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Cotton Nash’s Wednesday News and Views

Good evening, Kentucky Wildcats fans and those of you trolling us from other fan bases. Tonight, we pay tribute to a Kentucky legend on the eve of his 71st birthday. That legend is Charles Francis Nash, also known as “Cotton” for his shiny blond hair.

Before guys like Anthony Davis and John Wall consumed all the Kentucky basketball popularity — long, long, long before them — Cotton Nash was the star of the UK show. A three-time All-American in his three years of basketball at Kentucky, Nash scored 1,770 career points for the Wildcats, good enough for seventh on the all-time leading scoring list while playing all five positions for the Cats and starring for the UK baseball team, too. He posted a .271 batting average as a senior first baseman and would later go on to play 13 games for the Chicago White Sox.

But despite his affinity for baseball, basketball was his bread and butter and no one knew that more than his head coach, Adolph Rupp. Rupp once said, “If I had my choice of one man in the country to build my team around, it would be Cotton Nash.” That’s pretty high praise from the Baron.

Today, Nash’s No. 44 jersey hangs high above the rafters in Rupp Arena and most, if not all, consider him to be one of the best to ever wear Kentucky blue on the basketball court.

That is why, when I had my choice to build this week’s Wednesday News and Views around one man, it was him.

Let’s get to it…

 Tuesday kicked off with an appearance from Jeff Sheppard on Kentucky Sports Radio radio to put his recent controversy to bed. Shep was a guest with Matt Jones in the first hour to explain what he meant by his comments at a UK fundraiser in Ohio over the weekend when he jokingly, kind of, called Calipari the enemy; said he feels more comfortable in the Louisville offices; and spoke out about how much emphasis Kentucky puts on NBA draft picks over national championships. He admitted to misspeaking about Cal as the enemy, calling it a poor joke attempt, and said his problem is with the one-and-done system, not the way Kentucky plays to it.

“I can’t question anything that Coach Cal has done,” he said on Tuesday morning’s show. “What I personally feel the right balance is for a national championship team in today’s environment is what we did in 2012.”

You can listen to the interview in the video below:

We can put it all behind us now. Love you, Jeff. Always and forever. #96RickPitinoBasketballCamp

 The real controversy from Tuesday — although not exactly groundbreaking stuff to Kentucky fans — came in a report from ESPN’s Dana O’Neil and Mike Fish regarding how terrible of a human being Mark Emmert is as NCAA president. In an online feature for Outside The Lines, the dynamic journalism duo reported that former NCAA staffers have come forward with claims that Emmert targets specific coaches and programs and labels them as “dirty,” particularly within a separate in-house group investigating basketball. Those same accusers also said Emmert shares and reviews student-athletes’ academic transcripts with the media, a violation of federal privacy laws.

Now, by show of hands, how many of you are shocked by the accusations?

Moving on..

 Mark Stoops was a guest at ESPN’s Bristol campus on Tuesday for the annual SEC head football coaches’ ‘Car Wash’ with the network. The new UK head football coach’s one-day ESPN media marathon kicked off with the ESPNU College Football podcast with Ivan Maisel (link here), followed by a live chat on ESPN.com (link here), College Football Insider with Travis Haney (I don’t know what this is), a stop in the digital media room (this either), College Football Live (no online video), and the grand finale, an appearance on SportsCenter (video here).

What we learned from the washing of his car:

— The debut of the new black matte UK helmets is very unlikely this fall. “Maybe somewhere in the future,” Stoops said. “But probably not this year.”

— He believes the quarterback position and the defensive line have the most depth on the team.

— Tight ends will be utilized more in the passing game to make up for the lack of depth at wide receiver.

— Walking into the spring game is the highlight of his time at Kentucky thus far.

— It’s a long process to go through but they’re excited.

 The Commonwealth Stadium renovation is still in its early stages, but thanks to Jen Smith, we now know UK has signed formal deals with an architectural firm and a construction manager and has rough drawings for the $110-million renovation of Commonwealth and other football facilities. An open records request from Jen found the contracts and drawings, which can also be found in the new UK football media guide, as Tyler posted last week:

UK spokesman Dewayne Peevy said that a formal model of a renovated Commonwealth Stadium will most likely be unveiled in October, and that the design may look different than the one you see above.

 Big Blue Nation did not make SportsGrid.com’s list of the 25 Schools With Football’s Most Engaged Fans. Wait ’til next year, SportsGrid. Wait ’til next year. Give us time.

 Randall Cobb is one of the faces of Under Armour’s new superhero-inspired workout gear. The tight-fitting sports apparel company is collaborating with DC Comics and Warner Bros. to release a new collection of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash Under Armour gear that will “inspire athletes to new heights.”

cobb-ua cobb-ua2

Superman has since inquired about a Randall Cobb line of athletic performance wear to inspire him to new heights.

 KentuckySportsRadio.com, that’s us, and DraftStreet have teamed up once again to provide KSR readers with a completely free and easy to manage fantasy baseball contest. The free one-day fantasy league will go live this Friday night and DraftStreet is giving away up to $400 for the players, all of whom come from this website. Check out the post from Wednesday afternoon for more details and then get over to DraftStreet.com to assemble your roster. Make sure you visit through the KSR link or you won’t be eligible for the KSR contest. Good luck.

 KSR will be at Big Rock ATV Park in Maysville for Wednesday morning’s show. The Louisville game tickets are still up for grabs.

Take care.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

34 Comments for Cotton Nash’s Wednesday News and Views



  1. 4?
    11:11 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I thought Noel was supposed to wear #5 for the 5 teams that passed him in the draft…



  2. Bradley
    11:29 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    1. There were only 4 NBA teams who passed on him. The Charlotte Bobcats also passed on him.



  3. Aaron C Bunch
    11:34 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Damn, Nerlens has a NICE ass.



  4. Aaron C Bunch
    11:37 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I would like to see Nerlens in a pair of compression shorts.



  5. And....
    11:39 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    So what you’re saying is Emmert is a [email protected]@, liar and a cheat…this is news to who?



  6. Tony Perez
    11:41 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Drew Franklin for President!!!

    Sheppard sounds EXACTLY like a Loserville fan. Same words verbatim as Lil Bro fans have always used. Then someone informs me he’s on the Dirty Bird payroll. Hummm. That could explain it. Jealousy/Envy that he was never even close to ever being good enough to play pro ball could also explain it. Not being very smart could also explain it. In any event,….Shep and his apologists = Card fans. Pitino = traitor.



  7. Austin
    11:47 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Dang. Did Barry Peppers play for Kentucky?



  8. Frew Drunklin
    12:03 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Mark Emmert strikes me as the type of man that enjoys a nice, long golden shower every now and then.



  9. Radio Ron
    12:16 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Cotton Nash was certainly my favorite UK basketball player. I’ll never forget what Cawood said on one of his broadcasts (before UK games were televised). He said, ” I just wish Wildcat fans could see how Cotton shines in road games…even opposing crowds marvel at the magnificence of this young athlete. He can do it all.”



  10. Culver
    12:22 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Sheppard has done more good for U.K than Calipari can hope to ever do. Sheppard is a class act, Calipari on the other hand…even you Jones, knows how to end that.



  11. red headed step child
    1:11 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Could any of the players who had their transcripts shared with the media hold NCAA accountable by filing a lawsuit?



  12. Kevin C.
    1:20 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll miss Noel this year….but if we go undefeated, at least we can say we “finished the season with no L “. That sadly wasn’t the case last year, in ANY way.



  13. Jerns
    1:54 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Just wanna say, thank you Franklin for the Nash naming for this post. One of the legends of this club that we can never allow ourselves to forget.



  14. SeaCat
    2:08 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Emmert is bad. He was spineless at the University of Washington
    during one of the largest Medicare fraud cases ever. $75-80 million down
    the toilet.
    But, can we discuss Dante’s inferno? What about Dante Exum?
    I want him more than Wiggins!
    I am sure Cal does too.
    Please Cal, get this guy…



  15. Lazy I
    2:31 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    That Name/Number off-centered or am I lazy….



  16. derp
    2:59 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    10… You’re an uninformed, ignorant moron



  17. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    3:16 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Wanted to take the time to wish my Little League Baseball Coach Cotton Nash the happiest of birthdays. I think back often to the fun times and memories that were created with the team (not to mention the stitches to my lip while playing tennis with Ritchie and Pat his sons) as we marched on to win the league title and traveled to the State Tourney with the All Star team. As I coach my two boys now I use some of the same drills taught to me from Cotton more than 30 years ago. Happy Birthday Coach.

    Thanks for the post Drew.

    Lee the Flea –(given nickname by Cotton)



  18. blw
    5:25 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    damn matt, why didn’t you just give him a wedgie while you’re at it



  19. Ridge Runner
    7:19 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    1, Yes I read the same article. 5 teams passed on him (Cavaliers, Magic, Wizards, Bobcats, & Suns) -so wearing #4 is strange after he was very emphatic about that.

    7, Thinking the same thing!



  20. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    8:06 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    How is Emmert still the head of the NCAA?



  21. BlueDeuce
    8:14 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    My thoughts on Sheppard…Love the guy first off, was the hero in 98! But, I don’t see a news story here at all. Not sure why he was pressed so hard…guess KSR is losing it’s “most ridiculous manner possible” mantra? KSR (Matt) sure seemed to go after Jeff in the “most predictable manner possible”…a journalist, not a fan.

    KSR is like a friend though so I’ll speak my mind straight up and move past it, but I think you lost an “inside the program presence” in Sheppard yesterday. Remember it’s for the fans, not the guy behind the mic/blog.



  22. Rockfield, KY
    8:28 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know who Steven Ridley and Bernard Pierce are



  23. Steve
    8:31 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    The White House was under siege yesterday when 2 of the bigger douche bags in history back slapped each other. Barry and Rick!



  24. truBLU
    9:59 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    #22 I don’t know who Steven Ridley is, but Stevan Ridley is the starting RB for the NE Patriots and won me quite a few fantasy football games last year…



  25. Terry Blue
    10:22 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Most of you here are too young to have seen Cotton Nash play. A few years ago S.I writer Billy Reed said he was the greatest player ever at UK. He was certainly my favorite player. He is the second leading ppg scorer and fourth leading rebounder pg in UK history. There was no more popular Cat and that includes Rex and Jon Wall. He could play all 5 positions and had probably the greatest all around game of any UK player



  26. CATandMONKEY
    10:49 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Cotton could be Gary Busey’s brother.



  27. OldManTattoo
    11:04 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Jeff Shepherd is another example of how Pitino was all about Pitino when he was at UK. He never embraced the program, or he would have understood that taking the UL job was a “no-no.” He never embraced Coach Hall, the tradition, or former players. He also cut off “his” players from the rest of the program. Their loyalty is more toward Pitino than UK.



  28. Bunt Baker
    11:14 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    #28,..I concur. Right on the money. I honestly did not mind Walter McCartey working for Rapid Rick at Louisville. He needed a job and he did NOT put down the Kentucky program or Coach Cal,..unlike Mr. Sheppard. Shep is THE ONLY former Cat that I’m totally over. He’s a traitor,..just like Rick.



  29. BravoBigBlue
    12:15 pm July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Jeff Sheppard has every right to express his opinion. He’s earned it.



  30. CatsFanFrankfort
    2:51 pm July 24, 2013 Permalink

    #2. Nice. Took me a minute, but nice.



  31. the Big Dog
    3:46 pm July 24, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for the shout out for Cotton Nash. I’m sure he predates most Kentucky fans, but he was a great athlete and was that rare two-sport star.



  32. That's it
    7:24 pm July 24, 2013 Permalink

    For Matt Jones or anyone else to question Jeff Sheppard is embarrassing. This site has been steadily getting worse and I am done. I guess that is what happens when an ambulance chasing idiot thinks he is bigger than the program that he leaches off of. So long fools.



  33. Katbluefan
    6:06 am July 25, 2013 Permalink

    All this crap over Jeff Sheppard is because of what Sheppard said. He didn’t play for Coach Cal and did play for Slick Rick and I understand why he has that “special” feelings for Pitino more than UK where he played. He has the right to say what he thinks and I have the same right so Mr. Sheppard if you care more for Slick Rick than the Cats then go to Looserville and stay away from my UK. You may get some teaching from Table Rick in other things.