Vaught's Views: E-mail bag overflows this week

October 08, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Clearing out the e-mail bag this week is a lot harder than normal not only because of the quantity of messages received, but also because of the diversity of the messages. That's why this week's e-mail bag deserves its own awards list.

* Most insightful.

This one comes from Damon Stewart of Danville. After he read a column questioning the type of logic the Kentucky High School Athletic Association uses in its rulings, he sent this response to the KHSAA (and he's waiting for a reply):

"Can you please explain to me the logic behind some of your recent decisions.

"1. Why can high school golfers at the state tournament not wear the clothes they've been wearing all year? If mock turtlenecks are good enough for the PGA, and the best golfers in the world, shouldn't they be OK to wear in the Kentucky state tournament? Wouldn't it be advantageous to the kids, and give them the best chance to succeed, if they could play in the same clothes they've played in all year? Does a mock turtleneck versus a collared shirt really make that much difference that you have to outlaw one? Why not allow both?


"2. How can students who transfer due to academic reasons, under the federally approved No Child Left Behind Act, be denied their athletic eligibility? A student wanting to make a better life academically for himself or herself, as allowed by law, is going to be denied the right to compete athletically? So as a student, I could stay put, suffer academically, but be able to play sports ... or I could choose a better academic setting, but lose out on athletics. How can you makes a 14- to 18-year-old student make that choice?"

"Where is the logic? Society changes, laws change ... can't your body review situations brought about by society change, and then make some logical decisions in the best interest of the student-athletes? I mean, that's what you try to do isn't it? I don't see how one could think so with these latest decisions you've made."

Obviously, I could not agree more.

* Longest distance.

Australia's Ken Arenson, a U.S. native and longtime UK fan, isn't happy, or surprised, at what has happened to the Kentucky football program.

"I can see that nothing ever changes when it comes to UK's penchant for finding a way to lose football games. Since my freshman year at Kentucky in 1970-71, their ability to be innovative in that regard is limited only by one's imagination - and a sick imagination at that. How long do you think (athletics director) Mitch Barnhart will keep this coach? I know they are friends, but all is fair in love, war and athletics.

"Thank God basketball season is fast approaching. I can't wait to see if the freshmen are as good as hyped and, more importantly, whether Tubby (Smith) can get them to buy into his system and develop them quickly enough to contend for an NCAA title."

First, Rich Brooks will be back. He'll still have three years remaining on a guaranteed contract after this season and Barnhart will not bail out on him. Second, Smith's freshmen will buy into his system - or not play - but making the Final Four probably will still be a stretch for such a young team.

* Best spouse.

This one comes from Ann Griffin.

"Thank you for writing the column on UK's lackluster football team. I was with my husband at Commonwealth Stadium (for the Ohio loss) and it was one of the worst times I have seen. I honestly felt sorry for my husband. I love going along with him to the games, but I don't follow UK like he does.

"What was so disappointing was the effort by both players and coaches. Believe me, there was a lot of booing, and a lot of other stuff being said that I won't repeat, by many, many fans. We want a winner and will be patient, but patience does have a limit."

Hopefully, she cares enough for her husband to be back at Commonwealth for Saturday's game against Alabama. But if the Cats play with so little effort again, then Ann Griffin can correctly tell her husband he's on his own the rest of the year.

* Best shot.

Lancaster's Mike Carter took exception to a column questioning the KHSAA's logic and how it will impact Danville's appeal on games it was told it would have to forfeit as well as another column touting Boyle County's Brandon Smith and Danville's Kelvin Turner as the top candidates for Mr. Football.

"If the KHSAA starts making exceptions for the Ads or any other member school, then where do you draw the line as to which rules can be broken and which ones cannot be broken without a resulting penalty? While I agree that certain rules/regulations need to be changed, I'm a proponent of enforcing the stated penalties for those rules as they exist today. To do differently opens up a "whole new can of worms" in which each and every school in violation would seek to wiggle off the hook. You do the crime - even by accident or oversight - you pay the fine.

"Also I thought stating that either Brandon Smith or Kelvin Turner should be this year's Mr. Football was obviously premature. The article lacked objectivity."

First, he's right about the Turner-Smith piece. It didn't need any objectivity and might have been the easiest column I've ever written. Both players have the state titles, team wins and individual numbers in their careers to justify their candidacy.

Second, the point he missed in Danville's case is that the KHSAA form for eligibility was filled out correctly by the student-athlete. Again, to me, that was a case of the KHSAA not using any logic to make rulings just like not letting mock turtlenecks be worn at the state golf tournament or not letting students who transfer for acadmic reasons play sports at their new schools.

Central Kentucky News Articles