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Harold Dennis’ Wednesday News and Views


It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty-five years since the Carrollton bus crash. Although I was too young to understand it at the time, the references to it throughout my childhood were impossible to miss. On May 14, 1988, Larry Mahoney crashed into a school bus returning to Radcliff, Kentucky from a church group outing to an amusement park. Mahoney was drunk and driving in the wrong direction on the interstate, and collided with the bus head on, causing a massive fire that killed 27 people and injured 34. It remains the second deadliest bus crash in US history.

People Magazine commemorated the 25th anniversary of the accident by highlighting the stories of the survivors, which will be featured in a documentary by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), entitled “Impact: After The Crash.” One of them is Harold Dennis, who was 14 at the time of the crash. He was asleep beside his best friend at the time of impact, and was able to escape thanks to the help of a fellow passenger. An excerpt:

“Someone on the outside grabbed my arm, put their foot on the bumper and literally pulled me out,” Dennis says. “I hit the asphalt and started running, even though I couldn’t see anything because my eyes were swollen shut. I could hear the screams and the explosions.”

Dennis, who suffered third-degree burns on 20 percent of his body, spent years undergoing multiple skin-graft surgeries. “Going through this,” he says, “forced me to grow up and mature a lot faster.”

Dennis joined the UK football team as a walk-on kicker in 1994, but after coaches saw his speed, he moved to wide receiver. He played in 18 games as a Cat, catching five passes, and returning ten kickoffs for an average of 23-yards. He also received several awards of courage during his time on the team, including the Arete Award for Courage in Sports, the Gene Autrey Award for Courage in Sports, and the Johnny Unitas Courage Award in Sports. He was even selected to run in the Olympic Torch Relay for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Harold now lives in Lexington with his wife and three children. In addition to being a motivational speaker, he’s an entrepreneur and successful business owner.

His story is just one of many from the Carrollton crash. Check out a trailer for the documentary below:

Now, news and views.

Closing the door on the Andrew Wiggins Saga

On Tuesday, we said goodbye to Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins proved his brother right and shocked the world when he picked Kansas over Kentucky, Florida State, and North Carolina in a small ceremony at his high school’s gym. The whole scene was very surreal, from all of Twitter anxiously awaiting a random Marshall beat writer’s tweet to Wiggins’ decision itself. In the minutes leading up to the announcement, we clung to pictures being sent out from the school, including one of Wiggins and his mother walking into the gym with a giant portrait of Jesus behind their backs (or was it Chuck Norris? Hard to tell). Wiggins caught everyone off guard by announcing his decision to play for Kansas six minutes before schedule, sending the BBN spinning, Kansas fans cheering, and the rest of the world wondering what the hell just happened. In this day and age of nationally televised recruiting announcements, Wiggins’ small announcement is more of a testament to his personality than anything else. He is a shy, soft spoken kid who just wants to play ball, and you know what? That’s fine. Let him do that at Kansas. He’s a freak athlete and an amazing player.

But as Cal has said time and time again, Kentucky isn’t for everyone. Throughout Wiggins’ recruitment, it became clear that his father, Mitchell, wanted him at a school in which he would have all of the spotlight. At Kansas, he’ll have more spotlight than he would at Kentucky, with a better chance to win than at Florida State. After the announcement, Mitchell told the Courier-Journal’s Adam Himmelsbach “this will be [Andrew’s] time,” and said that he’s always respected Cal, which made his son’s decision “extra tough.” Funnily enough, his mom said that her favorite part about Kentucky was that it was “country.” She must really love Kansas.

While Wiggins picking Florida State would have been the ideal consolation scenario for Cats fans, him being at Kansas is better than North Carolina. Kansas jumped up into most analysts’ top tens after the announcement, but they will still be very young. If Wiggins had gone to UNC, the Tarheels would be a legitimate title contender and the December 14th matchup in Chapel Hill would be that much harder to win. Now, the only chance UK has of playing against Wiggins will come in March, and in Cal’s words, I like my team.

Looking ahead

With that, we move on. One of the best things about Kentucky’s place in Wiggins’ recruitment was that they had the least to gain from his services. The Cats still have the best recruiting class in history, and are still the consensus number one team in the country heading into next season. They’re still the favorite to win the title, and the six All-Americans have already had a chance to form some chemistry on the court. Julius Randle has been a beast since coming back from his injury, and could end up having more of an impact on this team than Wiggins ever could. As Cal said a month ago, he likes his class, and with a key group of “veterans” returning, the pieces are once again in place for another championship run.

Perhaps sensing the BBN’s blues, Cal is holding a media opportunity Wednesday morning. What will he discuss? Who knows. Maybe the basketball team’s 3.4 GPA this spring (the highest of all UK’s men’s teams)? Maybe the end of the signing period? Or maybe he’ll just be badass and sit down and read the roster. In fact, let’s all do that right now:

Julius Randle
Andrew Harrison
Aaron Harrison
James Young
Marcus Lee
Dakari Johnson
Dominique Hawkins
Derek Willis
Willie Cauley-Stein
Alex Poythress
Kyle Wiltjer
Jon Hood
Jarrod Polson

Much better.


Tuesday evening, Emmanuel Mudiay told ZagsBlog that he’s getting ready to narrow his list from ten to five. Will the Cats make the cut? Based on Mudiay’s glowing comments about Calipari, I think that’s a definite “yes”:

“Calipari, he’s tough on his guards and that’s one thing. I look towards having a coach that’s real tough, that can challenge me. That’s what I like to play on and when somebody challenges me, that’s what I like. That’s one thing he has in him, he challenges a lot of guards. He’s got the one-and-done thing, so that’s important to me.

The top point guard in the 2014 class also said that he “highly doubts” that he’ll play on the same team as Tyus Jones, which, in turn, means Jahlil Okafor. Anxious for the next big recruiting storyline? There you go.


Congrats to Jordan Gay, a Danville High School alum and Centre College senior who signed a deal with the Carolina Panthers earlier this week. The talented kicker was offered a deal after impressing the Panthers staff at their recent rookie mini-camp. Going into the NFL draft, he was ranked the 15th best kicker in the nation and will be Centre’s 19th player in the NFL. Go Ads and go Colonels.

— Allow me some more alma mater love if you will. The nation has fallen in love with Stephen Curry during the playoffs, and with very good reason. But the Davidson alum is much, much more than an on-court talent with a really hot mom. If you get a chance, read this heartwarming story about how Curry helped make a dying man’s wish come true by getting him and his daughter (a Davidson alum) floor level seats to a game against the Trailblazers, and coming to meet him afterwards. Good on ya, Steph.

— Finally, be sure to check out @UK2014Class, a twitter account started by UK football’s current 2014 commitments. Their mission? Recruit more of the nation’s top players to Kentucky to get the class in the top ten nationally. The momentum in UK football right is higher than Willie Nelson on the way home from Bonnaroo.

That’s all for now. See you in the morning.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

47 Comments for Harold Dennis’ Wednesday News and Views

  1. 2014
    11:13 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    Twitter account suspended — probably an NCAA rule?

  2. Reality Check
    11:21 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    1- Nah. Probably Obama found out that Drew Barker’s Dad was a member of the NRA…or some Conservative group…so HE had it shut down…or had Eric Holder do it for him…or had the IRS threaten to audit Twitter if they did not shut it down…something along those lines a much more likely scenario…

  3. grombley
    11:21 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    TT, you think Stephen Curry has a really hot mom? Opinions vary i guess. I mean, she’s not an ugly woman, but not the least bit hot.

  4. grombley
    11:24 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    nice piece TT. you were one of my favorites.

  5. grombley
    11:25 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink


  6. Chaz
    11:28 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    @UK2014Class = twitter account suspended. Been that way on and off all day. Has Twitter told anyone why?

  7. Jen
    11:28 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    2. Is that suppose to be clever? “Oh, I’m going to go on KSR and immediately spout my political b.s. in the comment section of a post that has nothing to do with politics!” The sad joke is that the people who randomly capitalize words like conservative will never recognize how conservative Obama is.

  8. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
    11:31 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    2- We all know that those Conservative groups are “shadowy”…and NEED to be closely monitored and vigorously kept in check…after all, they believe in being Patriotic, the believe in The Constitution, they believe in Capitalism…they believe in limited government…some even believe in God…VERY dangerous indeed…

  9. Red headed blue blood
    11:42 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    #4 how conservative Oboma is? Have you lost your pretty little Jensense. Most liberal minded/voting president in last 40 yrs only pelosi could be more left than him and oh lucifer as well

  10. Jimmy Larue
    11:48 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    If there is one thing Wiggins is, it is NOT shy. I prayed for him to go somewhere else because he would have been worse than Saul Smith for team chmistry. And FOR THE LAST TIME, Curry’s mom is NOT hot. I can’t find anyone who has seen her in person who puts her in that category. She is actually odd looking and a bot scary up sclose. I’m just saying…

  11. ukfaninohio
    11:49 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    Obama is a genius the man is destroying the economy spending money like it’s nothing adding to welfare at a record pace doing coverups left and right and still gets voted in again.He has almost singlehandedly changed this nation and if were dumb enough to let him then i say this bud’s for you MR.Obama.

  12. Reality Check
    11:49 pm May 14, 2013 Permalink

    4- Obama conservative??? Now THAT (<— randomly capitalized) is RICH (<—also randomly capitalized). You must live on planet opposite. But even if you like Obama and his Socialist policies and even if you voted for him, you had better take another look when the party in power uses their power to "silence" any and all opposing points of view…and when the media that once upon a time actually did their job and were a watchdog for the people…have become a lapdog for the Liberals and the Liberal agenda…wake up and smell the coffee…over and out…I am done…as you are correct…this is not the place to point these things out…my apologies Matt Jones…the one thing Jen is right about is that I should not have used this forum for this purpose…I'm just getting really concerned about this government's power…and abuse of it…

    12:02 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    OK, I get that Wiggins picked Kansas….But why all the secret meeting, cloke and dagger, wait until the last minute stuff. was he really that indecisive? I don’t get it.

  14. Kevin C.
    12:03 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Why are Polson and Hood on that list? Did they announce they were going the Julius Mays route, or walking on? I haven’t heard anything at all about them coming back.

  15. grombley
    12:07 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    please, i actually come here to escape from politics.

  16. Pawn star
    12:12 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Wasnt Beatle Boldens coach Jason booher in that accident? Pretty sure that was him in the documentary preview?

  17. Louisville1Cal4
    12:19 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Up until now I wasn’t aware of Harold Dennis, glad to have heard part of his time as a Wildcat!
    Matt or any KSR writers, any idea whether Long & Malone will return to walk on positions for this up-coming season??

  18. GoCats2
    12:31 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I am not going to look it up but is “funnily” actually a real word?

  19. dccforlife
    12:41 am May 15, 2013 Permalink


  20. Ridge Runner
    12:50 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Yes, that bus crash had huge impacts all over the country. Even down to the implementation of the flashing lights now required on the very top of school buses. More importantly as you pointed out is the impact to so many peoples lives from the loss and injury of loved ones.

    We do have a great class coming in and I’m not that disappointed in Wiggins to be honest. I’m looking forward to our team and the challenge to hang #9.

    Most of all…just so VERY happy we have a real point guard again.

  21. Clint
    1:04 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    #12 Yes, you’re right. Booher was in the bus wreck too.

  22. BBN
    2:51 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Why you shouldn’t worry about Andrew Wiggins…

  23. Duhville Cat
    3:21 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    *** Newest member of the BBN, my granddaughter Olivia, born May 15th at 1:47 am.
    7lbs 7oz – 19.5 in long. XD.

  24. Ridge Runner
    4:00 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    19, Congrats Duhville on your little g’daughter and BBN’s newest kitten. That’s great!

  25. Buckets
    4:59 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Oh, more political nuts ranting in the comment section. Fun, fun, fun. It’s stuff like this and the twitter mob idiots that continue to give the BBN a bad name. Newspaper/blog comment sections, message boards and twitter bring out the absolute worst of the worst and I’m tired of sometimes being embarrassed to be a Kentucky fan because of these idiots.

  26. Buckets
    5:08 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    19 – Being a Kentucky fan, for me, started with family. That’s what it’s all about, so a huge CONGRATS to Duhville Cat on the newest addition to your family, Olivia.

  27. Educated Guess
    5:08 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    My projected mins. and pts. for the team

    Randle- 32 min, 15 pts
    Andrew- 32 M, 11 P
    Aaron- 25 M, 13 P
    Young- 23 M, 11 P
    Poythress- 22 M, 10 P
    WCS- 20 M, 6 P
    Dakari- 18 M, 6 P
    Marcus- 12 M, 4 P
    Wiltjer- 7 M, 5 P
    Polson- 5 M, 1 P
    Hood- 3 M, 1 P

    Hawkins, Willis, Lanter, Long, Malone- 1 minute, under point

    Something tells me we will be fine

    It was tough for me to find time and points for everyone.

  28. kes
    5:51 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    2. fckn retard, keep that political shit out of here

  29. @23
    6:28 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I actually think the minutes will be a little more spread out than that. It seems like cal is planning to get the most out of his bench so we’ll be running constantly and people will be going in and out.

  30. IdiotNation
    6:45 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Kentucky Fans Prove Classless in Attacking Andrew Wiggins, and Confused in Responding

    Written on May 14, 2013 by kentsterling

    56 Comments – Leave a comment!.

    by Kent Sterling

    They are the most predictable fans in all of sports, and have the least class. The University of Kentucky has many reasons to feel shame, but the behavior of their fans toward a kid who did nothing but choose to attend Kansas today shows why teenage basketball players who decide to attend UK make a massive mistake.

    A sampling of tweets to top ranked recruit Andrew Wiggins account are below, courtesy of

    tweet5They outed these idiots as not being representative of Kentucky fans, who refer to themselves as Big Blue Nation. Any group of fans who are compelled to refer to themselves as a “nation” are endemic of the dingbats whose self-image is way too closely tied to the success or failure of teenagers playing college.

    Kentucky fans are the worst of them, but certainly not the only pack of ornery sycophants who follow a college basketball or football program. The loon who poisoned the two iconic oak trees at Toomer’s Corner where fans gathered for generations after Auburn football games comes to mind, but as a group Kentucky fans are rabid — and not in a good way.

    tweet6Threatening the lives of kids who choose to study and play elsewhere is so far outside the parameters of decent behavior that they border of the mob mentality that causes riots.

    I also recall the petulant and boorish behavior Illinois fans and coach Bruce Weber showed Eric Gordon during his year at Indiana after backing off his verbal commitment to the Illini once Mike Davis was fired at Indiana. It was a heinous example of how unchecked self-immersion can turn good people into idiots.

    tweet31Andrew Wiggins is going to Kansas, and reasonable people could care less. There are fewer and fewer reasonable people among Kentucky fans. That’s what the school gets for doing a deal with the devil and welcoming a coach who is paid only to win. Coaches should be hired for their ability to do a lot of different things — teach, lead, mentor, insist on academic excellence, and serve as the public face of the university. They are fired for not winning.

    Oddly, here are an additional comment or two to the Kentucky Sports Radio post that chastised the author of the tweets:

    tweet2NotFirst Says:

    “These idiots need to die in a fire.”

    Hoptownsbeast Says:

    [email protected]#% these guys! We still BBN! Good luck Wiggins! Go Cats, Go Wiggins!”

    Otis Says:

    “UK has 10,000,000 fans with we’ll say 5% that are complete idiots; or 500,000 fans
    UL has 500,000 fans but only 100,000 of those fans are complete idiots.
    Which is better?”

    tweet1Otis Says:

    Wiggins did to UK what Trae Golden did to Jenny Wright

    There are nearly 100 comments, and the conversation is amusing if not enlightening. Some are pleased that the five tweet authors have been outed. Others are disappointed they are getting publicity. Some belief that most of the idiots are from other schools. Many are exceptionally critical of people in Louisville, and others are critical of the anti-Louisville crowd.

    The Kentucky fanbase — even those who are trying to congratulate Wiggins are becoming more and more baffled by the source of their anger. Are they upset because Wiggins opted to go to Kansas, at the morons who blasted Wiggins, the people who published the offending tweets, those who are angry, everyone who lives in Louisville, or a combination of the five subsets.

    Reading comments is like watching Curly Howard take the SAT. You can see the steam rise from their skulls, and finally their heads are going to explode.

    By the way, congratulations to Wiggins for making a tough decision.

  31. btowncatfan
    6:49 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    The UK football recruit twitter account is suspended once again #FreeUKFootball

  32. Dr. Wildcat
    6:56 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I worked with Harold Dennis in the ER back in February. He is currently going through PA school.

  33. Michael F. Jox
    7:20 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    #26 – Dude’s a sports writer from Indiana, what do you expect?

    “Closing the door on the Andrew Wiggins Saga” – How many posts tomorrow before that door gets opened again? lol you know you all ain’t got nothin’ to talk about

  34. Bob
    7:27 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    26, WTH?

  35. Stan
    7:37 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I had the pleasure to meet and spend some time with Harold Dennis and can say he is a inspiration to many, including myself. He took the time to talk to my grandson and explain to him that nothing can stop you from doing anything you want to do but yourself. A class act all the way. Thanks Harold, and keep on doing what you are doing!!!!

  36. Rixter
    8:19 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you for this, Tyler. Very nice story.

  37. Perspective
    8:36 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I’m not going to try and pretend that I’m glad Wiggins chose someone other than us, I was definitely hoping that he’d choose us, but, we as Cats fans shouldn’t be disappointed. We’ve had plenty to be happy about for next year with the class we have coming in. It’s still possibly the best class of all time (I think these things are truly determined in hindsight). I think a little bit of the pressure and chaos was actually redirected elsewhere by Wiggins going to Kansas. I’m pumped about next year and the guys we have coming in and coming back from last year’s team. Let’s go Big Blue!

  38. odrivero
    9:49 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for this TT. I remember this quite vividly. I remember that Carroll Co. High School hosted the regional baseball tournament right after that, in 88.

  39. UKBlue1!
    10:06 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I can remember Dennis Harold playing at UK. I am glad he has adjusted well and has a family. I hope he and other survivor’s have a long, happy and productive life.

  40. Bryan in Houston
    10:08 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I recall Harold Dennis in school at the same time I was there. If I recall he was in some business classes of mine. Sorry, it’s been 16 or 17 years since then so I’m trying to remember. Glad to see he is doing very well for himself.

  41. Pawn star
    10:16 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    21. Yea I thought so…he coached us at Henry county where I played a few years and I remember people saying hat but I don’t recall him ever mentioning it. He was a great coach wish he would have stayed

  42. blueneck
    10:40 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Harold Dennis deserved his own separate post on this day. One of the best things Bill Curry did was give this kid a spot on the team and find a way to use him. Curry may not have been a great coach but he was a good man.

    It should have also mentioned that Larry Mahoney has been free for some time now. Still too many DUIs and too light of penalties.

  43. RealCatsFan
    10:44 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Great story, TT! More of this, less Wiggins.

  44. RealCatsFan
    10:47 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    RE: Politics – I sit back in amusement at all of the extreme right wingers and left wingers with their hackles raised over all of these shenanigans. We are all being gamed by the fat cats in both parties. It’s like pro wrestling – it’s all for show, they sit there and point fingers at each other and play dirty tricks, and nothing of any value gets done. Meanwhile they are laughing all the way to the bank. If America doesn’t wake up and start voting for an independent party, we can expect more of the same ad infinitum.

  45. RealCatsFan
    10:51 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    42, I agree with you wholeheartedly about Mr. Dennis – he is an inspiration to all, as are the other survivors of this horrific accident. And I don’t hold a lot of ill will towards Larry Mahoney. The guy made a stupid, tragic decision that night, but by all accounts he is not a monster. I think what he is carrying around in his heart cannot be exceeded by any prison sentence – that is his sentence, and he will carry it with him to the grave. I feel truly sorry for him. There are quite a few people on this site, including myself, who can say at some point in their life that there but for the grace of God goes me.

  46. Stan
    2:08 pm May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Very well said #45. God Bless.

  47. huh
    4:37 pm May 15, 2013 Permalink

    lanter will still be on the team?