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KY State Rep asks about the future of UK’s checkerboard uniforms

Kentucky State Rep. Adam Bowling represents the good people of the 87th District in Bell and Harlan counties, and some of those good people have expressed their disapproval of the University of Kentucky’s ongoing commitment to the checkerboard design.

The most tiring debate in UK sports, Bowling asked UK’s VP of University Relations Tom Harris about the future of the checkerboards during a legislative hearing regarding government contracts, including the renewal of a UK marketing contract, last week.

“Is that still their goal moving forward because, believe it or not, I know we kind of laugh at it, but I’ve had a lot of people that have reached out to me that aren’t a fan of becoming Checkerboard U,” Bowling, a member of the Government Contract Review Committee,

“I don’t know if you all have plans to look at that and maybe consult with them or talk with them about going a different direction. I know a lot of times now when I see new facilities, it’s actually implemented into the buildings themselves or the fields, or the turfs or whatnot, and it just may be something you all want to look at because I’ve gotten a lot of feedback.”

Harris replied, “Fair point. I’ll pass that along.”

Bowling’s district fights Big Blue Nation’s battles on the Tennessee border only a tunnel drive away from Vol country, so they probably catch the most grief for UK adopting UT’s favorite pattern. Nike is to blame here for slapping it on the Billy Gillispie era of Kentucky’s basketball uniforms to mixed reviews from the fan base in 2008.

Then back in 2018 on “Just The Cats” radio, UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart told KSR’s own Shannon The Dude, “I really find it fascinating that people get fired up about uniforms… Frankly, we do have a deal with Nike and they came to us with some stuff from the silks of Secretariat. When we first started this, it wasn’t a checkerboard thing, it was the silks of Secretariat and that’s how we’ve honored it. A lot of our kids like it and we give each sport the opportunity to design their own uniforms, so that’s where we are.”

You can revisit that heated moment in Just The Cats/KSR history here.

Hear Bowling’s unexpected checkerboard question to the UK administration below as the never-ending debate rolls on, even in Frankfort:


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

36 Comments for KY State Rep asks about the future of UK’s checkerboard uniforms

  1. ClutchCargo
    2:28 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    Politicians wasting time on stuff like this bothers me more than any uniform design.

    • UK_Hop_Head
      3:29 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      I’m always amused by comments like this, as if politicians can’t possibly be doing/thinking about more than one thing at a time. Haha. It’s ludicrous.

    • 4evrUKBlue
      3:54 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Politicians only think of one thing ever and that is how to separate we the people from our money.

    • CrystalBall
      7:01 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      They are also concentrating on getting re-elected. Which is their primary job.

    • Johnnyringo11
      5:05 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Damn straight.

    • Tom Bombadil
      5:40 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Shut up Clutch the Douche!!

    • 4evrUKBlue
      7:18 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      And while they are concentrating on getting elected they are lying through both sides of their mouths ever time it opens.

    • ClutchCargo
      8:51 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Sorry Tom, you don’t have the power of your namesake. Now fukoff and run along to your little fantasy world.

  2. kentuckybackupplayer
    2:46 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    I am from eastern Kentucky and there are a lot bigger problems for this guy to focus on than fashion design.

    • Tom Bombadil
      5:43 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      And no matter how much he focuses KY is still screwed up!!..So…Get off his back dimwit!! Maybe he can help with something!!

    • 4evrUKBlue
      7:19 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Uh he works for us dimwit, not the other way around, he is elected to serve his constituents.

  3. GAKAT
    2:49 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    I have no problems with the checker board. I’ve always looked at it as a remembrance to Secretariat rather than a checker board. I know a lot of people on here aren’t old enough to remember him as it should be. Go to YouTube and watch his Triple Crown races; perhaps that will help

    • AirForceOne
      3:41 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      He is a Bowling…a pure politician like his Dad was.

  4. 4evrUKBlue
    2:56 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    I was lucky enough to have been at the Derby the year Secretariat won, what a great horse.

    • NostraDanis
      4:52 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Color me jealous!
      You got to see the Greatest thoroughbred of all time, the fastest KY Derby, and the 2nd fastest Derby (Sham) all at the same time!

      For what it’s worth, the Secretariat – KY connection is a little weak, considering he was NOT born in Kentucky.

    • runningunnin.454
      6:02 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      I was there too, 4evr; sorry I didn’t see you, haha. The KY connection is NOT weak, Nostra. Big Red was the result of a business partnership involving two offspring of Bold Ruler, a Kentucky horse. Phipps won a coin toss to get first pick, and picked the wrong horse.
      Secretariat also lived the vast majority of his life in Kentucky, and was buried in Kentucky.

    • UKFanSC
      8:12 am July 20, 2021 Permalink

      I too was there…… pretty hammered in the infield.

  5. playthatstringmusic
    2:57 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    While it pains me to see politicians involved in such nonsense it’s an improvement from promoting a narcissist/racist and MAGA gear.

    • 4evrUKBlue
      3:09 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Jalen Rose???

    • Johnnyringo11
      3:18 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Like the dems who took off from Texas so they wouldn’t have to do their jobs?

    • nocode96
      5:59 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Johnny, how about the dozens of republicans who did the same when their state was without power and people were dying? How about their main idiot who tried to sneak out of the country during all that and then have the balls to try and blame it on his own daughter? They ran from duty of helping their constituents, these Dems ran to stop even finer gerrymandering of districts and unfair voting regulations being voted in. Big difference. They’re all garbage people who don’t care even a little bit about us, but let’s not pretend it doesn’t go both ways. You think rand Paul or mitch’s stupid ass cares about anyone in the bluegrass? Rand would gun you down in front of your mother if it meant he could pocket some kick backs, they ALL would. Don’t kid yourself.

    • mashman 93
      3:56 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Shut up you idiot.

    • Johnnyringo11
      4:10 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      And who might you be talking to?

    • Johnnyringo11
      6:42 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Nocode apparently my comments agreeing with some of what youre saying is to much for KSR to to let me post as they are still awaiting moderation.

  6. RogerW
    3:50 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    Through the years I have probably asked 150 to 200 people how they feel about the checkerboard uniforms. The vast majority have no issues with the checkerboard. Funny thing is, the ones that don’t have an issue with the uniforms don’t listen to KSR at all or listen rarely. The ones that do listen to KSR have a higher percentage that do have issues with yhe uniforms. I think this is something that KSR keeps in the limelight as they don’t like the uniforms.

  7. Larkin123
    3:55 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    I like the checkerboard

  8. ukkatzfan
    4:31 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    If it is about “secretariat silks”, then why do the orange have the same ? Was secretariat from that state too ? What about belmont and preakness states and their college teams ? My opinion is “they telling a bunch of lies”.

  9. Dr. Tom
    4:59 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    Drew, you and your KSR cohorts just won’t give it up. You are stooping pretty low when you try to use politicians to support your anti-checkerboard campaign. I agree with the dominant feedback in comments that this is a non-issue with most UK fans. Drew, give us some UK sport news and leave Mitch and the checkerboards alone!!

  10. Duuuuuude
    5:03 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    You are a bunch of anti-checktites. If they were stripes, we would have complainers. Perhaps something floral or a paisley?

  11. Skooms
    5:22 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    Want to know a surprising fact? UK actually had the checkerboard pattern BEFORE the Vols did. Crazy huh??

  12. UKLugo
    7:00 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

    Checkerboard or not, it’s time to change the basketball uniforms. Straight blocked lettering has run it’s course.

    • tytyequalsnatty9
      7:53 pm July 19, 2021 Permalink

      Yep 9-16 should put an end to that era. Embrace the modern new looks from Nike

  13. Thank You Coach Stoops
    10:35 am July 20, 2021 Permalink

  14. Swizzle
    12:57 pm July 20, 2021 Permalink

    Email mitch