I read a column earlier this morning and it’s one that I think needs to be read by every Kentucky Wildcat football fan.
Richard Cheeks wrote an op-ed for Vaught’s Views and I think it’s one that hits it right on the money. I can’t speak for the rest of the WBN writing staff but when it comes to football recriting, the facilities have to be able to sell the program to recruits.
The problem is not with Kentucky Wildcats football head coach Joker Phillips but Cheeks notes that the problem does reside with institutional issues:
Some fans point to facilities holding this program back. I don’t know if that is the principal issue, but when I learn that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has bonding restrictions in place that limit UK Football’s ability to improve facilities, I see an institutional barrier to success.
Mitch Barnhart has done a solid job as the Kentucky athletic director but unless the money is in place to improve the facilities, the football program will never quite be on the same level as Kentucky basketball. I say that as the grandson of someone that played freshman football in the late 1930s for the Wildcats.
Whether Joker Phillips gets released after the season or not, the problem is not with him. The next head coach, if he were to be replaced, would have the same problem that has troubled Kentucky football for years. No football coach can have any kind of success without the financial commitment made available to the football program. Kentucky football just cannot succeed in the SEC without the financial commitment that it requires.
Fans have seen what money has done for the basketball team. If Commonwealth Stadium had a roof and they played a basketball game there, it would sell out no matter who Kentucky played. That shows how important the basketball team is too the fans but it’s just not there for football. Not yet anyway.
But if Joker Phillips does get replaced after this season, the university would be wise to read this article that Andy Staples wrote for Sports Illustrated. It deals with the Sabanization of college football and what it means.