Entries Tagged 'Uncategorized' ↓
June 11th, 2013 — Uncategorized
The University of Kentucky has hired a NCAA compliance officer to help monitor the school’s football program, Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart announced Tuesday.
Rachel Newman Baker, who has been NCAA managing director of enforcement for development and investigations, will be UK’s Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance. In that capacity, she will assist UK’s chief compliance officer, Sandy Bell, who will concentrate on compliance in the men’s basketball program. Newman Baker will begin her duties on July 8.
A native of Berea, Newman Baker was the NCAA director of agent, gambling and amateurism activities from 2005-11. She began her time with the NCAA as an intern in enforcement services in 2001.
Barnhart cited the increasing scope of rules compliance as a reason to hire Newman Baker.
“We just need some more help, a few more bodies, if you will, to help us with that,” he said. “What Rachel brings is a 30,000-foot view of what’s going on in the world of compliance.”
Newman Baker played women’s basketball at Berea College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1999. She received a master’s degree in sports administration in 2001 at Ohio State. While at Ohio State, Newman Baker was a graduate assistant in the athletics compliance office.
“Sandy has been a great friend of mine for 11 years,” Barnhart said of Bell. “There’s no one I trust more. But every once in a while, you need more help.”
June 11th, 2013 — Uncategorized
To those who question whether the University of Kentucky sufficiently supports its football program, Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart has a new multi-million-dollar response.
UK plans to pour an additional $3 million into its football program in the next school year, the school announced Tuesday when it unveiled a proposed athletic budget for 2013-14. The budget, which was formally approved by UK’s governing body for athletics, the University Athletics Committee, called for expenditures of $12,587,627 for football this coming school year. That’s an increase of about 33 percent from the $9,498,752 spent on football this past year.
When asked why now was the time for such a dramatic increase in UK’s financial commitment to football, Barnhart said, “To get the coaching staff we wanted.”
Of that increase of $3,088,875 for football, about $2.4 million involves higher salaries for new head coach Mark Stoops and his assistants, Barnhart said.
UK expects the Stoops hire to pay off next season in ticket sales. The athletic department budgeted an additional $2 million in expected ticket sales.
In the next school year, football will nearly match the commitment Kentucky makes to its signature sport: men’s basketball. UK budgeted $12,888,205 for John Calipari’s program for 2013-14.
The increase in football expenditures comes in the midst of multi-faceted upgrades in facilities in recent years. Since 2005, Kentucky has:
– Built a new locker room and meeting rooms in the E.J. Nutter Training facility. That includes new practice fields served by the building.
– Installed a new artificial surface and lighting in the Nutter Field House, the indoor practice facility next to Commonwealth Stadium.
– Built a new locker room and erected new video screens and a sound system for Commonwealth Stadium. The upgrade includes a new natural grass playing surface.
UK also plans to begin construction late this year on a much-discussed recruiting room (or as Barnhart prefers to call it, a “multi-purpose room”) in Commonwealth Stadium. That upgrade will also include improvements in restrooms, concessions and club seating, plus a new press box.
UK hopes the multi-purpose room will be operational by 2015. Besides serving as a place to welcome prospective recruits during seven home games each season, UK officials have not decided on other uses for the room.
The overall idea behind the investments in football is to “look like a SEC school in terms of facilities for recruiting,” Barnhart said.
Even with a record $104,414,800 budget for 2013-14, Barnhart said Kentucky remains in the “middle of the pack” among Southeastern Conference athletic departments.
Elsewhere in the 2013-14 budget, UK expects:
– a record $4 million in revenue from licensing deals on memorabilia. The athletic department splits licensing revenue 50/50 with the school.
– To pay an additional $450,000 in guarantees to opponents in so-called guarantee games.
– An increase of $1,175,000 in revenue from men’s basketball ticket sales. That reflects an additional home game. Plus, as part of its deal to play a game in Brooklyn next saeson, UK will receive gate receipts from the game in the Barclays Center.
May 16th, 2013 — Uncategorized
Former Kentucky standout Nerlens Noel voiced confidence Thursday that he’ll return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament better than ever.
Speaking to reporters at the NBA Combine in Chicago, Noel said of his rehab, “It’s been good from week one. I’m 100 percent confident, not just getting back to what I was, but stronger. Going through this time not playing basketball, I’ll just be working on things I need to polish. It will improve me in the long run.”
Noel, who was one of the nation’s leaders in blocks and steals, tore his left ACL in a game at Florida in February. The injury ended his season and effectively killed Kentucky’s chances of playing in the NCAA Tournament.
“The day I heard what the injury was – an ACL – was the only day I felt sorry for myself,” Noel said. “Every day since then I’ve devoted to my rehab.”
Noel said he has progressed to the point of shooting free throws.
“I think I’m at a good point,” he said. “Obviously I can’t do too much right now, but when I come back I’ll be able to knock down that 15-footer and take my game to another level.”
Noel defended Chicago Bulls’ star Derrick Rose, who is returning from a torn ACL. Rose chose not to play this season despite getting medical clearance.
“It’s an injury you have to be mindful of; you have to be careful with it,” Noel said. “With Derrick Rose, he had to be careful with it. This is a sport of slashing and explosiveness. You have to be mentally ready for that.
“As much as you want to be back, you also want to be playing as long as you can in the NBA. You have to build back up as far as you can. Mental is a big part of it; I’ve already seen that.”
Noel continues to be projected as a possible No. 1 overall selection in this year’s draft despite the injury.
“I’m not surprised,” he said. “I’ve got the talent and I’m going to do things the best thing I can. I definitely think this will make me a better player, having gone through this. I’m working on my jumper and putting on good weight.”
May 15th, 2013 — Uncategorized
Here is how Kentucky Coach John Calipari summarized the 13 players expected to be on UK’s team in the 2013-14 season:
– Willie Cauley-Stein. “Has a chance to be one of the better players I’ve ever coached.”
– Kyle Wiltjer. “His body has to change. (The SEC’s) Sixth Man of the Year has to get better physically. My hope is he makes the Canadian National Team and it takes his game to another level.”
– Alex Poythress. “Learned a lot about himself (in 2012-13). … If the competition brings out the best in him, it’s scary how good he’s going to be.”
– Jon Hood. “For the first time, he had a breakthrough.”
– Jarrod Polson. “One of our better guards by the end of the year.”
– Aaron Harrison. “Should be and will be and expected to be and will be demanded to be a lock-down defender.”
– Andrew Harrison. “My hope is by the end of the year, he’s just like some of the other point guards we’ve had. … Both (Harrisons) are terrific drivers. Which kind of tells you we’re going to go back to a lot more dribble-drive.”
– Dominique Hawkins. “Just kind of blew me away with his will to win. . . . After what I went through, I wanted a tough point guard.”
– Dakari Johnson. “The line of improvement for Dakari is just like that (raises right arm on 45-degree angle).”
– Marcus Lee. “Pogo stick. Active. High energy.”
– Julius Randle. “Truly a hard worker who can play multiple positions. Can play inside-out. He’s a beast. He’s an alpha beast who will drive this team.”
– Derek Willis. “He wanted the challenge of this. He’s got a chance of really being good and really being special.”
– James Young. “6-7 wing who can flat shoot the ball.”
May 15th, 2013 — Uncategorized
Last season’s struggles can help Kentucky take on the challenge of outsized expectations for 2013-14, Coach John Calipari told reporters Wednesday.
Buoyed by a mega recruiting class that includes six McDonald’s All-Americans, Kentucky looks to rebound from a 2012-13 season that ended with a first-round NIT loss at Robert Morris.
“There were many things that happened that were good last year,” Calipari said in reference to individual player improvement. “Part of last season was the beginning of success for this coming year.”
Calipari preached patience as he tries to build a team from a roster that includes eight highly decorated freshmen and five holdover veterans. By that count, Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson will return to next year’s team as scholarship players.
“What we’re about to undertake has never been done before, trying to put a team together like this,” Calipari said. “It takes time. There’s a learning curve. There’s a galvanizing process. And you know what? We’re going to have to be patient.”
Calipari elaborated on the need for patience.
“We’ll have a talented team,” he said before adding, “They need (to be) coached. Each individual player needs (to be) coached. They need to be taught the level of commitment, the intensity. The will to win has to come out.”
Calipari spoke confidently of UK possessing the required zeal and toughness.
“The alpha males that we didn’t have a year ago, I think we have,” the UK coach said. “Two years ago, we didn’t have one bad practice. Not one. Last year we had about five good practices.”
May 1st, 2013 — Uncategorized
The non-conference schedule Kentucky announced Wednesday includes heavyweights and lightweights. In other words, the typical schedule for a highly regarded college team.
There are two opponents that finished last season with a Ratings Percentage Index (according to CBSSports.com) in the top 10 — No. 3 Louisville and No. 8 Michigan State.
Two other UK opponents were in the top 20 — No. 17 North Carolina and No. 19 Belmont.
No. 41 Boise State gives Kentucky a fifth opponent with a final RPI in the top 50.
No. 70 Baylor and No. 90 Providence give UK a sixth and seventh opponent in the final RPI’s top 100.
Kentucky’s home schedule includes six opponents outside the top 100 — No. 199 Cleveland State, No. 239 Eastern Michigan, No. 124 Robert Morris, No. 120 Texas Arlington, No. 215 UNC Asheville and No. 271 Northern Kentucky.
But the inclusion of Louisville makes Kentucky’s home schedule look much better than last season.
Overall last season, CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm rated UK’s strength of schedule at No. 70.
May 1st, 2013 — Uncategorized
Kentucky announced a salute to UK basketball icon Bill Keightley as part of its non-conference schedule for 2013-14, which was announced Wednesday.
Keightley worked as UK basketball’s equipment manager and de facto grandfather to players from the early 1960s until his death in 2008. As part of the inaugural Keightley Classic, UK will play Robert Morris, Texas Arlington, Cleveland State and Eastern Michigan.
UK’s non-conference schedule includes the resumption of the series with North Carolina and a much-anticipated game against defending national champion Louisville in Rupp Arena. The latter highlights a home schedule that also includes Boise State, Belmont, UNC Asheville and Northern Kentucky.
Besides the game at North Carolina, Kentucky’s games away from home also include games against Michigan State in Chicago, Providence in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Baylor in Cowboys Stadium.
UK’s conference games — home and away — will be announced at a later date.
April 23rd, 2013 — Uncategorized
In his first meeting with reporters since his season-ending knee injury in February, Nerlens Noel said he considered returning for his sophomore season.
But as his draft status remained solid, he found the lure of the NBA irresistible.
“Yeah, there was a consideration of coming back,” Noel said Tuesday.
Noel added that he decided to enter this year’s NBA Draft after discussing the options with his family.
“(The knee injury) wasn’t going to affect me too much,” he said.
Noel tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a game at Florida. He said the rehabilitation process was going well. He spoke of Christmas as a target date for his return.
“I love playing here,” he said, calling playing for Kentucky “one of the best experiences of my life.”
Being a player in Rupp Arena is a “once-in-a-lifetime” thing,” Noel said. “I’ll never get to do that again. It was a hard decision. I love the Big Blue. I love Coach Cal (UK Coach John Calipari).”
Noel noted his familiarity with several of the players making up UK’s ballyhooed freshman class of 2013. “I played with half of those guys when I was in their class,” he said in reference to reclassifying as a high school player. “I know how good they are. . . . That would have been a real special team if I stayed.”
But when asked whether he preferred that the system require players to stay in college, say, two or three seasons, Noel blurted out, “Nah.”
Laughter erupted in the Memorial Coliseum space set up for news conferences.
April 22nd, 2013 — Uncategorized
In speaking to reporters Monday, Willie Cauley-Stein embraced his decision to return to Kentucky next season. He spoke optimistically about the 2013-14 season.
“I just like the college life,” Cauley-Stein said. “I like going around like a celebrity. Here, everybody knows you. In the pros, you can tell he’s a pro, but who is he?”
With a smile, WCS noted that there is a financial reason returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season. NBA millions also interest the Internal Revenue Service.
“I’m not trying to pay taxes,” he said.
As he did the night of UK’s season-ending loss at Robert Morris, Cauley-Stein spoke of the empty feeling created by a disappointing ending to a disappointing season. “I want to fill it,” he said.
Cauley-Stein spoke of the latest ballyhooed freshman class as a reason to be optimistic.
“We have, like, 10 potential first-round picks,” he said.
When asked about the possibility of returning players coming off the bench next season, Cauley-Stein said, “It is what it is. At the end of the day, you’re still going to get better. I feel the record will be a lot better (to) where Kentucky is supposed to be.”
April 18th, 2013 — Uncategorized
Kentucky will play Providence in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 1, UK announced Thursday. Tickets for that game go on sale Friday, beginning at 10 a.m.
Tickets are available on Ticketmaster websites, by calling (800) 745-3000 and at Barclays Center.
UK and Providence agreed to a two-game series. The first game will be played in the Barclays Center next season. The second game will be in Rupp Arena during the 2014-15 season.
“We are excited to return to the Barclays Center next year to play Providence,” UK Coach John Calipari said in a news release. “Last year’s game against Maryland was an NCAA Tournament environment in November. It’s a great event, a great building and a great city. We’re looking forward to being back in Brooklyn.”
Kentucky opened the 2012-13 season in the Barclays Center, beating Maryland 72-69.