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PJ Washington’s mom says criticism of Wildcat Lodge is out there, but she doesn’t understand it

Andy Lyons | Getty

Andy Lyons | Getty

Andy Lyons | Getty

While in Marshall County last weekend to interview PJ Washington, I spent some time with his mother, Sherry. Sherry and PJ’s dad Paul met at Middle Tennessee State, where they both played basketball, and she’s done her best to remain impartial during her son’s recruitment. I asked her what she thought of the Wildcat Coal Lodge without mentioning Trae Young’s family’s comments about it (although it appears those may have been in jest). Sherry admitted she had heard bad things about the Lodge before PJ’s official visit in September, but once she saw it for herself, she couldn’t understand the criticism.

“You know what, I’ve heard a lot of people say that the dorms are not that good. And of course, I heard that before seeing it, so when we went in, I told my husband, what were they expecting? This is perfectly fine. All he needs is somewhere to lay his head, somewhere to brush his teeth, get his clothes, and then get to the gym. So, I thought it was great. Maybe I’m biased, I don’t know. It looked fine to me. I don’t see where – and then, the downstairs lounge area? I wish they had that kind of stuff when I was in school.”

Last week, Calipari responded to some of the criticism of the Lodge, telling reporters that when it was built in 2012, it was the first of its kind and therefore, subject to the NCAA’s strict policies against some of the things he wanted to include.

“The lodge was built the way it was built because the NCAA told us ‘no’ a thousand times,” Cal said. “Then Taj-Mahals were built and they said, ‘Well, those are fine, though.’ We were told ‘no.’ Believe me, I was in the middle of it. Joe Craft doesn’t want to hear that the lodge isn’t this and that. We built what (the NCAA) allowed us to build.”

It’s worth noting that in January 2016, Governor Bevin approved a $21 million proposal from UK to renovate the Lodge, but that money will actually be spent on an expanded eating facility connected or adjacent to the Lodge for athletes on the north side of campus. Additionally, the Joe Craft Center is set to undergo a $4 million renovation after ten years of wear and tear.

So, criticism of the Lodge is clearly making the rounds in the recruiting world. Hopefully all parents are as level-headed about it as Sherry Washington.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

10 Comments for PJ Washington’s mom says criticism of Wildcat Lodge is out there, but she doesn’t understand it

  1. JusSayin
    10:40 am February 24, 2017 Permalink

    There shouldn’t be a single thing about Kentucky basketball that is on the lower end of the spectrum. If the dorms need improvement we need to do it.

  2. BobTheBuilder
    11:01 am February 24, 2017 Permalink

    Hey! Who cares?!?!

  3. Kernel Sanders
    11:14 am February 24, 2017 Permalink

    All PJ needs is a place to brush is teeth, get his clothes, and then get to the gym?? Mom, don’t forget about the classrooms on the other side of The Avenue of Champions.

  4. ky colonel
    11:52 am February 24, 2017 Permalink

    I am the biggest uk fan I know. I love the cats and want them to be the best but we are using money (21 million) to redo it when every county here in east ky ranks in the top 50 poorest in the nation. Also WKYT just did a story on my county (knott) on how the school budget has took a million dollar hit because of loss of coal jobs. So maybe we could use that to further the state more than just making a sweeter lodge.

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      11:55 am February 24, 2017 Permalink

      The money to build the new eating facility going next to the Lodge is actually UK’s, but UK has to get permission from the state to spend it. It’s a weird process, but that money is not the state’s.

    • CPACAT
      1:17 pm February 24, 2017 Permalink

      Ms TT, the money is not only UK’s money, it is U.K. Athletics Association money, which is NOT funded by the University but by ticket sales, media rights, logo’d good sales, etc. The UKAA actually gives money back to U.K. for player scholarships and as a general donation.

    • ky colonel
      12:06 pm February 24, 2017 Permalink

      well i didnt know that TT but the coal money used a few years ago for rupp came from state money. it would be great if the state or university would give back the 2.5 million i think it was to help the people of east ky.

  5. 8 god
    11:53 am February 24, 2017 Permalink

    Dorms are meaningless. Duke’s basketball dorms suck much more than Wildcat lodge. Source: Duke student who lives next door to bball team.

  6. RealCatsFan
    1:12 pm February 24, 2017 Permalink

    So I guess we should have ho’s in the dorms like another school that I heard about – that would sweeten the deal, right?

  7. ClutchCargo
    1:33 pm February 24, 2017 Permalink

    Hey, at least the ceilings are clean in the Wildcat Lodge.