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Mitch Barnhart on Why Football Facility Renovations Dont Happen

Tonight at 7:30 pm on KSTV, Mitch Barnhart talks as openly about UK football as I have ever heard him before. He talks about the state of the program, Joker Phillips’ future and what it will take to satisfy him this season. Below is a clip of part of that conversation, in which Mitch Barnhart says the ONE thing that makes it impossible for UK to better its football facilities and compete in the SEC:

Article written by Matt Jones

34 Comments for Mitch Barnhart on Why Football Facility Renovations Dont Happen



  1. anthonyeppsdrivingschool
    4:03 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    oh, if youre not first youre last.



  2. KFAN
    4:06 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    The audio level is so low that with the player volume turned all the way up and the speakers on my laptop also turned all the way up, I can still barely hear it!



  3. KitKatBar
    4:17 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart is a puppet. Who cares about the facility? How about we get a team first!



  4. kk
    4:19 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t even get mine loud enough to hear it. What did he say?



  5. RichVegasCat
    4:20 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah, the stadium being a piece of crap has everything to do with why UK loses more than half their games. Don’t blame those superb, grade-A coaches that LOVE a hitch on 3rd and 25…how does it get to be 3rd and 25 anyways? I think Mitch is using every excuse he can to avoid saying the real truth. He could care less about the football program and is not willing to spend the money on a good coach and supporting staff which means, the football program is terrible because of him. Or, maybe he was picked on by the football players in school? That seems very logical as well. At any rate, us Cats fans will have to settle for just an elite basketball program…which is fine by me. I just hate it for the football players, we have talent but without a coach…what good does it do? It really is sad.



  6. Big Blue Coming at You
    4:25 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    That puts a different perspective on things now. A lot of fans have blamed Barnhart for the shortcomings of football especially in regards to facilities but now we know it’s a state issue and not a university issue. Yes, he’s made mistakes in regards to hiring BCG and giving Joker the reigns to a program that isn’t going to succeed. But overall the state of UK athletics is better than it’s ever been. Men’s basketball is back on top. Women’s basketball is close to making a Final Four. Baseball is doing great. Other sports are doing well too. Not to mention UK is one of the tops academically in the SEC. If only the state legislature can get its head out of its ass and let UK get the bonding it needs to improve football, UK would be at the top of the SEC in overall athletics. The state legislature is crippling UK football and keeping it from succeeding. BBN needs to band together and demand it be done!



  7. Sean
    4:28 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know the solution, but UK could have a top SEC team if they so desired. Might take some time, and of course money, but it could happen. UK is no longer just a men’s basketball school. Look at the ladies team, and the tennis, baseball, and shooting squads. We are a top 10 athletic program period. If the powers that be want to add football to the list, then all they have to do it decide and do it!!



  8. Big Blue Coming at You
    4:28 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    5. If the state can’t let UK get the money it needs to improve football then we cannot attract a better coach when they know their hands are tied for football funding. I think what is happening is Barnhart is doing the best he can with what he has and it isn’t much.



  9. Calscats8
    4:30 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Audio is too low to even hear the interview!



  10. Boomhauer
    4:32 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Just playin the odds. It’s a business and I’m not gonna try and compete with Walmart when they have the best prices always besides I got a good thing going in several restaurant chains. Get it? Ok that was probably a bad metaphor but the thing is sec football already has its powerhouses that would be darn near impossible to compete with. Why throw money at a losing program that has no chance of ever being an Alabama Lsu florida etc when there are other sports bball baseball cheer leading rifle team etc that uk excels in? It’s just smart business. Not everybody is jerry jones. Look how good that new stadiums doing the cowboys haha!



  11. RichVegasCat
    4:36 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    8) I understand that point, I work at different University in Kentucky that is battling financial troubles. However, UK is not broke. You can’t disagree that the basketball program get EVERYTHING they want plus some while other programs suffer on the back-burner. I’m not claiming to know it all, I’m sure I don’t know the half of it but I know what I see. I see the football program continuously being treated like a “red-headed step-child” and they have been treated that way for years! I can’t wait for the day that they are competitive in the NCAA. My point is that that day will come by getting a new coach, not new stadium seats.



  12. RichVegasCat
    4:36 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    lol ^^^^ #8



  13. Correct
    4:39 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    8 is right….top coaches won’t come to places where the can’t win…and UK is such a place as long as facilities are how they are. They will go to another school that also pays big money.



  14. Me
    4:40 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    IF we had a better team and coach, I’d be pizzed about what Mitch is cry’n about. BUT OUR TEAM AND COACH SUCK. Vandy beats us on a regular basis, and they don’t even have an “Athletic Department.” Could you imagine if the state did give Mitch 100 Million …AND… we still had the same product on the field and sideline?

    Hey Mitch, here’s an idea… tell the state you need 250 Million for ‘Rupp Arena South’ and you could build a complex like the Carrier Dome that is for BOTH sports?????????



  15. kk
    4:45 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    We still have a major recruiting disadvantage due to the small number of SEC players that the state of Kentucky produces. Even a former powerhouse like Tennessee has become the same as us these days because the state of Tennessee doesn’t produce any more players than the state of Kentucky. If a former major power can’t compete because of that disadvantage, how can we expect to do any better?



  16. dave
    4:57 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    honestly don’t get the stupidity in the comments here. was joker the right guy at the right time? prob not, but difficult to tell at the time and firing a UK guy after 11-14 record would just look bad.

    but how do ppl look at the facts of UK’s bonding/funding situation and still hate barnhart? he’s clearly trying to push for the funding by going to the media since nothing’s really changed in 10 years. yet, ppl still hate. how dumb are you?



  17. OwensboroDavid
    5:00 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Can anyone tell me why David Williams keeps getting re-elected? That man would stall the second coming of Christ if he could.



  18. Common Sense
    5:02 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    #5 is a prime example of how a lot of UK football fans make my blood boil. Hey smarty pants, ever heard of the term “Build it and they will come”. Well news flash! We have to BUILD IT before your prized big name coach will COME. This goes hand in hand with recruits also. Why do you think UK never gets 4-5 star recruits like the rest of the SEC? I would bet its because they see the facilities and start laughing! My lord people.
    #11 the basketball program gets all the money because they get all the donations. Ever heard of Joe Craft? Oh yeah, that is that brand new practice facility behind Memorial Coliseum that he paid for. Ever heard of Kentucky Coal? You will once the new lodge is finished.



  19. Common Sense
    5:03 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    well played #18…made me lol



  20. GoBigBlue
    5:31 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    I think Mitch gets a lot of undeserved criticism. While he sure doesn’t communicate with the fans like Coach Cal does, I truly believe he wants to make football successful. Whether we agree or not, I think he believes Joker can be the right guy for the job if given time and the tools to do so. He may be right…or maybe not. Either way, there are plenty of roadblocks to success that he has no control over. This bonding capacity issue is a big one. Heck, UKAA doesn’t need the state to provide the money, in fact all they need is for the state to get out of the way. With plenty of revenue and no debt, UK Athletics could go to a bank and borrow the money for the renovations people would like to see. Who’s ready to run for state office. Let’s identify a candidate willing to make the change in each district and put the support of the Big Blue Nation behind those candidates. I bet you get some attention in Frankfort pretty fast.



  21. uncle festus
    5:32 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    cunt hear it, must have an ear unfucshun.



  22. RichVegasCat
    5:45 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    19) Build it and they will come. Who is going to build it? Bill Curry didn’t, Hal Mumme didn’t (although he did well with two bowls…minus the sanctions), Guy Morris didn’t, Rich Brooks didn’t (but added a couple bowls as well) and Joker sure as shit can’t/won’t. You mean to tell me that spending millions on a new stadium is a GREAT idea and will automatically result in wins? I know how to say “waste of tax dollars”. I do agree with your “Build it and they will come” however, its the program that needs to be built…not a new stadium. UK doesn’t need a Les Miles caliber coach to come to improve drastically. You act UK would hire the Sean Peyton if liked Commonwealth enough. Your definitely don’t have a Business degree. So go build a new stadium with your own bare hands and maybe the best recruits in the nation will magically walk out of the cornfields. Stop making comments on KSR when your jerkin’ off watching Kevin Costner movies…freak.

    Also, I made comment 11 also. Nice job noticing that you teenage genius. Never did I say that UK…the SCHOOL pays for everything. I know there are donations…smart-ass. I didn’t know Kentucky Coal paid for Wildcat Lodge but I knew it wasn’t UK. The basketball program is obviously the best in the world, that’s how they get these donations and nice facilities. You think somebody is gonna go to Berea College and build their basketball team a $250 million facility? lol, no. The day the football team (not Commonwealth Stadium) receives that kind of respect, and EARNS that new stadium then I’ll agree with you
    about the need for it. Until then, our Saturdays will be filled with disappoint.



  23. Fred
    5:46 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Best facilities won’t help if you got a coach that isn’t up to the challenge.



  24. Daniel
    6:13 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Nicely done #22. haha



  25. JATR4
    6:40 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Well, Vegas Cat you should lay off the cocaine. Barnhart doesn’t want the state to pay for a new stadium and no tax dollars would be involved. Barnhart wants to issue bonds that would be paid back with revenues generated from the football program–which would be much greater with a new stadium. Just like Louisville generates much more money from basketball than UK because of the Yum Center. Currently, Barnhart can only build facilities with money on hand.

    Get a clue!!!



  26. Todd
    7:37 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    It will never be Mitch fault, UK gets donations in football, the problem Mitch has pissed everyone of them off, Mitch iWork never do anything but blame other people



  27. Bledsoe's Biceps
    7:37 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Couldn’t hear it either. cn/2 may want to spend a couple of dollars on real microphones.



  28. not really
    7:46 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    UL is a ranked basketball program. They actually can make money. I agree with VegasCat that it would be a bad idea…especially learning about bonds being issued. The football team needs to develop, grow and win games before they are given a stadium in hopes that a better looking venue will bring in revenues. If the stadium is empty because tickets are a waste of money, Barnhart will falter on his payments. A new stadium should be built when it will be filled like Rupp Arena. Just because we are UK fans doesnt mean we should live in lala land. Be a realist. We need a new coach with a desire to win championships, not 50% of games. You folks are oblivious.



  29. Lol uk football
    8:08 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Teah I don’t give a crap that our p o s football team still brings in more tha bball or if it was better would bring triple the amount or more…..
    Uh wait wtf am I thinking

    Stupid ad stupid university stupid fans

    $$$$$$$

    Money talk bit ch



  30. Nathan
    8:43 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Rich Vegas cat. Who’s the top tier coach you think UK can get to come to coach here with our facilities and recruiting base? They have said in the past they have brought people in and they saw the place and left.



  31. Reality_Watch
    8:58 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    The fact is, UK has not, for whatever reason, ever brought in a top-tier coach to head up the football program in its entire history. The one top tier coach that did coach here, Bear Bryant, was run off. Those who continue to tote the company line that a big name coach will not come here, are a) lemmings, b) ignorant of facts, and c) enablers. We heard the same ol’ song and dance when Tubby Smith was coaching the basketball team. And look where we were then and now. No matter, Commonwealth Stadium will be lucky to attract 20,000 people by season’s end. Only then will Barnhart be forced to do the right thing—the thing he should’ve done at the end of this past season—fire Joker Phillips. Another season will be wasted this year and more cries of “Give them time” will fill the air.” What a shame. Perhaps when Barnhart is gone, then will someone finally hire a legitimate, innovative, intelligent (i.e true football mind), and exciting head coach. We can only hope. Until then we’ll be fed a steady diet of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve and, of coure, we’re young.



  32. RichVegasCat
    10:24 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Nathan, a top tier coach for UK doesnt need to be people like Les Miles or Steve Spurrier. Keep in mind, we have Joker Phillips…the worst offensive coordinator in SEC history given a head coaches job. Top tier for the Kentucky team would be whatever coach wins the 4A high school state championship lol. Dont be blinded as a UK fan, bad coaches equal bad teams and there is no doubt that we are the worst in the SEC. Not acceptable to me. I have higher standards than a .500 season. To reach higher goals, we need a coach with a drive for true success that can prove their strategy works, regardless who it is.



  33. WildMetsCats
    2:42 am May 11, 2012 Permalink

    In sticking to the issue….everyone reach out to their congressmen and politicians in your district or area and let them know this important and they need to give UK the power the other SEC schools have…..the bonding power allows the other schools to use these projects as selling points to their recruits. Imagine if we could have 2 or 3 large bonded projects that we could highlight and showcase to the recruits. The overall sports program of Kentucky is climbing up the ranks of collegiate sports…..Barnhart identifies that football is the one thing that UK is severely behind on….we are in the best conference….better facilities bring better recruits which equals winning…..tell your politicians to put us on an even playing field with the other SEC schools…..then hold them accountable. By the way the football program has been more successful in the last decade and that is of course forgotten….now this is the next step.



  34. jaws2
    9:00 am May 11, 2012 Permalink

    Blah Blah Blah Yada Yada Yada; same crap we’ve been fed for YEARS! Folks, low expectations = low results. A blind man can see from the YEARLY comments that we have low expectations every year. Going 6-6 and making a bowl game when practically EVERY team goes to a bowl is not my idea of success or progress.

    WildMetsCats Says “By the way the football program has been more successful in the last decade and that is of course forgotten…” Riiiiight, just think about that statement. Our record from 2003 – 2011 was 50 and 61. That’s REAL impressive. If you go back to Morris in 2001 it’s just as horrendous. Please stop trying to tell us about our great progress during this time.

    Building a new stadium will not get us better recruits or win games, but building better practice and recruiting facilities will. You ever been to Notre Dame? That stadium is crap and they’ve done OK though the years. If we’d just spend the money on infrastructure to support the program, we’d get better results. Winning breeds winning and low expectations breeds low results. Until this changes, we’ll get the same results.

    I’ve had season tickets since the place opened. At one time I had 16, SIXTEEN! I got down to 4 over the last 8 years and this year reduced to 2. If Joker is not replaced after this year, I’m out totally. Too much of my time and money has been tossed on this venture of ‘Hope and Change’. Sound familiar?