As the saying goes, “you hate us cuz you ain’t us”– and a list by the Orlando Sentinel shows that sentiment exactly when it comes to Kentucky. The Sentinel counted down the Top 50 Most Hated College Coaches of all time, and six Kentucky coaches had the dubious honor of making the list:
50. Eddie Sutton
“After the NCAA found Kentucky paid a player during Sutton’s watch, the school was hit with a two-year postseason ban and other penalties.”
48. Billy Gillispie
“Gillispie’s odd behavior led to relatively quick terminations at Kentucky and Texas Tech.”
(“Odd” seems like such a euphemism)
28. Hal Mumme
“Mumme resigned after he was accused of a long list of NCAA rule violations, including paying players.”
21. Rick Pitino
“Few offend opposing fans in college basketball ranks more than Pitino, who has often been called a liar and a cheater.”
20. John Calipari
“Calipari has had two Final Four appearances vacated due to NCAA rules violations, adding to the perception he breaks rules to win.”
10. Adolph Rupp
“Former Kentucky players were arrested in connection with a point shaving scandal during Rupp¿s tenure. The Wildcats later had to cancel an entire season after the NCAA found Kentucky players were getting paid. Rupp also has been accused of racism, a charge many at Kentucky adamantly deny.”
The number top three, for those of you who are curious, were Bob Knight, Nick Saban, and Urban Meyer. My take? When it comes to former Kentucky coaches on this list, it appears that rules violations are the main offenses, rather than unpleasant personality traits. Also, it’s interesting to note that only one of our six most hated was a football coach. Just another reflection of our state’s focus on basketball rather than football. And finally, I’d be very interested to see the poll breakdown within our state only. Any thoughts on how the list would be rearranged?
Want to vote on the top ten yourself? Click here.