Big Blue Nation has been abuzz this week with the hiring of Mark Stoops as head football coach. His staff is expected to be equally exciting, chock full of respected names and top recruiters. UK has plans to upgrade various athletics facilities, including the football stadium, given that they are able to raise the money. The arrow is pointing up for Kentucky football.
Lexington, we may have a problem. Recently during an interview Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, Greg Stumbo, was asked if Stoops was going to get any improve facilities to compete with the rest of the SEC. Stumbo’s response? “We better wait and see if he can win a football game first.” It’s hard to tell by the look on his face if he was joking or if that was how he really feels but he wants to smile like a politician. Either option is unacceptable to me.
If Stumbo truly plans on blocking UK’s request for bonding capacity that will come before the House in the next few months, then he must either have an agenda or completely lack vision. To say that the state should withhold support until the football program succeeds is ridiculous. Of course any success that Stoops could have would be capped by being sent into battle with a BB gun. You can’t expect top notch results when you aren’t willing to commit top notch support.
This is the same backward thinking regarding football that dug the hole that it is in now. It’s the same kind of thinking that ran Bear Bryant out of town. What kind of business do you withhold investing in until it has already turned massive profits? An SEC football team is a boon for an athletic department and it appears that UK has caught on. The state needs to follow. People in college football are watching UK now, if Stoops succeeds, this becomes a more desirable job. If he fails and it can be blamed on lack of support, then the “coaching graveyard” tag will become permanent and we may as well give up.
I support Coach Stoops and his upcoming staff, and I love Kentucky football more than any other team I follow. The explosion of conversion following the new hire has proven that Kentucky fans care about football too. So I encourage you to contact Mr. Stumbo and whomever is your representative to let them know how you feel about Wildcat football. Here is a link with his contact information. Please keep your correspondence polite, but help be the change you to see in the world. #WeAreUK