If you did not check ESPN often today, you might have missed that Louisville hosted the Kentucky Senior Olympic Games this afternoon. It was a great event once again and as in years past, the star of the Kentucky Senior Olympic Games was once again Radio Ron. The KSTV legend entered 12 events in the 75-79 age category and once again, took 12 gold medals. He became like a combination of Bruce Jenner, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson and Jaleel White, taking down all competition while bring home the gold. Radio Ron has already been featured in the Courier Journal this week and his amazing talent (which includes the ability to croon hits from the Standards era) led him to get a tryout with “America’s Got Talent.” We met Radio Ron last year at the KSTV Casting Call and like with this year’s edition, it was great to meet a person who should get noticed on a larger scale. Since that time, he has made regular appearances on the show, calls in often to the radio and is a celebrity along the Big Blue Nation. We congratulate Radio Ron on his triumph today, while also saying “you’re welcome” to all the ladies out there for giving them a screensaver that will do them well after they finish their copy of “50 Shades of Grey.”
To the NEWS!:
— It was the first really slow day of the post National Championship news cycle as most of those around UK land are on vacation and very little is taking place. The biggest news is that the UK basketball schedule is likely to get released at some point next week. Kentucky has taken a bit of heat nationally for having a somewhat reduced non-conference schedule, but my guess is that when all is said and done, the schedule will be as difficult as anyone’s in the nation. The Cats are already scheduled to play a road game at Louisville, Maryland in Brooklyn, Duke in Atlanta and Georgetown in Washington DC (where interestingly, it was announced today that the East Regional will be held next year for the NCAA Tournament). There has been some speculation that a neutral site game is still to be added, but a source tells KSR that there have been a few hiccups in that game that could cause it to be postponed to next year. Mitch Barnhart told KSTV that there would be at least one more marquee home game added to the schedule, and when it is released next week, the release of that game will be the biggest news. If that marquee home game is a BCS school (which I am told it likely will be), then the Cats will play at least five BCS opponents in the non-conference, an amount that I would guess will be matched by very few schools in the Top 25.
— Much time was spent on radio and on the blog today talking about the interview with David Williams on the issue of football stadium renovations. If you scroll below, you can read most of the relevant information. What has been interesting to me however is the ambivalence of so many to Kentucky football at this time. While those that care about the program are deeply interested in this issue (I have had more feedback about this interview than almost any I have ever done), many more seem to care not at all about the future of the biggest money generator in the Athletics Department. I often get criticized for not focusing enough on football, but the reality is that when football is the subject, the site numbers go down, the phone calls dry up and the talk becomes only with the diehards. The much larger audience is engaged with basketball and even couch surfing, but football only draws the passion of a select few. In all the talk about who needs to do what to get renovations or excitement in the program, this truth needs to be accepted as well. Our fans care, but not nearly at the level of most of our opposition…a select few are passionate, but that passion pales in comparison to that seen in the basketball Big Blue Nation.
— John Calipari is being floated as a possible Olympic coach in 2016 after the retirement of Coach K. Calipari has already received international experience with his work on the Dominican Republic team (which will continue this summer) and has a great relationship with many of the players that are likely to make up the core of the 2016 squad (Lebron, Rose, Wall, Cousins, Davis, etc). If he were to even be in the running for that job, it would showcase just how full circle his career has come in the last decade, from the controversial coach to the flag bearer for a country. If asked, I am sure he would jump at the chance and if he somehow gets the Dominican team qualified to this year’s Olympics, he will be one of the sure-fire top candidates.
— It is worth noting one last time that the NCAA changes on the charge call could be huge in college basketball next season. The college game was severely hampered last year by the tendency of referees to reward nearly every defensive player who attempted to slide in and take a charge at the last minute. The NCAA noted this tendency in its rules alteration and said that there should be more latitude given to offensive players to get to the basket, especially after leaving their feet. If the referees take the suggestions seriously, and my guess is that they will, a team like Kentucky, that uses penetration much more than other teams, will surely benefit. Kentucky was hindered often last season by overzealous, charge happy referees. This year they may get the benefit of a different style.
We will be back at it tomorrow on the radio and will begin looking at the 2013 recruiting class targets for UK. It is shaping up to be a HUGE haul for the Cats. Until then…