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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Thank You Mitch Barnhart

© Mark Zerof

© Mark Zerof

© Mark Zerof

A message to our athletic director, Mitch Barnhart, during a time in college athletics and especially in this state, where this kind of message needs to be sent:


Thank you.  For your 14 years of service to the University of Kentucky, its sports programs, and fans of the Cats.

Thanks for hiring Rich Brooks and Mark Stoops.  But also for hiring Joker Phillips.  Because whether a coach stayed here 2 years or 7 years, won lots of games or lost lots of games, you’ve only hired quality individuals for our football program.

Thanks for firing Billy Gillispie.  Because when you recognized a coach’s behavior did not fit the standards of your athletic department, you made a change and you made it quick.  I can think of two other prominent coaches in this state who have showcased worse behavior than Gillispie and still have their jobs.  And thanks for not trying to convince us that Gillispie was a “man of integrity” or a “Kentucky man”.  Instead, you decided it was better he was an “unemployed man”.

Thanks for taking chances too but when those risks work out not needing to be celebrated.  John Calipari was a risk.  Much like Bobby Petrino was a risk for UL.  But unlike our rival, if Calipari cheated in the way UL has been caught cheating, basically damaging the integrity of the games our university plays, I feel confident you would not claim that he was the victim, but rather make him own up to his mistakes and maybe even get rid of him.

Thank you for never needing to be known.  You let the players and coaches of our teams be the stars.  You don’t care whether you are seen or known.  Unlike your counterpart at Louisville, you don’t need the respect of your fanbase.  You earn that through the quality of the people you employ and the wins they produce.  Thanks for not caring about being liked.  Don’t worry though, we do like you.

Thank you for thinking integrity matters in an athletic program and actually meaning it.

Thank you for surviving and thriving in a “win at all costs” era of college sports.  I certainly think you want to win bad but you could have hired cheaters in all sports and allowed terrible behavior across the board and maybe won more games.  You didn’t fold.  That takes guts.

Thanks for making us proud of our program.

Thank you,

UK Fans

Article written by Bryan the Intern

26 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Thank You Mitch Barnhart

  1. Pitinohater
    8:19 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Well said. Please put on twitter so UK fans can retweet.

  2. Duuuuuude
    8:22 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    This!!! Yes!!!

    • Duuuuuude
      8:25 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

      And don’t forget that through most of Barnhart’s tenure, Louisville fans have been screaming about UK cheating. This monster up the road has largely gotten a pass for all their mis-deeds by the press, while UK has operated under the drumbeat of implied cheating by the media….namely Tipton. If not for the cheating occurring against other ACC schools, I am not sure this story would have gone anywhere either.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      10:19 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

      Speaking of ACC schools, how many of them have been under investigation in the past 5 years? Seems like about half of them based on my memory (which is often wrong).

  3. backbeatcat
    8:47 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Absolutely! For everyone who wanted this man fired when Rich Brooks was struggling and Tubby didn’t reach a Final Four…remember to be a little more patient. Winners work through adversity and they learn from failures and Mitch has always been a winner.

  4. pithuahua
    8:47 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    I feel nervous when I read Caipari and cheating in the same sentence.

  5. LeitchfieldAlex
    8:54 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Yes I agree with everything you said BTI. Also Mitch a BIG Thank U from a lifetime UK fan. Keep up the good job U have done. Go Blue!!!!

  6. profmike
    9:01 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Amen, BTI.

    • UK Big Bored Update
      9:11 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

      Agreed: Splendid Letter of Gratitude.

      In re Bobby Cheatrino, his initial hire in was a risk. Once Bobby left uavel for the Falcons, the rehire was not another risk but rather a failure.

      The true risk for uavel was hiring Tommy Turtleneck Juricheater.

      TTJ hired first Benedict Arnold the Impregnator Prick Cheatino.

      So the buck begins and ends with Juricheater.

  7. secrick
    9:02 am December 16, 2016 Permalink


  8. david8577
    9:18 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Wow BTI, I knew you had a good post in you.

  9. blueman79
    9:20 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Thanks “for hiring Joker Phillips” ?? Surely you jest. I haven’t heard that one from even the most ardent Barnhart sycophant. Let’s not bash Joker as he was a “Kentucky man”, but that clearly was a very bad hire.
    “Thanks for firing Billy Gillispie.” Well how about “No thank you for hiiring Billy”? Perhaps a reasonable vetting process would have exposed a man who was self destructing.
    No bashing Mitch here, but having ethical standards higher than UL is just about the lowest bar possible. Yes Mitch- thank you for that-faint praise as it is.

    • satcheluk
      9:50 am December 17, 2016 Permalink

      I’m sure you never made a mistake. As long as the positives significantly outweigh the negatives, that’s all you can expect unless you are overly cynical which your post seems to indicate.

  10. Megan
    9:22 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Bravo, BTI.

    You still suck, of course. : )

  11. Bluebloodtoo
    10:16 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Wow…a BTI post with convincingly positive responses! Better write this one down in your journal BTI.

  12. katkanputt
    10:44 am December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Great article! Hope that Mitch and other UK administrators read it.

  13. tdelkfan
    1:37 pm December 16, 2016 Permalink

    This article is delusional, thanks for hiring Joker, your kidding right. Thanks for firing Billie, really who hired him and didn’t bother with doing the due diligence that would have told him Coach G was a drunk. Thanks for taking a chance on Cal please get real. Barnhart didn’t want Cal here , the University President ordered him to hire Cal. Then he nearly ran Cal off by trying to micromanage him during his first season. Cal basically told the university he couldn’t work with the man and the Basketball Op job was created to act as a cut out. Barnhart is a decent administrator and an average AD AT BEST.

    • THE William Hill
      1:55 pm December 16, 2016 Permalink

      Except all of what you said is just message board rumors, with ZERO truth to any of it. Thanks for your comment, though.

    • satcheluk
      9:51 am December 17, 2016 Permalink

      I’m sure you never made a mistake. As long as the positives significantly outweigh the negatives, that’s all you can expect unless you are overly cynical which your post seems to indicate.

  14. kb22stang
    1:50 pm December 16, 2016 Permalink

    How was hiring Calipari a risk? How do our fans not understand that he’s never been accused of an NCAA violation?

  15. 2Dogs
    1:55 pm December 16, 2016 Permalink

    I’ve heard that RJ Corman played a part in Calipari coming to UK. Anybody know?

  16. BlueDew
    2:37 pm December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Most “Power 5” conference ADs would have been fired it they would have hired a basketball and football coach back-to-back that bombed. Then piss the majority of the football season ticket holders off by reassigning seats. Fans/families that had the same seats, and developed friendships over many seasons along with fans around them, where screwed. Now all those fans are scattered throughout the stadium. I’ll admit the football team has not performed with wins like we expected, but the truth about the talent level, team being decisive, trying to throw the ball 60-70 times in a conference where that doesn’t work is slowly coming out. Moving the fans cost the university plenty of revenue. Word is Brooks left because he couldn’t get what we have now in facilities. No proven coach wouldeven consider coming here either. Mitch and the university administration finally woke up to that fact. He is average at best. He is lucky Lee Todd kept him around.

    • satcheluk
      9:57 am December 17, 2016 Permalink

      An introspective person recognizes the difference between “good for me” and “good for the program”. I am sorry your seats being moved was unappealing, but the entire athletics department is light years ahead of where it was when he arrived.

      Feel free to remain sour about what bothers you personally, but grow up and realize the school has benefited despite your feelings.

  17. Dennis Smith
    9:20 pm December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Glad to see some rational responses. The article started out capable of making a lot of fans gag. I say give Mitch credit for what he did, and is doing well and give him hell for what he did so bad. The man will soon be a 1%er with taxpayer money – there is no reason we have to worship him. He has run a clean program and he did hire and stick by Stoops, but as BlueDew points out his transgressions are huge. Nothing wrong with BTI writing a feel good article on a Kentucky Sports site, just a little over the top.

  18. mapcatfan
    10:11 pm December 16, 2016 Permalink

    Great post, BTI. Even if those who always make 100% perfect choices and decisions in THEIR job didn’t like it. 😉

    • satcheluk
      9:58 am December 17, 2016 Permalink