Can you hear that off in the distance? You know, that sound of helmets hitting, whistles blowing, and fans screaming? Of course you do, because college football season is officially just one week away.
While the sounds of Kroger Field are just a tad bit further away, next Saturday marks the official begin to college football season, as Miami (FL) is set to take on the Florida Gators on August 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL.
Kentucky’s season begins 14 days from today, but next week’s season-opener will certainly do for a filling appetizer.
Until then, let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world of UK Athletics.
Michael Avenatii names Kenny Payne in Nike allegations
Infamous attorney Michael Avenatti was back in court on Friday to fight his extortion charges, and once again, he came armed with text messages and e-mails to go after Nike.
One of the texts uncovered, Avenatti claims, identifies Kenny Payne as the previously unnamed “assistant coach at the University of Kentucky” from Avenatti’s first batch of allegations.
Here’s the brief Kentucky-related excerpt from Yahoo’s new story on the day’s events with Avenatti:
DeBose also participated in a text message exchange on July 6, 2017, with an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky, according to the motion. In the exhibits, the initials “KP” are attached to one non-DeBose number. Kentucky has an assistant basketball coach named Kenny Payne.In the exchange with “KP,” DeBose explains that he provides money to “about 10 [Nike EYBL] coaches who are helping families to the total of about 200K annually.”
He names the coaches using first names and nicknames that couldn’t immediately be identified by Yahoo Sports. DeBose declares the business is “stressful” because he has “to do it cleanly and with a process. I’m good but it’s enough to where Lynn and Nico don’t want to know the intimate details to cover their asses.”
Nike’s global vice president for sports marketing and basketball is Lynn Merritt, who has been a longtime fixture at the company.
“So it’s a risk,” DeBose wrote, “but my everyday job is a damn risk so I’m used to it now.”
“Watch your back, bro,” KP wrote back. [Yahoo!]
This afternoon, I will be breaking down the Avenatti documents and explain why or why not Kentucky fans should be worried about the news.
(Spoiler alert: they shouldn’t be)
The injury bug continues to hit former Wildcats
Just a day after DeMarcus Cousins learned of his torn ACL that would keep him out for the 2019-20 NBA season, former Kentucky football star Avery Williamson received the same news.
On Thursday night, the New York Jets linebacker fell late in the second quarter of his team’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons with an apparent knee injury.
And on Friday, it was announced that the injury was, in fact, a torn ACL for the former Wildcat.
Williamson, who is going into his sixth year in the NFL and his second with the Jets, was seen as one of the leaders of the entire team and served as the defense’s lead playcaller.
Last year, Williamson managed 120 total tackles (80 solo), three sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception in the first year of his three-year, $22.5 million contract with the franchise.
Now, the 27-year-old linebacker will be forced to miss the entire year.
Nik Scalzo’s Netflix documentary is out now
On Friday, Netflix released season three of QB1: Beyond the Lights, which features none other than Kentucky freshman quarterback Nik Scalzo.
The documentary, produced by Friday Night Lights’ Peter Berg, profiles the lives of three high school quarterbacks through a football season. You’ll be able to go behind the scenes to see how Scalzo handled adversity through a tumultuous senior year at Cardinal Gibbons that ends in triumph.
There are ten episodes, each just 30 minutes long.
Click here to start watching the first episode right now.
Bowling Green facing elimination in LLWS
Kentucky’s own Bowling Green East squad is facing elimination in the Little League World Series this afternoon following the team’s loss to Midwest (MN) on Friday.
Yesterday afternoon, Bowling Green fell to Minnesota by a final score of 2-1 following a strong pitching display from both teams.
The boys out of Kentucky allowed just two hits on the day, but Minnesota managed to come in the clutch late in the game to come out on top.
Grayson Newman started the game for Great Lakes and pitched for two innings, allowing two runs on two hits, along with four strikeouts and one walk.
But Bowling Green’s season isn’t over just yet.
Bowling Green East will play Barrington, RI (New England) today at 3 p.m. ET on ABC in the elimination game. With four more victories, they will have a chance to jump right back in the U.S. LLWS Final.
Matt Jones permanently pulled from Hey Kentucky
Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that KSR founder Matt Jones would not return to host Hey Kentucky! on WLEX 18 moving forward.
After being pulled from the show a little over a month ago due to his impending decision on running for US senate, manger of WLEX 18 Pat Dalbey made the decision to remove Jones from the show completely after Jones announced he was writing a book on US Senator Mitch McConnell.
“As a journalism company, we are committed to bringing quality journalism and objectivity to the news products and programs that we produce. To protect our objectivity, Matt has been off the air from “Hey Kentucky!” while he considers pursuing a political career. In light of the news about Matt’s book and his still-pending decision on whether or not to run for the U.S. Senate, I have decided that he will not return to LEX18.”
Following the decision, Matt responded with a statement of his own on Twitter:
“Today WLEX made the decision to end my time as host of Hey Kentucky! due my decision to write the “Mitch, Please” book,” he said. “I disagree strongly with this decision but it is what it is. I will continue to pursue my passions and beliefs, regardless of the result. I will however miss doing Hey Kentucky! more than I can even say. What we built during a short time was remarkable and creating and developing that show was a true joy in my life. Thanks to Mike, Noah, Daniel, Chris and all the co-hosts over the years that helped me do Hey Kentucky. I have never had more fun at any job. And thank you to the viewers. you guys embraced a show unlike anything on local tv. Going from zero to beating Jeopardy was the best.
“Finally, thanks to WLEX. I don’t like how it ended but they took a chance on us when no one else would and I will be forever indebted. For now, I will focus on KSR Radio and making “Mitch, Please” a book worthy of losing your job for.”
Enjoy your last weekend without football, BBN.