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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: I Applaud Matthew Mitchell and Think He Has a Chance for Something Special


That is a ridiculous headline, right?  How could a guy and his program losing an entire coaching staff and 75% of his team and recruiting class be applauded and think something special is coming right around the corner?  Well, it’s a 2-part response:

PART 1: Why should Matthew Mitchell be applauded?

Why do programs fall apart?  In almost all cases it’s either through scandal or through coaching ineptitude/poor recruiting.  It appears that neither of those things apply here.  It appears the UK women’s team is falling apart because Matthew Mitchell decided his family was more important.  Now, should that make Mitch Barnhart happy?  No.  But I also don’t think being critical of a guy for wanting to spend more time with young family is appropriate from this fanbase.  Mitchell had to make a choice and he chose his personal life over his professional life.  I can already hear the rebuttal: but he makes a million dollars which means he has to pay more attention than the average plumber does at his job.  Well guess what, despite what many are calling an absurd ignoring of his program, he still leads UK to a Sweet 16 this year.  He still has UK at a level it has never achieved.  Imagine if he cared as much as people thought he should.  It would have been a Final Four year.  But I think if Matthew Mitchell was to speak honestly, he would tell you the time he spent with family this year was worth missing out on the Final Four.  So I not only applaud him for making a very tough choice in high profile job but he still was very successful in his job.  The fact things have fallen apart in the last few weeks shouldn’t be ignored but the reason it happened shouldn’t be as ridiculed as it is.  And it leads me to:

PART 2: Why UK could be on the verge of something special?

I’ll preface this by saying that something special could be on the verge of happening IF Matthew Mitchell is the coach.  Because despite what’s happened I think he is UK’s best women’s basketball coach and the program couldn’t find anybody better.  If he is fired or leaves, the program will most likely go back to mediocrity.  Now, what could possible make me think something special could happen with this program that has 6 or 7 scholarship players left?  Because it is from the depths of struggle that greats things often happen.  The only reason the 1992 team was so special for the fans was because of the probation that preceded it.  But while probation immediately decimated UK’s team in 1989 and 1990, Matthew Mitchell doesn’t have that problem.  He actually has a decent team returning next year led by a couple of Kentucky natives.  This team will face some real odds to make noise in the SEC and the NCAA Tournament but if things fall correctly, they definitely could and endear themselves to the fans.  If that happens, why can’t Mitchell get right back into the recruiting groove he’s been in at UK?  One Top 10 recruiting class and suddenly the program is recovering quickly AND fans will appreciate the comeback considering the fall of the last few weeks.

I think if Matthew Mitchell plays his cards just right, he might actually come out ahead at the end of this.  Save this program, adjust his focus just a little bit and suddenly he could have a 1992-like team that fans fall in love with.  It’s a difficult road ahead and everything needs to happen just right from here on out, but I for one still back Matthew Mitchell and think he doesn’t deserve the criticism he has faced for doing something every father should do.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

20 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: I Applaud Matthew Mitchell and Think He Has a Chance for Something Special

  1. bosshogg24
    8:22 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    Do you think if a bank President or a school teacher stayed home and didn’t go to work they would be able to keep their job? Mitchell is responsible for destroying the basketball program which may take five years to recover and will be a national embarrassment when they don’t win ten games.

    • BluKudzu
      11:06 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

      This situation is insane.
      The only reason, to keep this guy around, after losing all credibility in every facet of his job; assistant coaches, players, recruits, boosters, media sources (outside of KSR) and fans, has to be another Barnhart contract fiasco.
      Nobody, anywhere, in any program, of any credibility, would stand by and watch this dumpster fire continue to burn.
      This is a reflection on the AD.
      It could be a tough upcoming year for the AD, if this turns out as bad as it looks right now, and the football program does not get 6 wins.

    • STEVE!
      1:15 pm May 18, 2016 Permalink

      Mr. Barnhart kept Tubby around too long, and it led to the hiring of Billy Gillispie and not making him sign a contract. He kept Joker around too long, and Stoops may not be able to dig out of that hole. Could this be a similar situation?

  2. The Goose Is Loose
    8:26 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    While I applaud most anyone who choose time with a young family I do not think it is as acceptable in this situation. A wife and family long ago realized that a coach is going to be gone and will spend long hours away. It’s part of being a coach and the reward is the large paycheck. If this were Cal and that was used as an excuse then everyone’s head would be exploding. I have met MM on multiple occasions and he is without a doubt a very nice guy but he has failed this program terribly. The program hasn’t seen the failings yet but they are without a doubt coming (hope I’m wrong).
    I have no doubt that KSR will continue to defend him because he has been very accessible to the site and radio program. I get it. The one person who is getting punished the most out of all of this is Epps. She is one of the best players in the programs history and will finish her career in a bad situation. I would guess if she were able to graduate this year she would move on to another school and I wouldn’t blame her.

  3. kentuckyrld
    8:28 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    Is this the dumbest blog of all time? Maybe not, but it has to be in the running.

    • ukkatzfan
      9:02 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

      Guessing KSR is involved with the MM cover up. They sure are trying to protect him. This is like the Joker Phillips situation at the very least. MM has admitted to being lazy at doing his job of coaching. A good man doing a lousy job while Barnhart allows it to continue. MM is not running a players first program. He has been running a MM first program. If no one has seen wrong doing, someone is not looking close enough. If Barnhart chased away Mickey and is not chasing away MM, then the good ole boy network is definitely in play. Can someone outside the good ole boy network tell me why “Anthony Epps being named coach” talk hasn’t happened ? I would like to hear why KSR and Barnhart are both protecting MM? Every excuse that has been told adds up to MM being fired. I think KSR should be televised so we can actually watch while they dance around the subject of MM being Canned.

  4. Sentient Third Eye
    8:54 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    The single thing that will determine the fate of Matthew Mitchell is how well he can recruit going forward. If he can, this will all blow over. If he can’t, then he can’t remain.

    I suspect that, at this point, negative recruiting by other programs is doing the most harm. Other coaches are saying, “Look at that mess at Kentucky! You don’t want to go there next year!”

  5. pithuahua
    9:01 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    And Nero fiddled while Rome burned…

  6. KyDoughBoy
    9:01 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    If this was any other school Matt would exploit them 100000%. I mean I cant blame him for not actually trying to find out whats going on, he has to bow down to Barnhart in order to get access to games. Theres something definitely going on and it obviously has to do with the way Matt Mitchell is treating the team. But don’t have articles on here (two a day now) when KSR is not trying to find out anything, just speculation and making people talk. Do something.

  7. miggy911
    9:02 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    relegated to being an intern in perpetuity……

    • ukkatzfan
      9:04 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

      Let’s hope not. Let’s hope he will follow MM to his next job. Maybe be a ballboy or something.

  8. secrick
    9:20 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    BTI, You might be right, hope you are, after all this is only basketball and he’s not the President of these U.S. Of course basketball is awful important to some people but i’m not sure MM is one of them right now.

    • KyDoughBoy
      9:29 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

      So he is not supposed to be committed to his job? That provides for his family?

  9. BlueDew
    9:28 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    This is one of the most ridiculous post in KSR history. KSR is close to losing all credibility in BNN. I’m what you call a commoner; Out and about with BBN fans everyday listening to the talk and discussions. MM has lost the confidence of many players, parents and fans. This is a fact. We are not stupid and know lip service when given. If anyone thinks that we will be competitive with only six D1 players in the athletic SEC then they are out of touch with college athletics. It is unreal how KSR is trying to snow every fan that truly support KSR. I wonder if Mitch has instructed KSR to deflect as much as possible away from this troubling situation.

    • KyDoughBoy
      9:30 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

      ^ Almost worse than Matt trying to push his political agenda on the KSR Twitter

  10. cats paw
    10:01 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    i think we need to just fire Mitchell and Cal both. we could take their salaries and give it to Stoops since he is running the only successful program.

  11. runtsfan
    10:02 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t think the women’s program makes money and whether they win or not has no significant effect on the athletic department bottom line. There are a few folks who care if they win, but I suspect less than we think. There has been turmoil, for which MM has admitted responsibility, but no scandal. Give him another chance. However, IMO, he needs to stop being the dancer/singer/entertainer and let the program be about the players. I would have gotten tired of his antics, particularly if he wasn’t spending time coaching, if I had been on the team.

  12. BluKudzu
    11:09 am May 18, 2016 Permalink

    got moderated for expressing opinions in Barnharts role in this situation. Critical thoughts are not allowed in this case it seems.

  13. STEVE!
    1:13 pm May 18, 2016 Permalink

    I agree with everyone else. What a ridiculous article! I wish I could tell my employer I lost 75% of my clients because I wanted to spend more time with my family, and that would be acceptable. BTI, I suppose if you had been around in the late ’80s you would have wanted UK to keep Eddie Sutton as coach to clean up the mess he created.

  14. Booby Petrino
    1:22 pm May 18, 2016 Permalink

    Most of you acting so outraged about this have never even been to a UK women’s game and most likely don’t watch them on TV. As a season ticket holder who goes to almost all home games, I’m happy for UK to give MM the opportunity to turn things back in the right direction. We sucked before MM came, we have been good while he is here, and now things have fallen apart. Doesn’t mean he can’t put it back together. So unless you actually go to games or support the program by at least watching games, your opinion doesn’t matter. Bunch of barking ass dogs with no bite.