Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Louisville and Kentucky: Get Over It Already

I'm guessing this is going to rub some people the wrong way, but if I cared, I wouldn't write it. It's too long for a Facebook post, so I'll just put it down here; Can we now, finally dispense with the notion that either the University of Louisville or University of Kentucky somehow is recruiting better kids than the other for their sports programs? 

Last year I saw a lot of stuff on Facebook, some of it on my own page, about how Louisville's athletes were "thugs" and dope heads. The insinuation was that Louisville's athletic program condoned and accepted this behavior. That's just ridiculous. Why? Because UK has had plenty of trouble out of their athletes also. With the recent, alleged rape of a girl by a red shirt freshman on the UK football team, I think any perceived "upper hand" when it comes to smack talk on thuggery can be tossed out the window. 

Let's be real for a moment, so try to take off  your blue and red glasses and think like a rational adult. Every major D-1 program is basically recruiting the same kids. Every program wants the best players available. Every programs fans, want the best players they can get and we all have easily forgiven the "sins" of our own players and coaches while beating down the opposition. The off field actions are the responsibility of the players as human beings. Second and sometimes third chances are warranted when dealing with young people. Who wants to see any young person kicked to the curb? That has probably happened to some of them enough in the environments that they have grown up in.  

These are young people and young people do stupid things sometimes. With the emergence of the internet and social media, this stuff gets way blown up and there is little room for overall perspective. The players lives are on full display and we sit in judgement before they are even professionals.

I thought UK coach Mark Stoops was brilliant in the way he handled the questions on the rape at his press conference. Basically saying, you do the best you can to teach and mentor, but young people are still young people and they can't be baby sat all the time. 

I blame Stoops and UK for that alleged rape no more than I would blame Pitino and Louisville for having a couple of athletes that loved to smoke pot (big shocker kids smoking weed). 

Haven't we come to a point where (beyond the friendly banter, teasing, and razzing) we can actually enjoy our own teams success and not need the other to fail? Both Louisville and Kentucky are nationally recognized and while we don't have to be fans of one anothers programs, would it hurt to stop being disingenuous and "holier than thou" when it comes to discussing them? There is some fun in the gamesmanship for sure, but some of the BS is just outright hate and is that where you wanna be when Jesus comes back? 

I will step off the soap box.