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A Summary of Joe B Hall-Gate 2011

joe b

This entire Joe B Hall situation has been difficult to follow. But after 36 hours of excitement, protest and confusion, here is where it stands:

1. Joe B Hall Will Be a Coach for UK Legends Event:

Friday John Calipari announced that Joe B Hall would be part of his Dominican Republic coaching staff and would be able to participate in their practices and scrimmages. On Saturday, he told WKYT that the coaches for the UK Legends team would come from his Dominican staff, presumably meaning that Joe B Hall will still be able to coach the team. The Calipari method of adding him to the Dominican staff gets around any problems and puts back in the position of honoring Joe B.

2. There is Apparently Was an NCAA Rule Prohibiting Hall’s Participation

Now I will freely admit that I still am unclear as to what rule this may be. If former players can play, it is hard to see why a former player cannot coach. But apparently that was the case. A big argument has ensued online as to whether the NCAA made the decision not to allow Hall to coach or whether that decision was made by UK. My guess is that the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Whether the NCAA looked at this supposed rule (I wish someone would tell me which one) and told UK, “no Joe Hall or honoring of players” or UK looked at the rule and said, “we cant honor Hall and former players, the result is the same. Someone, somewhere believes that a rule exists preventing Joe B Hall from being part of the game.

3. The NCAA’s Statement Explains Nothing:

Here was the NCAA’s statement today, in its entirety:

NCAA statement on Dominican National team game at University of Kentucky

Public speculation, fueled by inaccurate media reporting, incorrectly assumed the NCAA denied former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall the opportunity to coach in an exhibition game against the Dominican Republic. In reality, the University of Kentucky withdrew its involvement and association with this event due to a conflict with member mandated NCAA bylaws. These bylaws prohibit member schools from participating in events that pay former players and raise funds to benefit teams that include prospective student-athletes.

To me, that statement says nothing. It says that people “incorrectly assumed” the NCAA wouldn’t let Joe B Hall coach, but instead “in reality”, UK “withdrew its involvement” in the game. What does that even mean exactly? Did UK “withdrawing” mean that Hall couldn’t coach? I am not sure how the second sentence has anything to do with the first. My guess is that certain aspects of the game had to be changed in order for it to continue, and one of those aspects was the participation of former players as coaches and honorees. But the NCAA statement really tells us nothing on the matter.

4. In the end, none of this really matters:

The reporter types are in a frenzy dissecting the report and looking for blame to be placed, but the reality is that in the pre-internet days none of this would have mattered. At the game on August 15th, the same result will take place. Former UK players will play and Joe B Hall will coach. And that will be awesome.

5. Something good did come of all this

Even though this was silly and somewhat unnecessary, good came of it as well. Joe B Hall got some well-deserved attention and love by the UK fanbase. An 82 year old man who has been out of the spotlight for a long time, had hundreds of young UK fans, most of whom weren’t born when he coached, tweeting #FreeJoeB and repeating his name. National figures saluted him and people everywhere rallied behind him. And at the game, he will get a loud standing ovation that will top anyone else involved. If that is not a positive light to come out of this whole foolishness, then I don’t know what is.

Article written by Matt Jones

32 Comments for A Summary of Joe B Hall-Gate 2011

  1. ZRowe in M'boro, TN
    9:45 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    Nicely put Matt…I still don’t understand why this will not be on TV if UK is not involved?

  2. blitzedanddazed
    9:50 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    Pitino will be calling Denny to see what he is hiding under his skirt.

  3. DorisBurkeisdumb
    9:54 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    Texas can have its own television channel and show high school football games. But Cal cant put a game on tv of former players and another country’s national team. Makes a lot of sense. Maybe the NCAA can blur out the former UK players in NBA games when the lockout is over.

  4. Poco Chang
    9:57 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    With all of the confusion and lack of communication, I must assume that Dwayne Peevy is in charge.

  5. MtnCat
    9:59 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    Good for Coach Hall.
    Now, let’s work on the TV aspect. Let KET televise it as one of their telethons, I’d phone in a donation every timeout.

  6. kyeric
    10:25 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    So, will this event be able to be televised by anyone or not?

  7. Steve Fitts
    10:28 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    People forget that Joe B. was not particularly popular his final couple of seasons! Now he is universally adored by Big Blue faithful! Usually you have to die to attain this sort of redemption. Joe B. has managed to do so while still in the flesh! Bravo! Steve Fitts, Jeffersonville, IN

  8. JJ
    10:32 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    I still don’t see how honoring past players that aren’t employed or boosters by/for UK in any way can be dis-allowed. That and how it can’t be on TV on at least ONE TV station. NCAA clearly has it’s hands on this in ways I am sure we will never find out, because they never explain themselves.

    If NCAA governs us, who governs them? They have no accountability with these things. Who keeps them from overstepping their boundaries and jurisdiction? NCAA is a freaking fascist governing body. Schools need to start withdrawing one by one.

  9. TNCAT10
    11:37 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    Question: Is Eloy Vargas on the Dominican team? If so, how can a current student-athlete participate in a pro/am type game where former college player(s) are being paid for their activity?

  10. Athena
    11:55 pm July 30, 2011 Permalink

    Great summation, Matt! I was amazed how all hell broke lose on the internet when it was announced that Joe B. would not be able to coach! I thought it was great, rallying around the former coach, who like you said, wasn’t always so popular!

  11. Tyler Durden
    12:26 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Joe B is Cal’s Keightley. = Awesome.

  12. E Cat
    1:22 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    7. You are correct. The end of Joe B.’s tenure (including some tough NCAA losses in the 80s) is probably similar to Tubby’s. That said, time heels all wounds. Joe B. has been loyal to the program and become an icon. Very happy for him and I think history is now showing he had a better run as head coach than maybe was realized at the time.

  13. Jason
    1:58 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    ***So i have a question. Will Ryan Harrow be able to play in Big Blue Madness? He is allowed to practice with the team, and Big Blue Madness is technically still a practice so…. He can, right? I would LOVE to see him.

  14. HuntsVegas
    3:09 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    The NCAA statement means you guys overreacted (SHOCKER) about an exhibition game, including posting the presale code for tickets for those too lazy to sign up for it…..

    I thought it was funny because nobody is paying attention but you guys (AND ME)…

    I live in Alabama and listen to some local radio… I’m used to overreactions by fan bases. They kill trees and wish death upon each other down here… Oh wait they’re not ALL like that.

    This is the news from a web site you might have heard of. It’s been the front page for 3 days now. (Shhhh)

    These are the LOONS of the collegiate sports world. I live amongst them, wearing my BLUE in hopes they will leave me out of it.

    They talk about Bama and Auburn Football every day on Sirius. You’ve heard of that network, right?

    KSTV can’t figure out a way to televise this “huge game” after the #1 shepherd had his sheep email everyone and act like fools. Sounds about right. It’s been funny to me.

    Obviously it’s just not that big of a deal to anyone but you guys and girls. Believe me, I know UK fans down here I didn’t tell about this game until Friday….and they had no clue. They don’t read the Interwebz that much. (people have lives.) Maybe I don’t posting at 2AM CST.

    Be careful KSR. There are others fighting to be #1 in the insane fan base category. I try to act like UK people aren’t like THAT but know better…. never mind. I know my family up there isn’t “Like That”. I wasn’t raised that way. We just live down here and watch the insanity of ROLL TIDE/WAR EAGLE. I try to stay out of it but they still ask me “who you for?”…even in a Blue KENTUCKY Shirt

    Go Cats!

  15. inkink
    7:48 am July 31, 2011 Permalink


  16. Johnson
    8:45 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    In the early 80’s I can remember my dad and his friends griping about Hall every chance they got. Comes with the job, UK coach is a tough job if you aren’t winning every game.

  17. LindaS
    8:53 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    One thing about Joe B, he was always a gentleman and he is a direct link to the Rupp era. I also believe he should be in the Hall of Fame and should have been many years ago. I can’t believe he was denied the honor on the last ballot. That sucks.

  18. KYStout
    9:14 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Joe B. Hall’s 1984 team broke my heart much worse against Georgetown than the 1992 team did against Duke. That said, a couple points:

    1. Time heals.
    2. Joe B Hall was a better coach than Tubby Smith (since some have compared the two in their final seasons.)

  19. Flyingfishman
    9:33 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    The fan momemtum should keep going but I would like to see it shift from “Free Joe B” to “Joe B in the Hall”. The Hall of Fame that is.

  20. catnuts
    11:07 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    I for one was not a big fan of Joe B. Hall when he was coaching.I think there has never been a coach at UK that has done so little with so much and that includes Tubby. Unlike Tubby, Joe B. had the talent to win at least 3 or 4 titles. Tubby couldn’t recruit, Joe B. couldn’t coach. How do you not win a championship with Bowie,Turpin and Walker? By not letting the guards shoot and allowing the defence to sag 5 people in to guard 3 people thats how.

  21. BigBlue1976
    11:24 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Why does it say ‘comments 19’ then I click and there are only ten? Finally, when this comment posts, the rest magically appear! This is why I don’t comment much here. I can’t read all the comments or see my own half the time. Does anybody know why this happens???!!!

  22. BigBlue1976
    11:25 am July 31, 2011 Permalink


  23. Ira Tatum
    11:49 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Love it; Joe B. and Denny, true Blue and Red Bravehearts, rockin’ it all ‘Kiltmen’ like.

  24. Ira Tatum
    11:53 am July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Love the look for Joe B. and Denny rockin’ it Braveheart with the Blue and Red like true Kiltmen!

  25. Angus
    12:01 pm July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Love it! Joe B. and Denny rockin’ B-Ball fashion in blue and red like true Bravehearts and Kiltmen.

  26. Dennis Smith
    1:29 pm July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Joe B looks younger in that picture then Denny.

  27. Dave
    1:45 pm July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Just checked the current DR roster and Eloy is not listed, likely due to this bylaw: Involvement of Coaching Staff. No member of the coaching staff of a member institution may be involved in any capacity (e.g., coach, official, player or league/team administrator) at any time (during the academic year, vacation periods and summer) with an outside team that involves any student-athlete with remaining eligibility from that institution’s basketball team except as provided in Bylaws 14.7.3, and 17.28.

    I haven’t seen it officially announced that Eloy wouldn’t be on the team, so perhaps this decision was made quietly.

  28. Ira Tatum
    6:31 pm July 31, 2011 Permalink

    I’m with ya BigBlue1976. Often, I find myself having to fault my own PC – or simply look past it.

    BTW, loved seeing Joe B. and Denny rockin’ the blue and red like true Bravehearts; semi-real Kiltmen!

  29. joejoe
    6:47 pm July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah, and if you don’t agree with the majority of people here… they just delete your posts. This entire week was about Joe B Hall and the NCAA and there was absolutely nothing to it. All KSR writes about is Joe B Hall all week and misreport everything. Great job guys. Great job. I’m about done with this site. I know you don’t care. Just saying.

  30. AngusBiff
    6:49 pm July 31, 2011 Permalink

    Love seeing Joe B. and Denny rocking the blue and red like true Bravehearts, real Kiltmen.

  31. BigBlue1976
    6:01 am August 1, 2011 Permalink


  32. WalkersGoggles
    8:40 am August 1, 2011 Permalink

    ….still waiting for KSR writers to understand the concept of a fluid story.

    I knew this story was too dumb to be true