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When the Bear Stood Tall

Image Via KYVL.org

What an awesome Sunday! Kentucky rolled the Puerto Rico reserve team today and basketball is back, if only for a week. Unfortunately, with all the basketball talk some stories can get a little lost like this piece Mark Story did on the last days of Bear Bryant in Lexington. We’ve all heard the debunked story of the Cadillac and watch about Rupp and Bryant but what is the true story? Story went direct to a man that was at Bryant’s side to find out.

“When he left here, when he was going to Texas A&M, he called me,” Sadler said. “I drove him to Louisville to catch the plane. He said, ‘(Kentucky fans) may not like me now, but look at the record book. I had some good seasons here.'”

On that trip to Louisville, Sadler says Bryant gave him one main reason for leaving.

[…]

“He said, ‘The university had made some promises to me and they didn’t fulfill them, so I have accepted another job,'”

Those Kentucky fans who didn’t like Bryant at the time may have dug Kentucky football into a hole that has taken 60 years to get out of. Story’s story is an informative and interesting look at a time when two legends of college athletics shared time in Lexington. Just imagine what could have been had Bear Bryant stayed.

[Herald Leader: A living witness to Bear Bryant’s final day as Kentucky football coach]

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

16 Comments for When the Bear Stood Tall



  1. renman
    9:02 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    Wow;…25 stoires on basketball and one on football..Guess we can tell which season is starting.



  2. Chester
    9:08 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    Now that recruiting season is over we can get back to basketball!



  3. Steve Fitts
    9:29 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    The million dollar question is: what promises did UK make (and break) to Bear Bryant?



    • BillDozer
      8:53 am August 11, 2014 Permalink

      Recruiting room



  4. UKBlue
    9:45 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    This is where the direction of the football program at UK went from would could have been into the years & years & years & years of WTF. Classic example of how one bad decision can multiply into total disaster.



  5. OldeBlewHare
    10:00 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    He said the UK president had promised him that Coach Rupp would leave in just a few years, and then,on a recruiting trip, he learned that Rupp had been given a long term contract.It’s in a book at the library or from Amazon. One book is by Kevin Dunnavant and one is by Allen Berra. Look it up.



  6. bigbluetruth
    10:08 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    Doesn’t shock me. There’s no doubt BBN is by far the greatest fan base (no matter what some dumbass poll says) in college sports. But, there is a fair amount was are just plain stupid. UK should win by 50+ every game, no player should ever make a mistake and second guessing the coach is something they think is a birth right. My home office looks like a shrine to UK and I’m very proud of it and happy to show it off anytime. But (once again) if I was a recruit and read the post on this site 90% of the last season I think I’d have second thoughts of coming here. The sad thing those (not counting the LOSERVILLE, UNC and IU trolls sho just try to get the hair on the back of our necks to rise) are as dumb and athletic as the trolls. For example, got a friend who is a LOSERVILLE fan, he will say “IMO, no top 25 team should lose to an unranked team”. Really, with 350+ D1 teams and only 25 ranked I guess #’s 25-50 is no good at all. But then again he only watches LOSERVILLE games to support SLICK RICK and watches UK games hoping to see them lose. Knows nothing of match-ups and Andrew Harrison should never get beat on D. By the way, just like those idiots I’m speaking of he was never good enough to make Jr Pro (back when you had to get picked, not everyone got on a team). I wish those fans would lose access to the web as they hurt UK and BBN.



  7. pfife
    10:24 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    Here’s a funny clip of Bryant on the Adolph Rupp show. Bryant teases Rupp about his ‘eighty yard long cadillac’ he received and produces the cigarette lighter he was allegedly given. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R9wHUgKaC0



  8. MtnCat
    11:05 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    Frank Sadler is a fine man and a credit to the Commonwealth.



  9. Jimbob Bautista
    11:41 pm August 10, 2014 Permalink

    Whoa! #51 has no neck and his head is too big for his body.



  10. Joe Detective
    12:05 am August 11, 2014 Permalink

    What was the the typical fan’s reaction when Bear Bryant left Kentucky? Could there be any information in the Lexington Herald Leader archives in the Kentucky room at the Lexington Public Library on the fans reactions when the Bear left UK?

    Rupp coached UK for 41 years 1930-1972.
    The Bear coached UK for 8 years 1946-1953.

    The cigarette lighter episode on Youtube was made on ColorTV and makes me thinks that show was made in the very early 70’s. Anyone have any conclusions? I’m think it had something to do with a salary raise request being denied.



  11. Marvb
    12:24 am August 11, 2014 Permalink

    If bear Bryant had stayed at Kentucky, he would have probably gone .500 and
    Maybe a few more winning seasons. Roll Cats!! Maybe Stoops can get us back. SEC is so damn brutal!



  12. BillDozer
    8:57 am August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Had things gone better at the time he left, he would have most likely only stayed another 5-7 years. Sure, we probably wouldve gotten a national title but he wasnt going to hang around for 25-30 years.

    He was a Bama alum and wouldve taken that job eventually (probably in 1958 like he did anyways).



  13. 2-10Again
    9:59 am August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Three weeks to kick off and KSR runs ONE football related story. Even then it is about what happened 60 years ago. And we all wonder why UK Football is the doormat of the SEC…..



  14. UK "Fan"
    10:26 am August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Bu-bu-but dem bayestketbawl fellers is play’n in the bahammers.

    It’s ok, guys. The bandwagon fans will either jump on the football bandwagon with success or pretend they “don’t like” football if success is delayed. Such is the nature of the abhorrent UK fanbase.



  15. Accuracy Counts
    11:03 am August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Bear Bryant leaving Lexington certainly didn’t help the program, but the REAL decision that sent Big Blue football into the dark ages happened in December of 1961, when the UK brain-trust fired Blanton Collier and hired a sadistic sociopath: Charlie Bradshaw.