post this please !
    Here is the link,
    I know BBN would DOMINATE this poll if you posted it on KSR.
    Go Big Blue ! ! !


    The funny thing about this is that our starting five will most likely be all black while UTEP’s will be all white…

  34. Ebony and Ivory

    Will it be called the Racism Classic? If so, Obama will be front row mid court.

  35. classof68

    I would presume they are going to get Jon Voight to coach the Cats that game? The ’66 game was still our most devastating basketball loss ever in my opinion.

  36. Mulaliam

    All the mulis will love this.

  37. Piedma Schwartz

    Maybe UK can get Johnny Rebel to sing the national anthem.

  38. JackB

    It is interesting that the cover of SI at the time makes no mention of what we now remember about the game – race. Backs up Megan’s comment.

  39. Ryan52

    Why not? I was one of those guys that refuse to see the movie because I didnt want to see UK as the bad guy. Either way I dont think it will end the same. Just hope they dont paint us or Rupp in a negative light.

  40. JackB

    It is also interesting that many UK fans still do not know that Rupp’s hesitancy to recruit black players had more to do with the concern about the other SEC schools and their fans than his own desires and have accepted the national media perspective that it was all just Rupp’s racism.

  41. kadizkat

    Revenge Tour 2.0

  42. mikeyUKfan

    Tyler this is a better link,
    scroll down to the bottom left and vote, thanks & God bless
    Go Big Blue ! ! !

  43. CadizCat

    Absolutely awful idea.

  44. AdolphRupp

    Why does everything have to be about race??? Race shouldn’t make a difference. Loss or not for the Cats, that game played a significant role in allowing black players a greater chance that they could play college basketball. UK should play in this game because it is commemorating a great social feat when blacks were horribly oppressed.

  45. SoulBrotherNumberOne

    Three words can make this game perfect – Throw Back Jerseys. Who else is dying to see a bunch of modern teenage athletes uncomfortably tugging at their short shorts at every “dead ball”.

  46. serdi

    I think it would be great to play the game in Cole Field House which I am assuming is still standing on the University of Maryland campus. I also think that it would be great to have two or three of the starters from each team do an group discussion that ESPN would show prior to the game. In all the interviews that I have ever seen of both TW and UK players, none of them say this game was about race. Only years later in this politically correct world did it become such a big deal. I would also want it pointed out that the SEC and the ACC including UK’s national semi-final opponent Duke had an all white team. I think it could be positive to show how UK, the SEC, the ACC and all of that has changed. The ironic part is the today UTEP probably has more white players on their team than does UK.

  47. mikeyUKfan

    hey guys, watch these video’s (8 parts) if you want informed about Rupp and how the people around him felt about the legendary coach.
    Go Big Blue ! ! !

  48. HistoryLesson

    Rupp signed the 4th black player in the SEC, Tom Payne. It never gets mentioned that Rupp recruited several more black players prior to Payne, but many were scared, and rightfully so, to travel to the rural SEC schools that were strongly against black athletes. I couldn’t image a black athlete would have wanted to play at Kentucky full well knowing that a road game in Oxford was ahead. The media never recalls Wes Unseld’s recruitment, Tom Payne starting at UK, or the misses in recruiting. Rupp isn’t what people make him out to have been. The game could be great, but the media will never cover it like it was. Just another game with players and coaches that wanted to win.

  49. trey

    serdi…Cole Fieldhouse is still up. Matter of fact Scott Van Pelt talked breifly about that and the ’66 game on his radio show earlier this week.

  50. PillowTalk

    You think you would get bad press for playing in the game? Imagine what it would be like declining to play?

    Don’t worry people know we have moved pass that. We have had a black football and basketball coach.

  51. ButchBeardSays

    I remember Butch in an interview a number of years ago, and Rupp recruited him. Something along the lines of “Kentucky was first in everything about basketball and Rupp wanted to be the first to integrate.” Butch was black player who was KY Mr. Basketball several years before the UTEP game.

  52. Bunny

    Stupid…can’t see any upside for UK….

  53. J in Orlando

    I think it’s a great opportunity to show how far UK has come since then, to demonstrate that the program has moved on from this completely, and to tell the rest of the story that the media chooses to ignore (for instance, the fact that UK had to beat an all-white Duke team to get to that game-had they lost, might it have been Duke that gets the negative portrayal? And should UK bear the entire responsibility for the attitudes of the period simply because our all-white team was better than another school’s?)

  54. rainman

    Someone said it already. The original game wasn’t heralded as a historical race moment at the time. It only became such 15 or so years later when it was dredged up. Here is the original SI story on it, not one mention of any race implications either way.

  55. RexRox

    I believe Megan’s comments are on target except it is my understanding that SI’s Frank Deford stirred it up 20 years after the fact, claiming to have been in the Cat’s locker room at halftime, something Larry Conley said never happened. I recall that when the movie was being made Pat Riley showed up on the set in Mississippi unannounced. When someone asked why he was there, he answered “I’m looking out for Adolph”. Presumably, he simply wanted Rupp treated fairly and truthfully.

  56. unreconstructed


    I wish to hell that Duke had beat us and let their “all white team” played that friggin’ game.

    To rehash that event in this manner is just way the hell to much Political Correctness for my ol’ butt. Who needs it???? Diversity my ass!!!

    AND I won’t be watching….

  57. Doug the Prosecutor

    I once wrote a research paper on the perception of this game. No one, for whatever reason, made an issue of the racial aspect of it until Kirkpatrick’s SI article in 1991 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the game.

  58. UK2K

    Kinda random but does anybody know where I can find or watch the “Bluegrass Kingdom The Gospel Of Kentucky Basketball” documentary that was shown ealier this year? It’s not on youtube.

  59. Al/in/Indy

    I remember an article by Russel Rice who was a contributing writer AND a UK Historian for the Cats Paws. He wrote that on a recruiting trip to Butch Beard’s house Coach Rupp sat in their living room when Butch’s father asked Rupp if he can guarantee his son’s safety while on the road in the Southern states. Coach Rupp told him as much as he wanted Butch to play at UK he said he would do his best, but he couldn’t absolutely guarantee nothing would happen to his son.
    At first I thought this would be a bad idea, but we do have an ace in the hole and that ace is Cal, he’ll have the media and the public eating out of his hand long before the tip off of this game!

  60. Al/in/Indy

    Sorry ^^^^^^^ The Cats Pause

  61. Frimpong

    If they’re going to play in a field house, why can’t they schedule a game for students at memorial coliseum. Even an exhibition. I like seeing the women play there just for the nostalgia. Won’t happen while I’m still here at UK, but just a thought.

  62. For the record

    This does not appeal to me at all. Hate this idea.

  63. Patrick

    I guess we should not commemorate any event that trumped racism because all that does is drudge up bad memories. So long Jackie Robinson, See you later Muhammad Ali, Get out of town Bill Russell, we don’t want to celebrate or honor you cause that is the past and we don’t like those bad memories……GIVE ME A BREAK! What a bunch of crybabies. You had your nose up in the air back then and you still do today. Kentucky fans are pathetic. I hope the event doesn’t happen so we don’t have to listen to all your bitching and moaning. NIT Bound in 2014, again. Good Luck!!!

  64. Krispy Kreme

    The worst thing is to act like it didn’t happen. I hope this will shed light on how slow the entire country moved in signing black players. UK just happened to be the team (white) to reach the finals.

    The game will be to celebrate the changes that have taken place because of Dr. King and others.

  65. Radio Ron

    To Bloo-Blood-Cat.
    Yes, how great it would be to get Conley, Dampier, Riley….and you said…whoever else is kickin’. together to appear with Texas Western Alumini. Well, I can assure you that the center on Rupp’s Runts (my friend) Thad Jaracz is still very much ALIVE AND KICKIN’ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. Joe

    I’m voting “MISTAKE.”

    It will only allow the National Media to portray Kentucky in a negative light, again…dredging up all the pseudo-history that everyone “Knows” about , Rupp and UK. Some of you all are Pollyanna’s..”Oh it’ll be a chance to showcase the progress we’ve made.” It WOULD be if that was the “Spin” the Media was going to take, but watch what happened to Zimmerman and note the Media Template of Pervasive Racism….The goal is to recreate 1963-65.

    And anyone who thinks, “But we’ve had a black basketball and football coach”…and I betcha that it’s going to be said or intimated that “racist Kentuckians ran them off.” Look at the Star-Tribune’s take on Tubby from a few years ago…they writer fully agrees that Tubby isn’t much of a coach…BUT the first quarter of the article is how racist Kentucky is…even in acknowledging that Tubby was past his prime and Kentucky was right to let him go, we couldn’t acknowledge that, INSTEAD the article has to start on the Jefferson Davis Memorial in W. Kentucky and what that says about Rednek, Hill-Billy Racist Kentuckianz….and it won’t be any different this time with this game.

  67. ukcat1

    UK should not participate in this game. It would be nothing but a media circus reminding people of UK’s racism. There would be no consideration of the times and the history of the times. The 1966 game was not the symbol of “Brown vs board of education” until years later when Sports Illustrated? wrote the article proclaiming it so.

  68. ushouldno

    Adolph Rupp coached two African american players at Freeport Il. high school in 1927. He wasn’t forced to coach them, he could have ignored them but he coached them because they could play ball. So Rupp coached African american players before Dean Smith, John Wooden or any of the so called greats. It was wise to not bring them in to the SEC in the 50’s, they may have been killed in Miss. or Alabama. With Cal running the show this could become a positive for UK.

  69. miked1

    This would be a great game for coach cal to bring out his “mexican idiot” lines, but update them a bit

  70. bigblue091812

    Terrible idea, I’m amazed how inaccurate this film was. No mention that Rupp tried to land several black players before Tom Payne who did not want to play road games in the deep south. No mention that several of the UK players were either getting over the flu or still had it. Not to take anything away from Texas Western but at least tell the story correctly. I for one will watch this game like the old days, I will listen to the radio as I don’t want to listen how Rupp and 99% of Kentucky fans are racist. The media will watch the movie again right before this game and makes so many untrue comments it will be sickening. I hate this idea and wouldn’t it be funny if for some reason we wound up with 5 white McDonald’s All Americans to play in that game.

  71. Fact

    Look I’m a pretty straight shooter but this is not a good idea for uk.

    I agree.

    It will be pre game in game and post game negative for kentucky oh and for uk basketball.

    I’d quietly decline☝️

    Cal stupid idea

  72. Sonny

    Who’s brain child was this. Not much good can come from digging this up from the passed years. The sports media will bleed us dry on this one. Haters will be trilled with this game…

  73. Uk

    So dukes first AA player was in 1967!

    Man what a bunch of scumbags prior to then

  74. Ludiebags

    Classic BOB

  75. jhndillion

    By the remarks of some on here- like No. 10 “Tony” up there- UK apparently hasn’t progressed as far as I thought since 1966.

    Guys- this is a great opportunity for UK. We can’t deny the past. And UK was actually more progressive on integrating their athletic teams, especially when compared to the rest of the South. But the fact is- in 1966- UK didn’t recruit black players. It is what it is- lets take part in this and celebrate how far we have come since then.

  76. bigblue091812

    Jhndillion, your an idiot who don’t know your UK history. Rupp and UK did in fact recruit black players pre 1966, they wouldn’t play for UK because for what no one seems to know there were no black players in the SEC at the time and they didn’t want to play in Mississippi, Alambama, Gerorgia or any other SEC state or city. 90% of black players recruited by Rupp before Tom Payne wound up playing for loserville or WKU. Everyone acts as if UK was the only team in the country without black players. We best Duke in the semis that year or they would’ve played in that game with an all white team. Listening to Matt today showed he’s clueless if he thinks this will be good pub for UK. The commentators will be sickening during this game, better off turning sound down and listen to the radio. Why isn’t there anything ever mentioned how teams like Duke, UNC, UCONN and Sryacuse to name a few has never had a few. Just another chance for liberals to spew their crap and not mentioned all the facts on schools, players or coaches. How many know that Payne was not the first black player to play for Rupp at UK, on a shortened bench due to injuries Rupp had a couple black football players join the team and yes they did see some playing time. Check out the stories of how Rupp recruited Wes Unseld, Jim McDaniels to name a few, didn’t want to play in the SEC. Learn your history and stop being like the media that will eat this up, I’m surprised Rupp didn’t wear a white sheet instead of a brown suit.