These Wildcats were too studious!

| October 20, 2011

In this era of Ones and Dones, you may want to check with your father or grandfather for verification of what I am about to tell you.

When Lou Tsioropoulos called to ask why  Ermal Allen isn’t in the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, I told him that Ermal should be because he was one of Kentucky’s finest golfers and had made All-SEC in basketball and was also a star quarterback at UK as well as one of Tom Landry’s top aides with the Dallas Cowboys.

Lou plus All-American co-captains Cliff Hagan and Frank Ramsey were the starters along with Billy Evans and Gayle Rose on Adolph Rupp’s undefeated Wildcats (25-0) in 1953-54.

No ones-and-dones for that group. UK declined a sure-shot chance to win another NCAA national championship when it was learned that graduate students were ineligible for post-season play. Lou, Cliff and Frank all were good students and had qualified for their degrees in four years.

Cats too studious

Now here’s where it gets sticky. UK had to sit out the 1952-53 season because of NCAA violations by earlier players (not teams, but individuals) during the point-fixing era.

A Courier-Journal sportswriter was reading the NCAA Rules Manual one night when he called out to UK beat writer Larry Boeck that the three studious Cats were ineligible for the NCAA Tournament! They would have been eligible if they hadn’t earned degrees!

Now a graduate student would be highly praised.

Ramsey and Hagan went on to NBA championships, Ramsey multiple title years with the Boston Celtics and Hagan one year when the Hawks were in St. Louis. Tsioropoulos also played with the Celtics.

After serving as UK’s director of athletics, Hagan now lives in Lexington. Ramsey is a banker in Western Kentucky and lives in Madisonville. Lou retired after a splendid career as a school principal in Louisville, where he lives.

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Category: Earl Cox on Sports

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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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