Good morning, beautiful Kentucky Sports Radio readers, and welcome to the first Friday in the fall of 2010. As is the case with every week end in the calendar’s second to last season, the Kentucky football team preps itself for an SEC showdown. But, you have a far more easier task. You just have to get your DVR all settled in to its new recording schedule. On this Thursday, it was your first shot at making sure you had your television staples (The Office and Community) set to record and found a way to work in a new wildcard, which, in this case, is ABC’s My Generation. Given my assumption that My Generation was destined to be an adult version of Dawson’s Creek targeted at those who grew up watching Dawson’s Creek (I never did, honest), I kept my anticipation of the season premiere highly secretive everywhere outside of the Beisner Family Compound. But, as I settled in with my bon bons and my pink slippers for the first episode of My Generation, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a well-written show that blends historical events and some of the momentous occasions that have been so prominent in the lives of people in, not surprisingly, my generation. If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s, it’s definitely worth checking out. But, if you do and you determine that it’s too much like Dawson’s Creek for your liking, let’s keep this little secret between me and you. You tell no one.
Now onto some UK news…
– The biggest story of the day is the one that still has yet to come to fruition. But, it appears that closure (for now) is on the horizon. According to the Birmingham City Schools, the findings of the investigation into Eric Bledsoe’s transcript should be made public Friday at a special meeting of the Board of Education at 5pm. The findings of the private investigation, which was funded by the Birmingham School District, will finally give the world answers to the portion of Pete Thamel’s New York Times piece which said it would take “an improbable academic makeover” for Bledsoe to be eligible at UK – a piece that was published four months ago. Obviously, the best case scenario is that the findings determine that Bledsoe earned his grades and Pete Thamel summarizes it and earns praise on Twitter from every sportswriter on the planet for his solid summary. Worst case scenario is that the report finds that his transcript was not accurate and Pete Thamel summarizes it and earns praise on Twitter from every sportswriter on his planet for his solid summary. No matter what, it appears that Eric Bledsoe and Pete Thamel are going to, at least tangentially, give us another interesting Friday night.
– Interestingly, especially considering the timing, the internet was hit with a wave of anti-NCAA stories on Thursday, spearheaded by Jay Bilas’ piece on ESPN saying that it should not be the business of college athletics’ governing body to determine who is and isn’t eligible academically at each school. That responsibility, according to Bilas, should be decided on by each school and be based on their requirements for the student population at large. Under that premise, Bledsoe would have had the 2.0 minimum required to enter UK and, thus, there would be no need for any New York Times investigation. One salient point made by Bilas is that this investigation, which is being trumpeted as occurring in the name of academics, has little to do with academics at all. It has to do with other schools trying to keep Bledsoe off the basketball court.
– And, speaking of eligibility, the biggest concern facing the 2010-11 version of the Cats remains the undetermined status of Turkish Enes Kanter. At the John Calipari Tipoff Dinner on Thursday, which kicked off with Matt Jones telling the crowd, “I wasn’t the first choice to host this event. They actually asked Rick Pitino, but he declined and said he couldn’t do anything in public that took more than 15 seconds”, Calipari said that in his eyes, Kanter is an amateur and, though he has no timetable or any idea of when the world will know, he believes that Kanter will eventually be cleared.
– At the dinner, Calipari also noted that Terrence Jones practiced with the team for the first time on Thursday. Calipari did not confirm this, but most believe that it will not be the last time he practices with the team. Most believe that each occurring practice will become less and less newsworthy.
– Calipari also told those in attendance that he expects several of the Cats now in the NBA to return for Big Blue Madness in October. He did not name names or any specific reason for the return, but you can safely assume that the departed Wildcats are likely concerned with the furious storm of dancing that Josh Harrellson is set to unleash at UK’s opening practice and will be on hand to contain the masses.
– On the football front, the prevailing feeling coming out of the Nutter Center is one of excitement as the Cats get ready to play in a “nothing to lose” game with a chance to not only end an embarrassing streak, but to also makea statement nationally. That optimistic feeling is especially reassuring given the news on the injury front Thursday that Stuart Hines would not play against the Gators. Hines will be replaced in the starting lineup by Billy Joe Murphy, who, along with Larry Warford, holds the most offensive line-ish name on the entire offensive line. Joker also said that Moncell Allen’s status is still not known.
– On a less positive note, Urban Meyer said on Thursday that the Gators have had their best week of practice of the season and that his confidence in his offense is extremely high. Meyer said that they will look to re-establish what has been a very powerful running game the past few seasons against Kentucky on Saturday. Given Kentucky’s struggles against opposing running backs this season, it appears that Steve Brown’s troops will have a challenge placed squarely in front of them in The Swamp on Saturday.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we get you UK basketball and football news in the most ridiculous manner and promise not to tell you that it’s time to die. It’s just time to get ready for the Gators. Make sure you stick around all day. See you in a few…