Hello there, UK fans and haters. Welcome to the Friday edition of the News and Views brought to you by yet another sad chapter in the book of Ric Flair. The former wrestling superstar and Matt Jones idol is in the news this week for failure to make payments to his estranged wife. Flair is under order from a North Carolina judge to cough up the money or go to jail. The attorney for Jacqueline Beems, Flair’s fourth wife, claims his client is owed $32,000 from her ex-husband, which The Nature Boy has been ordered to pay twice but hasn’t complied.
Flair said on Tuesday he plans to pay up and the reason he got behind is the death of his son back in March and that he spent a month in the hospital with a blood clot. “I didn’t go to work for three months,” he told the Charlotte-Observer.
The order for Flair’s arrest was issued on July 3 but he can avoid money behind bars if he settles up soon. If 32 of us purchase a 5-minute video chat with him tonight, it’ll be enough to cover the tab. So who’s in???
Let’s get to the News and Views first…
Friday marks the beginning of a huge recruiting weekend for Kentucky football as Mark Stoops and the gang welcome a long list of top recruits to Lexington for the final camp of the summer. The weekend kicks off with the Friday Night Blue Lights camp for members of the 2014 and 2015 high school classes, followed by a 7-on-7 passing camp Saturday and an offensive/defensive lineman camp on Sunday. Among the several expected to attend are Matt Elam, Braxton Berrios, Nick Richardson, Marcelys Jones, Marshon Lattimore and 2015 quarterback target Jarrett Stidham and running back Damien Harris. As many as 50 highly-touted recruits will be in town and at least one Yahtzee is expected to emerge from the weekend.
SEC Media Days are finally over. Welcome home, Mrs. Tyler. Nice work.
Also back home: Kyle Wiltjer. A decision could be coming any time now as the fall semester approaches. Maybe it’s tomorrow, maybe it’s next week. It has to be soon, though.
Karl Towns and Cliff Alexander went head-to-head at the Under Armour Summer Jam Thursday evening and Alexander got the best of the young Kentucky commit. Alexander finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds in the win and dominated Towns athletically throughout most of the game. Towns scored 14 points in the losing effort while battling foul trouble in the second half. Some Kentucky fans wonder why Towns is so low in the 2014 rankings, and the flaws that keep him from being a top five player were exposed against the higher ranked Alexander in this matchup. The skill set is there, but Towns needs to hit the weight room a little harder before he can become a truly dominant player down low. It’ll come in time, though. Don’t worry.
On a scale of 1-10, how jealous are you of Josh Hopkins after reading his recap of the ESPYs? I’m somewhere around a 37. Knowing Josh and his love for sports, I’m absolutely positive he didn’t exaggerate his excitement at the event. Josh, though a celebrity himself, has yet to master the art of not-geeking around sports figures, and who can blame him? I would’ve passed out as soon as Katherine Webb agreed to take a photo, assuming Katherine Webb would ever agree to take a photo with me. It looked like a great night for Josh and he provided an entertaining perspective from someone who acted the way all of us would in that situation. Now if we can only get him over the loss of Andrew Wiggins.
Your NBA Summer League stats for the evening: Archie Goodwin: 10 points (1-for-6 shooting), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers…. Marquis Teague: In progress…
Six BCS level institutions were recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for academic excellence on Thursday and the University of Kentucky was one of them. The Wildcats received the inaugural Team Academic Excellence Award, given for outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2012-13 season. Kentucky has tallied a 3.0 or higher cumulative team GPA during the spring semester in each of the last three seasons including during the 2012 National Championship run. Twany Beckham and Jarrod Polson were honored individually by the NABC for excellence in the classroom.
We have three notes from the world of golf this evening:
— Josh Teater shot a 72 in Thursday’s opening round of The Open at Muirfield Golf Club in Gullane, Scotland. He is tied for 27th place heading into Day 2 of the tournament. The diehard UK fan will tee off at 10:51 a.m. ET on Friday in one of the final groups to go. Follow the coverage on ESPN.
— Teater wasn’t the only member of Big Blue Nation to compete in the PGA’s third major championship of the season; UK senior golfer Ben Stow is tied for 92nd place at 5-over-par after Thursday’s round at Muirfield. Stow won a local qualifier tournament to punch his ticket to the tournament as an amateur. Go Cats.
— And KSR’s best professional golfing friend, Spencer Levin, returned to competition Thursday on the Web.com tour. Our #TeamIZOD teammate shot even par in his first round back since undergoing surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb last fall. Spencer plans to return to the PGA in October and we expect him to dominate the tour.
If you weren’t at the Charlotte Hornets name-changing party in downtown Charlotte Thursday afternoon, you’re no different than any of the team’s fans:
You’re looking at the entire party there, folks. That’s a clown on stilts in the middle of the photo and a couple pedestrians passing through. [via Deadspin]
Have you seen/heard the new song from Derek Anderson’s “Stamina” soundtrack?
It makes me want a Victory water.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to a young UK fan recently diagnosed with cancer. Seven-month-old John Ryan and his family learned he has rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer in which the cells are thought to arise from skeletal muscle progenitors. Doctors believe the tumor is solely behind his eye and cannot be removed surgically so he’ll undergo a 42-week chemotherapy treatment. #PrayForJohnRyan
Kentucky Sports Radio radio will be coming to you live from Don Moore Toyota in Owensboro, Ky. for the 15th stop on the affiliate tour. I will be joining Matt and Ryan in Owensboro tomorrow morning and my hope is Ryan will share the second microphone with me.
Go Cats, y’all.