Does UK-WKU football in Nashville make sense?

| June 1, 2011

Aren’t you proud that we live in a state that is so rich that one of our state-supported universities can schedule a football game with another of our-state supported institutions of higher learning – and play the game in another state?

If someone had told me as recently as last year that such a thing was in the works, I would have thought it was a joke.

Come to think of it, that’s exactly what it will be when Western Kentucky University plays the University of Kentucky this coming season. Will the game be played in Lexington? Oh, no. This year the contest will be a home game for Western. But it won’t be in Bowling Green.

No siree. It will be played in Nashville. That’s Nashville as in Tennessee.

Blue $$$ in Nashville

A slew of Kentuckians, most of them dressed in blue, as in the Big Blue of UK, will make up the vast majority of fans in the stands.

Wildcat fans who travel to Nashville will leave a lot of Kentucky money in Tennessee. They love to party so many of them will book rooms for the night before the game. It won’t be just a few Big Blue supporters. UK football fans travel in big bunches.

I’m surprised that some bright people in Lexington didn’t turn to their usual supporters (the big-money coal barons of Eastern Kentucky) and get them to buy out WKU and play the game at Commonwealth  Stadium.

Stop the leaks!

That way both UK and WKU would make more money than they will from the game in Nashville. Heck, UK probably would make enough that the administration could afford to stop the leaks in the chemistry building and maybe even give the faculty members a small raise (which they haven’t  had in three years.) There would be enough left over to give a few scholarships so that some more kids from the mountains could attend UK.

What a gesture that would earn coal a lot of good will!

Oh I know that it’s too late for this year, but maybe David Williams and Steve Beshear could promise never to let such a silly thing happen again. Both do want to keep business in Kentucky, don’t they?

Casey a Maverick

Surely you have noticed that familiar face on the bench of the Dallas Mavericks. Yes, it’s Dwane Casey, a four-year UK letterman and former Wildcat assistant coach.

Casey was a victim of the recruiting scandal when a package he had mailed to a player came apart and it had money in it!

Dwane is a good guy. I looked him in the eye and asked if he was guilty. He said, “Mr. Cox, I did not put money in that package.”

He has never had any trouble getting coaching jobs in the NBA. He is now a Dallas assistant.

Kemba & Hornung

Kemba Walker (star of UConn’s national basketball champion) knows how Paul Hornung feels even after all these years because his high school, Flaget of Louisville, was closed. Now Walker’s Rice High of Harlem is being closed. Both were Catholic schools. Declining enrollment and a money shortage were cited by both schools.

Hornung had never forgotten where he grew up. He has donated most of his memorabilia to a Portland museum in Louisville’s West End.

I’ll never forget that Paul had some of the Little Sisters of the Poor as his guests when his statue was unveiled at  the Great Lawn next to Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats.

A new Big East?

If the Big East Conference decides to change its membership these schools should stay in football and basketball::

Louisville, Cincinnati, Texas Christian, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Connecticut, Rutgers, Syracuse, South Florida,

Basketball only: Notre Dame, Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s, Villanova  (but Nova could play both football and basketball), Seton Hall, Providence, Georgetown.

Memphis would be my top choice to be added in both football and basketball.

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Category: Sports

About the Author (Author Profile)

Earl Cox, Sports Columnist
502.897.8910

Earl doesn¹t just write about sports legends, he counts many of them as his
friends. A member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been writing
about sports for 60 years. Incidentally, that¹s about how long it’s been
since he¹s cleaned his desk but he knows where everything is.

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