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Mark Stoops has one of the strictest no handgun rules in the SEC


Things I didn’t expect Mark Stoops to talk about on today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference: handguns. Matthew Stevens of the Montgomery Advertiser asked each coach on the call their policy on handguns in wake of Auburn defensive back Stephen Roberts’ arrest on misdemeanor charges for an unlicensed firearm and attempted eluding of an officer. Roberts is suspended from Auburn’s opener vs. Clemson on Saturday and potentially longer.

Stoops told reporters he not only prohibits handguns on campus, he doesn’t allow his players to own them, even with a legal permit. 

“Yeah, we do not allow any handguns. I’ve made it very clear to them that I do not want them owning a handgun, even if they have a legal permit for it. They obviously can never have a handgun on campus, but I make it my policy to tell them no guns and come explain to me why they may need a gun because we definitely should not need a gun living in Lexington, Kentucky. So, that’s my policy.”

Looking at the other responses via @MatthewCStevens, Stoops has one of the strictest no-guns rules in the SEC:

  • Georgia’s Kirby Smart: Educates players on owning handguns
  • Florida’s Jim McElwain, Tennessee’s Butch Jones, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn: University policy prohibits guns on campus
  • Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason: Makes it clear to his players there’s no need for handguns on campus, but has had issues when players arrive on campus or go home for breaks
  • Arkansas’ Bret Bielema: Allows players to have licensed handguns, mentions popularity of hunting
  • Missouri’s Barry Odom: Players prohibited from owning a handgun while they are on the team
  • Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze: No official team policy, but says he would have to distinguish from a hunting rifle and a handgun
  • Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen: Players not allowed to have handguns

After the air-gun incident a few years back, I’m not surprised Stoops is so strict about this issue.

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.

27 Comments for Mark Stoops has one of the strictest no handgun rules in the SEC

  1. Marine5150
    4:27 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    I like Stoops but he just lost my respect. Just because you oppose a constitutional right doesn’t mean you have the right to make that decision for others. Just as it wouldn’t be right for someone to take your constitutional right away because someone else is opposed to it.

    • J-Dub421
      4:56 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      Stoops said no handguns, not no guns.

    • doobie brother
      5:01 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      He’s not taking away their constitutional right. 1. Go play some place else if you need a handgun so badly. 2. Mark Stoops is not the government.

      You lose respect for someone because they hold a different view on guns than you? I think I would only have maybe two friends if I only respected people who hold the same views on guns as me.

    • Johndroid
      6:18 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      Doobie, Mark gets his check from the government and works for a public institution. He’s as much a part of the government as any other state employee.

      If pressed, I don’t know how his ban would hold up in courts though. I don’t know if there is any precedent of a coal restricting a players right be it guns, speech, or any other rights for that matter. The last thing our program needs is a distraction on the level odd what happened at Missouri.

    • Kernel Sanders
      7:10 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      You talking about Mark Stoops getting his check from the government? I don’t think so technically. He would be an employee of UKAA wouldn’t he?

      Cmon, of course a coach can restrict a player’s speech. Happens all the time…coaches cut off a player’s social media, or won’t give the press access to them. Tubby Smith would not allow Freshmen to speak to the press. Stoops isn’t the only coach to forbid guns.

  2. chicago_cat
    4:29 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    “We definitely should not need a gun living in Lexington”

    Big difference between being a dumbass athlete having a gun to feel hood and second amendment rights.

    Didn’t expect stoops to be a bleeding heart liberal, too bad.

  3. tWildcat
    4:31 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    So they’re not allowed to own one period, even if they leave it at home? How can he enforce that? It’s their lives, not his. I find it hard to believe someone like Kash Daniel doesn’t have one back home.

  4. ukcamel
    4:40 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t care if any of these guys had a gun back at their parents’ house. No one I knew brought their guns to Lexington, even if they lived off campus. Too many knickleheads and thieves.

  5. Souf beach Lou
    5:21 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    I hear the footsteps of a million gun nuts coming to bear down on this. god help us all. You couldn’t had maybe let this story slide?

    Stick to sports stoops!

    • doobie brother
      5:43 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      “Matthew Stevens of the Montgomery Advertiser asked each coach on the call their policy on handguns…”

      He probably would like to but he was asked a question and he gave a candid answer.

      Why do we have to get all worked up when someone states a view different than our own. I support Stoop’s position on this issue but it wouldn’t bother me if he held a different position than me. Do we need “safe places” and “trigger warnings” on KSR?

    • buzzard
      7:20 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      So anyone who owns a hand gun, or believes in the 2nd amendment is a nut? Perhaps you should move to a place where there are no violent crimes….Oh,I forgot, there is no place like that since Barney left Mayberry.

  6. Luether
    5:25 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    Where guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns…

  7. me101
    5:32 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    If I was coach I would issue each player a hand gun to be kept off campus with a girl friend or a friend.

  8. Souf beach Lou
    5:33 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    Well the gun nuts always say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people and they say it’s a mental health issue therefore if you consider that football players, police and the military all have significant instances of traumatic brain injury and suffer from a higher rate of mental illness because of that it makes perfect sense to keep guns away from police and the military and to a lesser extent football players.

  9. bosshogg24
    6:09 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    And we have liberal mental cases who call other people “gun nuts”! Pretty dumb statement by Stoops that you don’t need a gun in Lexington. What about all the killings on the streets of Lexington every day? Lexington crime rate is through the roof and not a safe place! Football players not being mature enough to own a gun is a different story!

    • Kernel Sanders
      7:15 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      Lol what?? I have lived in Lexington for 35+ years. Saying Lexington has daily street killings and the crime rate is through the roof is just absurd.

  10. 8generationsblue
    6:45 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    Coach does not have the authority to negate the Second Amendment.

    • Tedington
      7:32 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

      The second amendment states that the government shall not infringe on your right to bear arms. No where does it prohibit a football coach from making a rule that says you have to follow his rules in exchange for an all expenses paid free ride through college. You want to own guns? By all means….but you pay for your education . Pretty simple

    • wildcatstrat41
      11:01 am September 2, 2016 Permalink

      A couple days late to the party here. I’ve never felt compelled to register/comment on KSR posts, although I read religiously, until I read this blog post. I’m a lifelong Cats fan, as many of us are, but when ignorant statements are made by our coach, he should be held accountable. It’s absolutely within his rights to say whatever he wants, but I refuse to sit back and let these lies be perpetuated. Just because you haven’t personally been a victim of violent crime doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen on a regular basis in Lexington. One cool thing about the internet is that statistics are readily available. Just gonna leave this here…

      “With a crime rate of 45 per one thousand residents, Lexington has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 22. Within Kentucky, more than 93% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Lexington.”

      I could stomach coach Stoops simply answering the question that was asked with a simple response, even if it didn’t correspond with my own opinions. The problem I have with it is with him making a point to go out of his way to interject his personal feelings on the issue of guns/second amendment rights. Sorry coach, but facts don’t care about your feelings, and neither do I or most other Kentucky football fans. Go to a damn bowl game.

  11. backwoodzukfan
    6:56 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    I like Stoops but that was not a well thought out statement.. i guess he doesn’t watch the news

  12. A_Blue_Wildcat
    6:58 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    Why would a UK athlete need a firearm while on campus? Maybe back home I can understand but I seriously can’t remember the last time there was any serious danger to any athlete on campus.

  13. shelby
    7:40 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    I’m retired military, I own several guns and have a concealed carry permit. And I have no problem with coach Stoops’ statement or his policy. Coach is responsible for ALL of these kids: he makes the rules. Period! They don’t like it, transfer, you don’t it, watch Fox News saturday night instead of the game.

  14. Good Times
    7:41 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    Don’t you guys know, any restriction by the guvment or anybody else is a violation of my 2nd amendment rights. If I want to polish my pistol in the capital building, who am I hurting? If I want to do a desk pop in the office, it’s my right! Or if I want to give my boy Bobby Jo Dean a gun to shoot, it’s passing along by heritage; besides he’s got a great shot for a 3 year old. Merica!

  15. sa_hunt
    7:55 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    Never did care much for UK football but those comments from Stoops just turned me away for good. Stoops can’t win a game of football so I guess he has to exert his authority somewhere to get his rocks off.

  16. BiasedBigfoot
    10:11 pm August 31, 2016 Permalink

    I’m pro 2nd Amendment, but shouldn’t you assume that you’re right to bear arms is going to be somewhat limited if you’re not only under the authority of your college but also under the authority of your head coach?

  17. StuckinLville
    3:58 am September 1, 2016 Permalink

    Don’t need a gun in Lexington, Ky? Tell that to the student that was gunned that worked for the school paper. Or tell that to the numerous other student who have been robbed or shot over the years. Lexington’s violent crime rate has went up and he will feel real dumb one day if something happened to one of his players but could have been prevented if he had a gun. If they are license, it’s none of his business and I almost bet several players have them hidden away. Tell Kash Daniel’s he can’t have a gun. I bet he has plenty of hunting rifles.

  18. runningunnin.454
    9:21 am September 1, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah, why would you ever need self defense on a college campus… would never be threatened because obviously, there can never be handguns on campus. Never.
    Too bad he didn’t coach Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech in 2007…..32 people would not have died.