During the second half of today’s embarrassing loss, CBS’ Gary Danielson took the lazy route and blamed the Kentucky football program’s woes on the basketball team, insinuating that because UK is a “basketball school,” the football team will never succeed.
“Verne, you know Kentucky has always been known as a basketball school, right, and it’s so hard to change the culture, right?” Danielson said. “It is. Remember 2007 when we went to that game and we saw maybe the best game when Kentucky and Andre Woodson beat LSU in that football game? We got in the car after the game and biggest maybe Kentucky win in years and we’re listening to the postgame show and the first call comes in and they say, ‘I wanna congratulate the boys, but I wanna know how Billy Gillispie and that basketball team are doing this year.’ First call after the biggest football win of the year. That’s what Mark Stoops has to deal with. It’s a basketball school first and he has to succeed within that.”
A little later, Verne Lundquist circled back to the topic by telling a story about meeting a UK fan in Steamboat Springs, and when she asked him how he thought the Cats would do, he thought she was talking about football when she was actually talking about basketball. This gave Danielson another excuse to take the low road.
“That’s the battle,” he said. “Changing the culture.”
With all due respect to Danielson, I am tired of this argument. It’s time for people to stop blaming basketball for football’s problems. UK has put considerable money and effort into the football program in recent years, and in no way did basketball’s success contribute to today’s pathetic performance. In year four of the Mark Stoops era, Kentucky football has the best facilities it’s ever had, (arguably) great talent, and more support from fans than they’ve earned; however, they keep singing the same old song. And it’s not John Calipari or the fans’ fault.