To use Matthew Mitchell’s words, the initial “upheaval” surrounding the women’s basketball program seems to have come to a close (knock on wood). Yesterday Mitchell had a chance to defend and explain the events surrounding his program.
The defections seem to have stopped as the program attempts to move forward. The only person we hadn’t heard from yet is Mitchell’s boss, Mitch Barnhart. Kyle Tucker of The C-J spoke to UK’s athletic director today about the fallout. Barnhart’s best reasoning for why all of this has happened…
“I think sometimes, as you try and replicate things over and over and over — if you had something you really liked, and it changes, for instance the staff that he had four or five years ago, you say, ‘I really liked that,’ and you try to replicate it over and over and over. Sometimes, that style — it’s really hard to do. You get to a spot where you’re just chasing what you used to have. So being able to adjust is important, and you have to understand that you might not have exactly what you had before.
Barnhart never saw the situation as a fireable offense or a “this is the last straw” type of ordeal. He described their close and candid relationship.
“I’ve talked to him. He’s not only my women’s basketball coach. He’s a friend. When friends are hurting, you’re going to make sure that you pay attention to them. And then the other piece of that: I’ve got a friendship, and then he’s my head women’s basketball coach, and I’ve got to make sure that I balance both those things out. I don’t want to get clouded by either view.”
For the entire Q&A click here.