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Culture change and failed communication? Go on…


I took an Uber across Louisville the morning of the Kentucky Derby. The moment the car picked me up, the driver asked me where I am from — a go-to conversation starter for two complete strangers in a confined space. I told him Lexington. He then asked, “What in the world is going on with Matthew Mitchell?”

That was our conversation. In Louisville. On Derby morning. The driver did not want to talk about the races, my plans once I got to Churchill Downs, how handsome hungover I looked, my picks in the Derby race or the perfect weather. He wanted to talk about UK women’s basketball. That’s not normal.

So, what in the world is going on with Matthew Mitchell?

It’s the million-dollar question these days. The answer: Nobody outside of the locker room truly knows.

Today we heard from Coach Mitchell and Lindsey Corsaro, the McDonald’s All-American who asked out of her Letter of Intent to Kentucky last month. They both opened up about the black cloud hovering over UK Hoops, yet we still don’t have an actual answer as to how that cloud formed.

Beginning with Corsaro’s quote to espnW, she said there was a “culture change” in the program. “Girls who didn’t fall in line with that culture left,” she said. Okay. But what does that mean? What was the culture change? Miss Corsaro doesn’t owe us an explanation, nor should she be expected to give us one, but somebody should. Elaborate, please.

Then came Matthew Mitchell’s letter to Big Blue Nation. I read it several times and did not come away with any better of an idea of the problem than I did when I woke up this morning. It was good that he spoke up, but even after the letter, we are still left with our arms in the air, wondering what in the hell is going on.

This past season I went to several UK Hoops games, maybe more than every other year of my life, combined. I’ve become a huge fan of the program. I thoroughly enjoy the games and the experience in Memorial Coliseum. Makayla Epps is a blast to watch. Evelyn Akhator is a product of Franklin family coaching. I shot arrows at Maci Morris. It’s so much fun and I hate to see the current struggles. But the struggle is real and we’re all left in the dark as to why.

I speak for the entire KSR office when I say we really like Matthew Mitchell and want it to work out for him. He’s a great guy and a friend to us. One of the best guest hosts the show’s ever had. But the letter he wrote today was a lot of words with no real explanation of the problem. We understand he is going through tough times and it’s good to know he is still holding his head high through the support of his fans and his faith. It’s good to know this experience will make him a better coach in the long run. It’s good to know he’s determined more than ever to make this thing work. We are #TeamMitchell in life and on the court.

But when will someone tell us how it all got here in the first place? The real reason. Not the vague “culture change” and “failed communication.”

What changed? What communication failed? How did that communication fail?

As my Uber driver asked, “What in the world is going on?”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

9 Comments for Culture change and failed communication? Go on…

  1. Larry Pratt
    5:48 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    Led Zeppelin already addressed this.

  2. 25OR624
    6:02 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    What in the world is going on with Matthew Mitchell and the women’s Basketball program? What was the root cause? Has it been addressed? Is there a successful path forward? What measures, planned and in place, will remedy this situation?

  3. Booby Petrino
    6:10 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t understand why yall are still crying for an explanation. There is nothing major to report, no scandal. So things just feel apart. Seems like coach just went into cruise mode and let things get away. Now he has to work the program back up. Let’s just chill and give him a chance to do that, we owe him that much for what he’s made this program from the ground up.

  4. Old Henry Man
    6:18 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    I guess we should just let him keep bringing the program down, but he did build it up. Only having 7 players next year will show what kind of coach he is. Something must have happened, but no one knows what is was

  5. Luether
    6:26 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    Some KSR investigative journalist should take this issue head on…

  6. leon singleton
    6:54 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    Culture change could mean going from gay to straight players or from black to white players.

    • Larry Pratt
      7:46 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

      Comment of the day award winner!!!

  7. Smyrna_Cat
    8:06 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    The MM talks the less I understand about what happened. This IS a major reason to be concerned, because this is not business as usual. Big concern.

  8. Bourbon
    10:07 pm May 13, 2016 Permalink

    So I will definitely come off as “you kids get off my lawn crudmuggeon”…but here’s a thought; enough with all the gimmicky dancing costume BS at every midnight madness. How about just coaching this team like a professional? You never see Geno doing that. Fanatic blowback in 3…2…1…