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Barnhart’s Comments: A Big Blue Nation Divided

As Tyler posted about earlier, Mitch Barnhart stated before UK’s 40-0 blowout loss to Vanderbilt earlier today that he was thankful for the “real fans” that show up to the game this afternoon, easily one of the lowest attendances in the modern era for Kentucky football. He also said that those who want Joker fired must have “personal agendas” against the embattled head coach.

Of course, this has stirred up a lot of controversy among UK fans, since the general consensus across BBN at this point is that a new coach is a necessary first step in building up a program that has fallen so far since Rich Brooks brought it back to respectability in 2006. Barnhart has taken a lot of criticism for his role in the stagnancy of the football program over the last few years, and his directed comments after a shutout loss against a mediocre opponent didn’t exactly help his case. But there are two sides to every story, so let’s look at things from both sides of the issue.

From Barnhart’s perspective, it is next to impossible to make UK fans happy. To be fair, Big Blue Nation’s perception of Rich Brooks after a couple of seasons was less than complimentary, and it turned out that all he needed was a little more time to build the program and shape it into the type of system he wanted to run. Now, I’m not saying that the Joker situation is the same, because it’s not. Phillips took over a program that was steadily improving overall and could not continue to build upon the team’s win total. To Joker’s credit, however, he did finally get Kentucky over the hump against South Carolina and Tennessee, and wins like this cannot be overlooked when you’re dealing with a program that had been bottom-feeding in the conference for years. Barnhart undoubtedly has received countless calls and emails trying to convince him to clean house immediately. Yes, it is part of his job, but it has to get old. Not everyone is exactly rational when expressing their heartfelt opinions, as demonstrated by a man who may have broken a new record for curse words in thirty seconds while Barnhart walked by him at a volleyball game.

From the fan’s perspective, however, enough is enough. For the most part, I think that UK fans still have a lot of respect for Joker as an individual, and for good reason. He is a stand up guy. This is one reason why it is hard to let him go. Phillips does a ton for the university and for the Lexington community off the field, but in the end his job is to coach a football team to victories, and based on his comments about his job security today, he understands that. Barnhart had every intention to reward the few fans who braved the weather and horrible football with his words, while inspiring the rest of the fan base to show up for Senior Day by challenging their status as “True Blue.” He also wanted to protect his head coach, a guy that he likes a lot. The result, though, was the isolation of a fan base that has suffered a lot over the past couple of seasons. Even fans who showed up to the Vandy debacle felt offended by Mitch’s “personal agenda” comment. And that’s fair enough. Many fans hate to see Joker go on a personal level, but legitimately believe that seeing him off has to happen before their beloved program can improve. Stating that these fans want Joker gone for personal reasons may not be the best way to handle relationships with these fans. Barnhart’s comments may prove true in some cases, and may have been targeted specifically at calls, emails, or statements directed at Joker on a personal level, but to assign this hatred to everyone who thinks it is time to turn the page is a little much.

Love Barnhart or hate him, UK’s athletics program as a whole has grown under his leadership. We do basketball better than anyone else, and multiple secondary sports have been provided with extra funding and upgrades that they deserve, and have improved significantly as a result. Look no further than UK baseball’s #1 ranking, softball’s emergence as an SEC contender, volleyball’s run to the sweet sixteen, and women’s basketball’s resurgence as a national power. But if Barnhart is going to reestablish a solid relationship with the majority of fans, some changes have to be made to the football program. There is clearly a lot of pressure on him to make a move, and I’m not convinced that his comments tonight mean that a decision has been made one way or the other. It’s a waiting game at this point, and Barnhart and a large portion of Big Blue Nation appear to be in an awkward staring match at this point. Meanwhile, as Senior Day looms, UK must find a way to get its fans back.

The seniors deserve that much.

Article written by Adam Schilt

130 Comments for Barnhart’s Comments: A Big Blue Nation Divided

  1. SteveM
    9:53 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart is responsible for this monstrosity and he’s not man enough to admit he has failed. As a UK fan, the only personal agenda I have is to get an AD that knows what he’s doing.

  2. BigBlueBrock
    9:53 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    What a horrible post. Does Adam Schilt work for Barney?

  3. Big time donor
    9:54 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch is getting ready to get his walking papers as well…

  4. Musehobo
    9:54 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I am a big Mitch fan, but this is ridiculous. He just made himself look like a blubbering idiot. If he has any sense at all he will apologize to the fan base or he will get what’s coming to him.

  5. SteveM
    9:54 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    KSR writers are 20 somethings that have little perspective on the football situation and even less judgment about what to do about it.

  6. SteveM
    9:55 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart looks like a blundering idiot for good reason…he is one.

  7. Not too late
    9:58 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    If UK wants the fans back this year, fire joker immediately. The fans will come back to support the players.

  8. Barnyardfart
    10:00 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Adam stop. MB hired Billy Gillispie and Joker. How good has he done?

  9. joe
    10:00 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink


  10. UK Fan
    10:00 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart is lying to the fans. Rather than acknowledge that UK football has sunk to a 50 year low, he blames the fans. What a POS.

  11. Gabe
    10:01 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Worst Post Ever.

  12. Shane
    10:02 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Adam – Rich Brooks was here for three years before he turned things around not two years as you stated in your column.

    Number 5 you’re correct. Matt should keep there posts limited to KSR College.

  13. The Joke is on US
    10:03 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone else watching this BAMA/LSU game?!?!?! I think we could beat both of these teams!

  14. 9 and 0
    10:04 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Does it matter? Either way, uk football is the rectal cavity of college football.

  15. SECsports
    10:05 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Pretty obvious why Mitch has had such a tough time through the years as a fundraiser. It’s only going to be worse now after this PR debacle.

  16. Flip
    10:05 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    The fact that this site won’t acknowledge Petrino as the best coaching candidate disqualifies any and all of its writers football opinions.

  17. kfund
    10:05 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    The correct move is to announce that Joker will not be back. Give him the dignity of having a farewell game with it out in the open. Let the fans show him that they do care for him as a UK guy and let him, and the seniors, go out with class.

    Mitch needs to make this change now, or he needs to go too.

    He is far too arrogant (in person) and in his comments for what he does. He oversees an athletic program. He doesn’t save lives. He doesn’t lead US troops in battle. He makes his living off athletics, the second word in the hyphen of “student-athlete”.

    You’ll be able to count our tickets as ones that go through the gate in 2 weeks. However, if Joker is still the coach it will be because we’ve given our tickets to orphans or active duty personnel.

  18. Adam Schilt
    10:06 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    12) Duly noted, but I used “couple” loosely. But I think his last two years were the two where he was under fire the most.

  19. Buckets
    10:06 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart crossed the line with his “personal agenda” and “real fans” comments. He lost a former supporter in me right there. It’s time for him to go, and he can take Joker with him. I wish Joker could have succeeded at Kentucky and the only “personal agenda” I have is wanting to see the football team at least compete. Losing 40-0 at home to VANDY is not competing, it’s quitting. And I am quitting my UK football fandom until Joker is gone. And I hope Barnhart joins him. I. Am. Done.

  20. Booger
    10:08 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Love u joker- you are the right man for job

  21. Hey Adam
    10:09 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Adam, Tyler posted that Mitch made his ‘real fans’ comment at the pre-game show, not after the game.

  22. SeasonTixHolder
    10:11 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I love Mitch Barnhart, but the man should not do interviews. Mitch needs to make a business decision, and fire Joker immediately. Have a substitute coach the last game. The football program is the money maker, but with many losses, and poor attendance, the decision is easy. The attendance today was horrible. Not every vendor was open, and some shut down after they saw the crowd (or lack there of). A majority of the folks left by halftime. Bottom line, if Joker is not replaced, I will not renew my season tickets. I am willing to bet that there are a few thousand other fans who share the same sentiment.

  23. Floyd
    10:11 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve never wanted a coach to succeed more in my life than Joker Phillips. After his first year I saw no improvement whatsoever in the team. It was even worser the second year. After Barnharts statement today, I would love to see someone knock him on his ass.

  24. Tom Jurich
    10:11 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I could work one day per month and I would work circles around ole Mitch.

  25. Doc
    10:11 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve followed UK sports for over 30 years. I have been the lone Cat in a sea of Gators in Gainesville during the Spurrier “run up the score” era and stayed until the last second ticked away. I have watched every game I could manage through medical school, residency, and even deployment to Afghanistan, though obviously I’ve missed my share due to higher priorities. When UK played my alma mater in the Music City Bowl, I did not hesitate to don my UK gear anyway. Even now, I try to make it to at least one UK home game each year although I am stationed quite a distance away.

    I have taken my lumps as a UK football fan. I have paid my proverbial dues. I am a “real” UK fan. However, I am also a husband, father, physician, officer, etc. I have been very blessed in life, but my resources (especially TIME) are limited. Others are feeling a financial pitch. What do you think they’re going to choose, Mitch? Travel money for Thanksgiving, more gifts for the kids (maybe even some BASKETBALL tickets) or a day spent in dreary weather watching a bottom-feeding team that we have sadly come to expect over the…oh…five decades or so.

    Mitch, regarding my 30+ years of loyal fandom to a dismal program, YOU’RE WELCOME!

  26. Hal
    10:12 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    tenn had as much to do with that W last year as we did. they were awful.
    vandy has blown us out 2 years in a row.
    UF has every year joker’s been here.
    USC did last year.
    UofL now 2-1 vs joker. western easily could be 2-0.
    joker is now 12-23 (4-19 in SEC, 1 total SECwest win) with no bowl wins.
    all seriousness: what does joker have to do to get fired if this isnt enough?

  27. Charlie Strong
    10:15 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    One more year! I want to open up another can on joker and uk again. No mercy next year though.

  28. snarkster
    10:15 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Actually, Mitch’s assinine comments came before, not after the debacle. I believe he he was banking on UK defeating Vandy and then Samford allowing him justification for holding onto Joker. Sorry Mitchie, didn’t quite work out that way.

  29. kywildcat
    10:16 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Then Mitch needs to ” Get Out “

  30. bigbluelou
    10:16 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    These comments by Mitch are insane! Only someone with a 10-year contract would dare utter such garbage to their customers. I run a business and if I pulled the same stunt, I wouldn’t have customers for very long. After this, I honestly hope even less people show up for the next game. Truthfully, if you can’t fire Mitch, I would suggest taking responsibility of the football program away from him and hire someone who cares about the program, the players and the fans. His comments are petty and disgraceful. As a 40+ plus hear fan, I am DONE with the program until real changes happen.

  31. Hell no mitch
    10:17 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I been a fan since 1977 . This is about as it gets. There is no reason why uk can’t put a good team on the field. Football pays alot of bills . Empty seats mean losing money . So mitch nut up get this under control . If not for cal your ass would be at some juco by now . Handle it mitch .

  32. Pissed Off Fan
    10:19 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Dear Mitch,
    Do you know what upsets me more: Our 1-9 record or your comment? Thats right your comment! How dare you blame the lack of success on the fans. I support Uk athletics. I support Joker. However, Joker must go. We all love that he is a UK guy. No one questions his heart is in the right place. However, I think the stats speak for themselves. We are under 500 for the first time in school history, attendance is at an all time low, and our season is pitiful. It doesn’t matter how great of friends you are Mitch with Joker. The bottom line is the fans will not pay to see this disaster. Look at the lots today. No one even showed up to tailgate. Its a sad sad day.

  33. Ditch Mitch
    10:19 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Why? Why poke the bear Mitch?

  34. donthate
    10:20 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    everyone hating on the blog writers need to chill out. i would like to see you guys write something about uk football right now. and if you don’t like the blogs and complain how terrible ksr is getting then stop reading…

  35. KCK
    10:22 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Divided? Divided? REALLY? I’d say the fans are unified now more than ever in their distrust and distaste for this arrogant, shortsighted, turd that’s running our athletics program.

  36. Squirrel Poop
    10:22 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    #16, you’re nuttier than I am.

  37. Matt Jones
    10:23 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares? It is basketball season. I can’t wait to slobber all over call and kiss his [email protected]

  38. bgblue
    10:24 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    You can not compare Brooks to Joker. Brooks took over declining team coming from totally outside of the program. Joker was a player. He was an assistant coach for several of years with the knowledge of the program. You can’t say that we should give him more time to turn the program around. He has been here way more than 3 years.

  39. PoopIceCream
    10:25 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Real Fans don’t let bad fans support ADs who use ‘personal agenda’ to hire or fire coaches!

  40. STEVE!
    10:26 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Did Mitch really think that his “real fans” and “personal agenda” comment would bring back the 47,000 fans that were disguised as empty seats today? If so, he is even more clueless and has even fewer people skills than I imagined.

  41. Head Bussa
    10:27 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I supported Mitch Barnhart until today. These comments are just wrong. WE have been there for this team through the years — WAY BEFORE BARNHART WAS HERE. We will be here when he is gone. Don’t let this jerk-off make any of you TRUE UK fans doubt yourselves. We are not bad UK fans for speaking with our attendance (or lack thereof). In the end, athletics is entertainment. What in the heck is entertaining about spending an afternoon watching our team play like the very worst team in America? This team doesn’t even play a lick of decent football. They are the absolute laughing stock of the nation. It’s almost like they didn’t even get out of bed today the way they played. In the end, Barnhart is just as responsible for this as Joker as he has sat back and watch this develop over the last three years. I will not support Mitch Barnhart again. He is hiding behind Coach Cal and the basketball program in saying those big words that he muttered today. If it weren’t for the bball team this man would have nowhere to hide and no excuse. Saying this stuff about our fans is deserving of being fired himself. I’m not kidding. The board of trustees really need to take these comments seriously and realize that University of Kentucky athletics is about the athletes first, the fans second, the coaches third, and the administrators last. This man is a selfish piece of garbage for trying to blame us for this. I know I will never forget him and am all for fans booing this man everywhere he goes in our presence. He never deserves a round of applause ever again.

  42. Mike
    10:28 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    The problem is that none of those other sports your talking about Barnhart doing such a great job with can survive without the football program being profitable Adam, and as an AD you can’t go out and publicly insult practically the entire fanbase and then make a completley irrational comment about people’s motives, its more than “a little much”, Mitch made a huge mistake today. I’ve always been a Barnhart supporter up to this point, but he owes the fanbase an apology after his comments today. The football team is 1-9 Adam. We got beat at home today 40-0 by Vandy. We lost to WKU at home with Max Smith and a relatively healthy team. For Barnhart to suggest that no one could have a single reason to want Joker gone other than “personal agendas” is beyond absurd, and it makes me now question how objective Mitch is capable of being with Joker. To say earlier in the week too that we’ve just “stubbed our toe” this season again suggests that Mitch is far from seeing the situation for what it truly is, which is quite worrisome.

  43. Head Bussa
    10:28 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    *never forgive him^^^^

  44. littlwhoadie
    10:29 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    End this train wreck, Brainfart!

  45. lexslamman
    10:30 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I credit mitch for bringing in PaPaw Brooks – that was a good move.
    I credit him for bringing in Calipari – again, great move.
    I forgave him for Billy Clyde Gillispie and Joker Philips, until he made the comments about ‘real Kentucky fans’.

    When we were having the Tubby debates, there were some calling Tubby supporters the only ‘real fans’ and others calling people like Dienasty Defenders (spelling intended, because Katman was a douchnozzle) ‘real fans’

    When we were having the BCG debates, the same thing happened.

    We wouldn’t be having those debates if we weren’t all REAL FANS – just like we wouldn’t have our stupid political debates on a sports blog if we didn’t all really care about this country.

    Mitch Barnhart just doesn’t get it, and I think it is probably time for him to go.

  46. carnifex
    10:31 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    OP is delusional. Barney will never win any fan back. It’s too late after all the attitude he has foisted off on us. The only ones still pumping that sunshine is the ones too dumb to realize Barney despises being held accountable. If, and it’s the biggest if in the world, Barney hired a home run coach, and we got to the SEC championship game, there would be a lessening of the animosity that is felt towards him. No respect though. You earn respect, you don’t gt it by mocking our fanbase and accusing them of being racist.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’ll not spend another dime on UK stuff, let alone go to a game, as long as Barney’s there. He can go and eat fish heads as far as I care.

    Here. To show what a great guy I am I will solve Barneys problem for him. Barney…STFU! You ain’t helpin’ matters! Now go out and hire a PR Flack for yourself and never talk in public again!

    I did that because I know Barney is too stupid to take my advice. But it’s out there, so he can’t moan about “No one telling him” You were told. And as I posted earlier today…

  47. "You people are crazy"
    10:31 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Cal is right! You people ARE crazy!
    Mitch hasn’t exactly handled this perfectly but think for a second…….he absolutely HAS to have stuck with Joker to this point. No one worth a damn in the coaching FRATERNITY would have touched this job if he had fired Joker before now.

    Mitch will now do the right thing and let this staff go then begin the search for a willing replacement

    Come off the ledge, take a deep breath and think with your head and not your heart for one second. Except for some ill-advised comments brought on by his loyalty to his friend, he has acted in the best interest of the future coaching search to this point.

    He will now fire Joker and move forward as we all know he should. He just could NOT do it before now if he (and we) wanted any DECENT coach to even interview for this risky job. Peace

  48. 3 fan
    10:32 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, it’s waaayy past time to make this a registered to comment site. Second, people, why pick on the writers? You don’t like it then go to another site. Last, Matt you MUST call Mitch out Monday morning if Joker isn’t fired by then. Mitch should get the chance to explain his words

  49. VandyGrad
    10:32 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    We are all pointing and laughing at you.

  50. carnifex
    10:32 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.

  51. UKFANinnc
    10:32 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    #17. Even if we were given free tickets, I’m not coming home to watch this mess.

  52. STEVE!
    10:33 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I think Mitch can win the fans back by walking out to midfield at the Samford game and telling the crowd how great we are doing in the Capital One Cup standings. Then we will finally recognize and appreciate his brilliance.

  53. 3 fan
    10:34 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I am a little girl and can’t handle people who have different opinions than me. My vagina is blood red.

  54. UKFANinnc
    10:35 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    *”WE” being the military members.

  55. Ukbabydoc
    10:35 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Sigh. I am soooo effing tired of hearing how great an AD Barnfart is because he has done a great job with the “Olympic” sports. While I am happy that they are doing great, honestly couldn’t care less. I spend my hard earned thousands of dollars per annum on two sports. I expect those to be worth said thousands, it means NOTHING to me if women’s underwater basket weaving is 20X national champs if what I PAY FOR is crap. If it was all fair and pizza for everyone, then yes great soccer would mean as much as a great football team. But it isn’t.

    Barnfart has failed from my perspective. Call me not a “real fan” if you’d like. But my family has held tickets to football since Stoll field, and I grew up shouting my lungs raw in commonwealth. I’ve watched countless crappy games, and stayed till the end. No more. Mitch can drive the Uhaul for him and choker. I’m done.

  56. bballdoc
    10:35 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Today was the perfect storm of a bad football fan experience. It was rainy and cold, until we got a bit of sunlight late in the game after the score was horrendous. Vandy scored early and often. There was no real hope of anything other than avoiding humiliation, and soon that was gone. I felt bad for the players, because they might as well have trying to hold back a hurricane.

  57. Piss-on'em
    10:38 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Joker didn’t get anything over the hump!!!

  58. Joker
    10:38 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I will be back next year. Suck on that!

  59. mashburnfan1
    10:40 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    The joke must go…that said i have seen people wanting the duke coach…NO WAY….get a good coordinator from a top team…bama as example…or a young coach from smaller school like Toledo, UL Monroe or Kent St just using examples

  60. Rumor
    10:47 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Hearing Mitch will contact Hope from Purdue after the season.

  61. shields eyes
    10:48 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I worked in a concession stand trying to raise money for a charity. The charity gets ten percent of all sales. Guess what, the charity probably made no money today and all the volunteers wasted their time because of the catastrophe that is our football team. Does Mitch Barnhart expect the 60000 people to come out and blow their money on tickets and food for the inferior product that he and his coaching staff are producing? He loves the fans when they shelling out the cash for him. Mitch is not taking responsibility for his own fault in this horror of a season.

  62. Blue Balls
    10:49 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Geez…. It’s time for Barney to exit the door and it’s time you guys at KSR quit worrying about your basketball passes and write the truth. Barney sucks and it doesn’t help your scared to write the truth. He didn’t want Cal and you know it. He hired Gillespie which cost UK and boosters 3 mill and Jokers buyout will be 2 mill plus. He is the worst and needs to go. Read the story by Rick on the CJ that’s journalism. People it’s time to turn up the heat on Barn.

  63. carnifex
    10:53 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink


    When Florida fired Zook in the middle of the season it tore their program apart. They never did recover, til they hired Urban. See how that works. So that argument fails as just being rhetoric.

    As far as Barney, this isn’t the first, second, or even third time he as sniped at our long suffering fan base. So that argument fails on its premise.

    And coaches are mercenary. They take jobs that pay well. They don’t give a rat’s about loyalty. Again, FAIL!

    Instead of worrying about other people and how they think, maybe you need to trade out your Kotex a little more often.

  64. Mitch Barnfart
    10:54 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s see what else I can say……you are microwave fans with stubbed toes that are racists. That will do for now and ya’ll wonder why I say no comment all the time? Truthfully I couldn’t care less what you think. I make 600k a year and make fun of you little fans all the time so hahahahahahaha

  65. Worn out
    10:54 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I am one of those fans who has followed UK football for over 35 years, hoping against hope, every year, that something would change. I hoped Joker Phillips would build on the improvement we saw under Coach Brooks but the program has slipped markedly each year during Joker’s tenure. This is failure by any standard. I don’t know that much about the AD but his comment was really stupid, under the circumstances. I can understand that he wants the fans to be “loyal” but apparently he just doesn’t realize what we have been through watching loss after loss after loss for so many years. We want the administration and the legislature, for that matter, to care enough to allow UK to field a competitive football team. Years of frustration were brought to a volcanic eruption by Barnhart’s stupid, insensitive comment.

  66. Steve
    10:56 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    What if Mitch says, “Joker, I’m going to keep you for next year, but you need to fire and replace your coordinators.” I could easily see something like this happening…..unfortunately.

  67. Bsb Coach
    10:58 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone who wants to get rid of Barnhart is not someone who should be considered as rational or worth listening to. He has elevated ALL programs. The sucess of our entire athletic program is at an all-time high. So the football team has underacheived? It’s not like we’ve ever been a dominant FB program. He will make the change, but he is right about true-blue fans. They should always be there if possible and support the young men who chose to come and represent our university. Oh, and don’t forget, he did bring us Coach Cal.

  68. yep
    10:58 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    To this point I have been in defense of barney. his statements today are over the top. Fire him as well as joker

  69. Head Bussa
    10:58 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    66 — That won’t cut it. Barnhart should do that if he wants to see more Louisville fans in Commonwealth than UK fans when the two teams play next year. I’m serious about that too.

  70. Flip
    11:00 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    36 – you know it’s the truth.

  71. ohhai
    11:00 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    the people trying to defend this douche are beyond help. open your damn eyes. he cant raise money to build facilities, he blames politicians. he cant hire a good coach, he blames fans. he throws a crap ton of money at sports no other school does and then pounds his chest when said sports have MODERATE success. thanks to the people who REALLY care about uk for getting us cal. get out of kentucky you taint

  72. SweetWm
    11:02 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Why not cover Stoll Field and play basketball there and play football in Rupp Arena? Better still why not tear down Stoll and play all road games.

  73. rainman
    11:02 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    There doesn’t appear to be much division, judging by the crowd today!
    Looks like BBN is pretty much on the same page, all but one un-named person!
    I can’t speak for others but I gave up last year, not on the players, and
    not particularly on the staff, I gave up on the administration! Tired of being
    sold a supar product, (MEDIOCRITY)!!! I won’t buy it any more, I don’t care who the
    coach is, until a committment is made by the University, I’m done!

  74. [email protected]
    11:02 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Am I the only one who finds it comical how many doctors, attorneys, and major K Fund donors there are on this site when something like this happens? Haha

  75. Big J
    11:03 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    I’m an Alum and a 50 year plus REAL UK fan. Anyone that knows football knew that Joker was a terrible hire but we supported him and Mitch anyway. It is now beyond obvious that Joker has to go and that decision should have been made last year. Mitch’s comments today implying that we are not real and have an agenda were very offensive. It’s time for the Board of Trustees to take charge and remove both Joker and Mitch immediately.

  76. BigBluesClues
    11:04 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    WE ARE THE JOKE OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL.. How about we continue to rationalize this stupidity to make ourselves feel well, only then shall we see that not only is MB a man but obviously not top of the class…and if he was….book-learnin only gets you so far in a street smart world, common sense would’ve served his college education well. He’s like a Republican…out of touch with the common man.

  77. 84Cat
    11:10 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    “Stating that these fans want Joker gone for personal reasons may not be the best way to handle relationships with these fans.” That is the biggest understatement of the year! Personal agenda = you’re a racist. Mitch Barnhart can KMA! UK Sports will not see any more of my money until I hear a heartfelt apology.

  78. BigBluesClues
    11:13 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone feel like they’ve wasted their time over the last year? Many said Mitch doesn’t know what he’s doing last year and faithfully I scoffed…Now the Joker is on me….right?

  79. ukfootstabber
    11:17 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink


  80. SeoulCat
    11:35 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Adam must be Joker and Mitch’s secret lovechild.

  81. SeoulCat
    11:36 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    #78, I feel like I just wasted my time reading the above post. Does that count?

  82. Fan Base
    11:45 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Dear Mr. Mitch: Your comments today were uncalled for, shameful, and insulting to the fan base. Let us look at this from a business prospective. If a company were to have a non-performer that dramatically affected its bottom line in a negative fashion, and if the powers that be were to dig in their heels and blame other hard working employees and their loyal customer base, instead of addressing the internal problem, that company would be out of business in a short time.
    I was surprised that you allowed you emotions to get the better of you, to that extent, today. It is now clear to all that you lack the emotional detachment necessary to make an impartial decision regarding the football program. Consequently, you should apologize to the fan base and then remove yourself from the process. As AD I do not know how that can be done, however, for the sake of the program, it must be done.
    You made a hugh, hugh tactical error today!!

  83. Screen pass
    11:49 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Alabama may have just won the National Championship thanks to a screen pass.

  84. UK Fan
    12:03 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    UK will never get another dime of my money until BARNHART is gone. Blaming the fans for his failures as an AD is the last straw.

  85. snarkster
    12:11 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Hey 60. The same Coach Hope that is 14-26 in his first 3+ seasons with the Whiskey in Your Beer Boyz? No thanks.

  86. Dutch
    12:11 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker seems to take a page from Obamas book, It’s somone elses faught………..Not his! Barnhart can stick my season tickets up his ass!

    12:14 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    #35 IS RIGHT ON!!!!

  88. Dutch
    12:18 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Charlie Strong says, Joker forever!

  89. timer
    12:26 am November 4, 2012 Permalink


    Nailed it.

  90. Got Football?
    12:26 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I was at the game and sat there in the cold and rain until the last 3 mins of the game. In my opinion it looked like the players didn’t even care, and if they did I never seen such poor playing in my life. Mitch has to understand that it takes gas and money to come to the games, if he wants he can drive 2 hours to come watch me mow grass and pay me $30- $40 to watch, its about the same excitement. Joker is a good guy, but I am tired of excuses for crappy playing calling and getting blown out by teams. Hell at least give the fans free cokes or hotdogs to sit through this crap. The band used the field more than the football team. Its really sad.

  91. Uncle Pappy
    12:27 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    67–you are an idiot.

  92. My Blue Heaven
    12:46 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    50 to 1 he’s wearing a Tennessee T-shirt….

  93. My Blue Heaven
    12:51 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    It’s a conspiracy against BBN Football and we have traitors amongst us…..

  94. My Blue Heaven
    12:54 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    The time has come to rise up and take back our 6-5 football teams when at least we had a place to eat, drink, and cheer….

  95. My Blue Heaven
    12:59 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    LET CALIPARI RUN THE FOOTBALL TEAM TOO….or something….get rid these clowns

  96. My Blue Heaven
    1:03 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I pretty much own this site now….

  97. Big Ballers
    1:04 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    #67 you are also part of the problem. Mitch is the worst and you should be ashamed of your self defending his antics. The more I think of it you probably are Mitch.

  98. My Blue Heaven
    1:04 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’m the star of this blog…right on

  99. Moe Sizlack
    1:12 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    #67 how can you stand up for that goof ball? He insults the fan base and calls the few hundred that were there the real fans. Let these “real” fans support all his beloved sports by themselves then. He is so ball less that he is putting his friendship with Joker above the good of the entire football program? Who died and made this jerk king of Ky? He has to be accountable to someone right? Ditch Mitch is my new cause. I hope the SEC commish puts ol’ Barn in his place.

  100. James
    2:22 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I think it’s funny how Matt wants to stay “tight” with Mitch so he’s not commenting on the obviously ridiculous comments made by the UK athletic director. Matt knows Mitch’s job is safe and isn’t getting involved in a situation he would normally comment on. Shame on him for pushing this down to the peons and interns he hires to do the dirty work. He’s as big of a pu$$y as Mitch is…..

  101. Clem Kadiddlehopper
    3:54 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch needs to go choke on a bag of dicks. That guy wouldn’t know a good coach if one walked up and smacked him upside the head.

  102. Wan Benike
    5:18 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    The first thing I did when I got my new iPhone 5 was to buy a decent set of screen protectors. It is really awful to buy a shiny new iPhone then scratch it on your keys in your pocket!

  103. Big Whoop
    5:44 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Surely there is a hot shot attorney out there who wants to make a name for himself who can file a class action suit on behalf of season ticket holders, donors and students against the University of Kentucky for “theft by deception.”

    UK has deceived those three groups by failing to put a competitve football team on the field of play and the university led those groups into spending money in the belief that the university knowingly misled those groups in order to obtain their money under false pretenses.

  104. Musehobo
    7:29 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    100) Matt was at a concert last night, he runs a radio show. He can’t/won’t try to avoid this. My guess is we’ll have a twitter/KSR statement today that will probably be critical, but diplomatically respectful of Mitch, exactly what he needs to do to stay in good with the program.

  105. Rommy Layne Woodson aka. Buck
    8:11 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, Mitch is absolutely clueless….hopefully he will be replaced soon….

  106. JEM
    8:29 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Simply a horrid piece of writing…

  107. Unknown Fan
    8:58 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Yet ANOTHER Turd Polished and pooped out to the unwashed masses to digest and spit out!
    Good GAWD those press passes must be sacred to KSR!

  108. greg
    9:01 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    i was in commonwealth stadium for last years louisville game. i said then, that the product on the field was a sad offering, and that i wouldnt be back until the product changed. still havent been back. i dont intend to. saved a ton of money as well.

  109. RON COX
    9:07 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why we should keep Joker as Coach
    Football fans will accept mediocrity in Football
    Fans accept the myth that we can only be good in one sport
    Fans are thrilled to go to a post season “money grab” who cares game tagged as a “bowl game”
    The Rich Brooks standard Joker is being compared to was mediocre at best.

  110. Squirrel Poop
    9:13 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    @#70, that’s why I said it.

  111. RON COX
    9:13 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Rich brooks was never competitive in the SEC. He had a losing record against SEC teams
    Ky finished in the lower half of the East
    Ky will not spend the bucks to hire a coach that can change the program from mediocre to SEC competitive.
    They will hire an up-and-comer like Hal Mumme that will flame out after he has no more smoke and mirrors left.
    The new coach will be better the first two years, after that we will see the same results we have with Joker.
    Season ticket holders should continue to buy tickets, but not show up or give away their tickets until the Athletic dept gets the message. Strive to be great in Football or just come out and admit we are now the SEC sure win game for losers.

  112. Jb414
    9:14 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I watch the games faithfully with my husband every Saturday from my couch. We cannot afford the costs associated with going to a game (ticket prices, babysitter, parking, etc.). We cheer loudly and we keep on hoping that “this will be the game they get a win”. For Mitch Barnhart to insinuate that a person is only a “real fan” if they pay the over inflated ticket prices is wrong and it’s just plain rude. He is trying to cover up for the failures of the program, most of which he should take responsibility for, instead of going around insulting BBN. If he wants to sell tickets next year I suggest he change his tone.
    P.S. I like Joker as a person but do question whether he is the right coach for the job. He seemed defeated from the start in yesterday’s game, barely speaking and not reacting. How can he expect his players to play with passion if he doesn’t coach with passion from the sidelines?

  113. Beavis
    9:32 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Well,,,,,I guess this site is infested with “racists” ( according to our AD ) He did not say some fans ,, he insinuated that anyone that did not support Joker was a racists. If anyone else has a different spin on “personal agenda ” ,,lets hear it. The man has stepped way over the line with his comments and that ego maniac will keep that failure we have for a football coach just to show the fans who is in charge. Prepare for another season under Joker. Then after next year we can only hope they get rid of Joker and Mitch.

  114. Cat Fan in Gainesville
    9:37 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe we can get a REAL athletic director Mitch, someone who takes it PERSONAL that our football team sucks.

  115. Dman
    9:49 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’d get great pleasure knowing Mitch actually read these comments. What a dick head!

  116. Dammitch!
    10:00 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    This is EXACTLY what Jurich pulled with UofL fans over Kragthorpe – then he fired him the next season. He was – just like Mitch – thinking with hope and not head. ….but Jurich is a top shelf AD. Mitch is a money guy…we aren’t exactly talking about CM Newton here or someone who cares about Kentuckians

  117. SevenT
    10:07 am November 4, 2012 Permalink


    You must be blind!! I am a REAL UK fan that was at the game yesterday until the final 5 minutes. I simply could not stand and watch Vandy beat Kentucky into the ground any longer.

    I am a REAL FAN that wants Joker Fired NOW. Do not wait until the end of the season. The reasons are:

    1. Joker took over a decent team and has run it into the ground.
    2. Joker does not know how to Coach.
    3. Joker’s teams quit on him.
    4. Joker has lost the respect of Fans and the rumor is he has lost control of the locker room
    5. Joker is in way over his head.
    6. In his third season the team is 1-8. Joker has been with the program since Brooks was here. Joker knows the drill he just can’t execute.

    Mitch you appear to be in over your head as well. DO YOUR JOB and find a Coach that can lead young men and play competitive football.

  118. This guy
    10:08 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why is everyone so mad at Mitch? He managed to take a fanbase that was divided over Joker’s position and Mitch Barnhart as an AD and completely 100% unite them in their resolve to oust both Joker and the AD.

    Thanks Mitch for pushing my personal agenda.

  119. mitchsucksbut
    10:16 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t like Mitch, but a lot of the smaller sports that I care a lot about as a fan have done really well under him. Gotta respect him for that.

    For those of you ragging on the writing, what the hell? There’s nothing wrong with this. Calling something bad or criticizing a guy trying to stay objective and start debate on a BLOG is childish and makes you look like a complete ass and an idiot.

    The writing was fine, Adam.

  120. Head Bussa
    11:00 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I am irate about this comment by Barnhart and do not plan on ever letting him off the hook for it. I’m not f-‘in around about this. I have never had any problem with Barnhart until I read this comment. I also have never had any personal agenda against Joker whatsoever. What in the heck is Barnhart talking about? There is nothing like having a baseless and hurtful accusation thrown out there about a large group of people. A TRUE leader does not do that. A TRUE leader does not blame others when they need to take personal accountability for a situation. Not even Joker has said anything so needlessly hurtful to the fans when he very well could have as he is feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders. Barnhart feels some pressure and just decides to lash out to what he perceives as the reason for the pressure. I’m done with this guy. I’m not joking. If I see him in public I will personally tell him to go to hell and to leave Lexington.

  121. bluebiscuit
    11:00 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch’s comments this past week haven’t been AD caliber, that’s for sure. All that touchy feely stuff about him and Joker being friends, then this business about real fans, and personal agendas — Mitch would be better off as a cast member on “The View.” He knows that fans wanted Joker to succeed — if fans were against Joker for any personal reasons, they would have quit coming to games two seasons ago.

  122. Davefromdagap
    11:16 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’d always bashed those who bashed Mitch until this point. My reasoning being that other than the Smirky Hire and the current state of the football program, all of our other programs have thrived. But the “Personal Agenda” comment ended that. Now I’m beginning to think he’s in over his head. His decisions can’t be made on personal feelings, and he can’t keep trying to saddle a dead horse just because he is the one that bought the horse. His remarks are beyond goofy. My respect for him is now gone.

  123. Come Back Big Blue
    11:19 am November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Talk about personal agenda…. I’m new to this web site, but whoever wrote this article must have a personal agenda supporting Mitch… absolutely ridiculous. Do you even go to the Football games?
    There are two programs that matter Football and Basketball. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that basic concept. After the Joker buy out this guy will have wasted more of our resources than anyone in his position has a right to waste. He’s a poor manager, has not focused on what is important and doesn’t understand the first thing in building relationships. Now he must go too.
    Here’s a solution… Why not put Coach Cal in charge of the AD office. He could sell a popsicle to an Eskimo and keep KY basketball moving forward too. He’s got the kind of attitude we need to put a coach on the field that can win in Football.

  124. markp
    12:01 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    What a punk tactic by the AD to point a finger at the fan bsse. Only an idiot would take up for Joker at this point. Football is the number one money maker at UK and should be treated as important. Mitch has handled the Joker situation all wrong and should probably be fired along with Joker.

    An announcement saying Joker will be gone as soon as the final whistle blows should be made and an active search for a replacement should be going on as we discuss this issue today.

  125. ukcat58
    12:12 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch – This is your defining moment! This week fire Joker so he can get his $2.5M parachute and we as a shitty fan base,so you think, can have some home of a FB future for the UK we love.

  126. UKAA
    12:21 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink




  127. Adam Schilt
    2:00 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    124.) Proud to say I haven’t missed a UK football game in 5 years. And yes, I do like Mitch. But I think his comments only alienated the fan base, as I stated. Trying to look at the other side doesn’t mean I’m saying that the other side is correct. But I have better things to do (like show support) than spend all of my time bashing everyone in the program.

  128. Big T
    3:11 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    The only devide in True Blue Cats Fans has been those of us who knew that hiring Joker as our Head Coach was a terrible idea 4 years ago and those of you who know it know. Any other job in the world, other than UK AD, and Mitch would be fired – can’t go 1 for 3 on hiring your revenue genorators. Olympic sports and all that fluff matter very little when the pen hits the paper and bills have to paid. He was looking for a way out when Kansas was looking – time to send him out too.

  129. T.T.
    3:38 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I am and always have been a true fan of KY Football and Basketball. I was born and raised in this state and love all of UK sports. I truly believe that Mitch Barnhart is the problem. I have nothing against a proud Kentuckian such a Joker Phillips. I believe Joker is a wonderful recruiter and should stay with the University in that position. GO BIG BLUE!