Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

UK’s Big Three Releases a Statement on Rupp Arena

This is a joint statement released by President Eli Capiluto, AD Mitch Barnhart and Coach John Calipari. Some interesting, and surprising stuff in here:

“In what remains a challenging economy, we must be unified as a campus community about our priorities as we seek private support and finite state dollars to help fund our dreams for the University and for the Commonwealth. To that end, our Board of Trustees, our faculty and staff, and our students have spoken with a clear and unequivocal voice: Our primary focus should — and must – be the construction and renovation of facilities and living and learning spaces so that we can revitalize the core of our campus and, in particular, further strengthen the undergraduate education we provide. Targeted investments in athletics facilities will be part of that equation as we continue to improve our competitive position across all sports. We also will further utilize this powerful brand to recruit and retain Kentucky’s best students.

We cannot at this time and in this economy support initiatives — such as infrastructure proposals being made relative to Rupp Arena – that compete with pressing on-campus priorities for scarce state operating dollars and capital construction funds. We have communicated with Mayor Gray about this issue. He understands our perspective and has graciously engaged with us in ongoing, productive dialogue. We have pledged to continue to be an active partner in this process as the health and vibrancy of UK and Lexington are inextricably linked. We are fortunate to be in such a terrific and historic venue for college basketball and we are committed to our long-term future there.”

Article written by Matt Jones

56 Comments for UK’s Big Three Releases a Statement on Rupp Arena

  1. The Rich White Man in Control
    3:41 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    In English please…..?

  2. Stevie Janowski
    3:41 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink


  3. Stevie Janowski
    3:42 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink


  4. wesmorgan1
    3:42 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Sounds as if UK administration is making the tough call. They’re right, of course; campus infrastructure, which has declined markedly in recent years, has to come first. As much as I enjoy attending games (and other events) in Rupp Arena, it can wait…

  5. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    3:42 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    And that means..?

  6. bigabes4uk
    3:43 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    1- UK will not ask State to help them fund new/renovated arena. Instead they will use State funds towards other university things such as classrooms and dorms, etc…

  7. BUCats
    3:43 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    So in essence, UK did not like the renovation idea of Rupp and are hiding behind not having enough money as a defense. I would rather have a new arena than get a reworked one anyway. Hopefully some private money can come in to get a new Rupp done.

  8. Thank You
    3:44 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Thank you, Mr. Capiluto! I’m as big a Kentucky fan as you will meet and always support what is best for the bball program, but we also have to be conscious of the times in which we are living and the things that are most important when everything is put in perspective. Great decision. Rupp remains the most amazing place to watch basketball, and it’s good to know that money is going to be spent in the right areas (hopefully)

  9. Jarred
    3:44 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Ok so new arena right?

  10. DoubleZeroMostel
    3:45 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    translation= sorry about wasting that money on the feasibility study. We’re not doing anything to Rupp.

  11. Tonydelksarms
    3:47 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    That’s the right thing to do, if you think rupp arena is not great your a idot! If you have the bussiness building falling apart, you dont really need a team. Bottom line it’s a school 1st athletic program second

  12. BigBlueBrock
    3:48 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    This just means that UK is leaving it to the city to secure funds for Rupp Arena, and won’t leverage it’s own bonding authority for it.

    UofL didn’t use any of its own bonding authority for the Kentucky Fried Cardinal Yuck! Center, the city Louisville itself appropriated funding through the state legislature. Lexington will do the same.

  13. UK_CAT_FAN
    3:48 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    This doesn’t mean the project has to end, right? Just means UK isn’t going to give any money to project. If the city wants to renovate it then they will have to foot the bill on their own

  14. ajlageman
    3:49 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Translation = Rupp is renamed “Coal Keeps the Lights on Rupp Arena”

  15. Matt Jones
    3:50 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    You guys aren’t reading this correctly…it means that they aren’t going to use their leverage to get state money involved on Rupp or other major athletic facilities. The city will still renovate Rupp

  16. foffer
    3:52 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    chicken bucket, meet the coal bin

  17. 101_ blue
    3:52 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    they can use there high tuition for dorms,etc.

  18. RidgeRunner
    3:54 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    somethin’ is a foot…

  19. BBN
    3:54 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    I love the decision! If the city will not support building a new arena, then UK will not support the project at all. Wait a few more years for the economy to improve and a new mayor to be elected.

  20. RidgeRunner
    3:55 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    15…to be honest, it would take an attorney to understand this and if its 2 or more…somebody’s gonna get in punched besides Xavier.

  21. catfanran
    3:57 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Field of dreams

  22. RidgeRunner
    3:58 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    I got the challenged economy though. just sayin’

  23. UKGirl
    3:58 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    The battle lines are being drawn apparently. Will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years. City vs School.

  24. BUCats
    4:00 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    I guess it is too much to replace 1970s facilities for the University’s money makers

  25. BigBlueBrock
    4:01 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Mr. Jones confirmed my belief of what this meant.

  26. catsfan54
    4:03 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink


  27. stafford
    4:03 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    All the KY elementary school teachers who tried to teach reading comprehension are weeping and stepping out onto a ledge right now.

  28. bigbluemist
    4:05 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Exactly right call. UK needs to be an arm’s length partner in this deal. Otherwise it screws up their funding for new law school, dorms, primary ed school, etc.

  29. Billy the Budget Man
    4:06 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    If they are not competing for state operating dollars, then another source pays for it, right? Private donors, Usage tax, What?

  30. WeddingPlanner
    4:08 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Regardless of who pays for it, we need a new arena or Coach Cal will be gone.

  31. JustSayin
    4:12 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    So the university folks and top boosters are okay with having the 2nd nicest arena in the state? Behind UL for crying out loud! We need to build a new arena while Cal is here. If Barney hires another Gillispie we’ll never get the funding. These univ. folks work for the best interests of the school, not the city of Lexington!

  32. fletch
    4:12 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    I have 2 kids going to u.k. and I would like to express my disgust for the student housing for freshman and soph.
    it has to be the poorest of any major college in the country.
    this is the first thing they should fix.but man , would I love to see a oncampus area.

  33. RidiculousStatments
    4:14 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    We need a new football stadium or i feel that Joker will leave us.

  34. Champ
    4:15 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    21 lol thanks for telling me that it was field of Dreams. I never would have known!! 🙂

  35. knightynight
    4:15 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    27. funny, but true.

  36. Hannah
    4:15 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Good call. I just hope this extra funding for campus is actually spent on necessary things, unlike the updated “directory” signs and maps put every 50 feet on campus 2 years ago.

  37. fletch
    4:17 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    arena, sorry

  38. Kevin Grevey
    4:21 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    UofL did not have this issue when the taxpayers of the great state of Kentucky built a state of the art facility (where UK is not permitted to play)”The Chicken Bucket”.

  39. JMan
    4:24 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    My translation: A lot of people with several letters after their name, who got beat up by jocks in high school, are not happy “their” potential research money for the mating life of african crickets might get spent on a basketball arena.

  40. catcrawler
    4:27 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    I REALLY DON’T MIND. It’s the fans and players that make Rupp special. I could care less about suites and all that jazz.
    Surely Cal understands the situation. Its not like Rupp is a craphole.

  41. Guck Foodman.
    4:28 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Ask not what UK Basketball is doing for the University, but what is the University doing for UK Basketball.

  42. big tim
    4:29 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    so are they saying there not going to renovate it ethier?

  43. CatFaninIndy
    4:31 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Sounds like no renovation in the near future to me! IU SUCKS! U of L SUCKS!!! DUKE SUCKS!!! SlapNuts Kevin Sucks! #WeAreUK

  44. HicksPickSix
    4:32 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    #11 – The irony of your “your a idot” is not lost on me.

  45. HicksPickSix
    4:34 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    #27 – Well said.

  46. BigBlueBrock
    4:38 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    People are seriously misunderstanding what this means for a renovated Rupp Arena, despite what Matt Jones said in the comments.

    The city is still going to renovate Rupp Arena, Lexington is just going to have to get the money itself. UK will NOT use it’s own bonding authority to help foot the bill. It also won’t be using that bonding authority for football facilities or anything else related to athletics facilities. Instead, UK will use its personal bonding authority to improve its ACADEMIC and STUDENT RESIDENTIAL facilities.

    One more time for the confused: The CITY of Lexington will renovate Rupp Arena, that WILL NOT CHANGE. This is just UK telling EVERYONE that they can fuhgetabout the university chipping in for that bill.

  47. UK student
    5:03 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    #32 – Completely agree. As a student living in and using the schools facilities daily, I can testify to the necessity for the money to be used in this area. I’ve never been in the dorms in north campus, but having lived in the Blanding/Kirwan complexes in south campus for a year and a half now, I can personally speak to how atrocious they really are. The dorms aren’t the only area needing renovations. Other buildings like the Classroom Building and Chem/Phys have surely seen some better days. Academic UK definitely needs work before athletic UK.

  48. Al's IndiCats
    5:14 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    What Indy did to finance the Lucus Oil Field was they called it a donut tax. The county of Marion (Indy) and the surrounding counties tacked on a penny per dollar tax on resturants. Oh BTW good luck on repealing said tax once it’s paid off.

  49. Lovely
    5:31 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    47. North campus isn’t much better. Remember, Jewell Hall is on north campus, and the university has tried to close it for two years now. I think in this day and age, with so much technology, students should not have to buy fans for their dorms because the dorm doesn’t have air conditioning.

  50. The Big Dog
    5:36 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    I will agree that some of the dorms at UK are a disgrace and have been for years. My son lived in Haggan Hall and it had the same filth that was there when I was in school. However, I don’t like interference with athletics by some professor of sociology or the like. I made up my mind to cease any further donations to the University until it stops (not that they will miss it). Now it looks like it will only get worse. It does burn me up that Tommy Turtleneck has a blank check at Loserville. If we could only sell $8 beer at our games.

  51. Another UK Student
    5:38 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    47: +1 for how bad the academic facilities are. my freshman dorm didn’t have air conditioning (!) and several of the academic buildings are past their prime. (funkhouser? kastle?) Even WKU has a way nicer campus than us. Let the city fund its own arena, so the school can focus on other problems.

  52. bluristhurr
    5:46 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with the statement RUPP IS AWESOME leave it the way it is put that money where it needs it!

  53. tyrus
    6:24 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    BigBlueBrock you are spot on. Again stating a point, the City of Lexington’s lobbyists will be knocking on the doors of the legislators this coming legislative session for funding options. Then there’s matching federal dollars for downtown revitalization projects that Lexington could apply for. Heck if it’s a public project then Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government can hold a special election for the citizens of Fayette County vote on a sales tax increase to help fund the project.

  54. Owen
    7:27 pm December 12, 2011 Permalink

    Seriously, UK’s buildings are outdated and generally just not up to par across the board with the exception of the newer buildings. I went to a school that is nearly 100 years older, that makes way less money off athletics, has no real medical or law school, has a smaller student body, gives out more in scholarship money (as far as I can tell), and has comparable tuition (might be lower). Yet, it had fantastic classroom and dorm buildings and they continue to build and renovate more of them.

    Not sure why UK has such horrible dorms and classroom buildings considering all of this just from a basic viewpoint. How much did they spend on that new hospital building? I realize that is important but a university needs to be about its students as much as anything else and UK seems to have forgotten that in a lot of ways.

  55. Rick Thomas
    10:16 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    After reading the position from the new President I would say his tenure is going to be shorlived…….

  56. UK employee
    10:52 am December 13, 2011 Permalink

    UK is working hard to find ways to upgrade its facilities within an era when state funding continues to disappear. One of those ways is to outsource their housing to a private company. By doing so, the university will get new dorms, as well as upgrades to some existing dorms, at the same time cutting costs in the support and maintenance of those facilities. Many of the old dorms (such as Jewell Hall that was mentioned above) will be razed and new dorms built in their place. The private company will provide the funding for those new facilities and will provide all support/maintenance for them. The private company will own the buildings for (let’s say) 30 years, while leasing the land from the university on which they sit. After said 30 years, the building would then become property of the university. This is a great way to get new (and renovated) dorms for minimal cost. Here’s an article from the Wall Street Journal about this plan: