As mentioned in the night post, Matt chatted with UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart yesterday for an extensive interview that will air Monday and Tuesday night on KSTV. Among the topics discussed between the power suit and the power button up and sports coat were the relationship with John Calipari, The Billy Gillispie Experiment and the hottest topic of the day, upgrades to the football and basketball facilities.
On the topic of upgrades, Barnhart said that the school would ideally like to improve the arena situation for both the basketball and football teams, though he did note that he disagreed with the notion that Commonwealth is falling apart and cannot be repaired. The most interesting note, though, was music to UK football fans ears as Barnhart said “Honestly, right now football is the priority”in making improvements. He added that while there are no plans right now in the works, there’s a good chance that funding will require them to make improvements on an a la carte basis, rather than a major building project like a new facility. That means things like getting a new recruiting room, a new scoreboard or a new sound system in Commonwealth would likely have to come separately. Again, this is just hypothetical at this point.
Now, to be fair to Barnhart and before you get all fired up and start sending him emails about not caring about getting the basketball team into a more dazzling facility, that was not his opinion at all. The UK AD said that he does want to make UK’s facilities for basketballthe best in the country but, in regards to the football situation, the Rupp Arena facility is the most functional at the moment. UK’s lease with Rupp ends in 2018, so there is a date you would have to assume would force a major decision to be made, but the availability of funds at this point are not lending themselves to a massive upgrade across the board.
Matt will stop by later and add more details and offer his thoughtson the situation, but, in the meantime, I say we start making donations in the comments section. I’m willing to auction off a foot rub from Bryan The Intern and swimming lessons from Will Lentz to help raise the funds. Now, its all up to you.