A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jamie Vaught: Let’s try this fearless forecast again — with a revised SEC schedule looming for UK football

More than two months ago, I predicted the University of Kentucky would have a nice football team. I wrote that head coach Mark Stoops’ UK team, with several preseason All-Americans, would be respectable, finishing with a 7-5 mark in a 12-game schedule — and the Wildcats would be making their fifth straight bowl trip. Not bad, but could be better. Well, as you know, COVID-19 pandemic has forced...

Jamie Vaught: Is another winning season on tap for UK football? Here’s my annual fearless forecast

For the last four years, the Kentucky Wildcats have played winning football on the field with a nice overall record of 32-20, including four bowl trips and a 16-16 mark in the Southeastern Conference. But will the Wildcats win again in 2020? Well, on paper, they should with several preseason All-American and All-Southeastern Conference standouts returning despite the departure of All-American Lynn...

Jamie’s Bookshelf: These recently-published nonfiction titles cover politics, media and more

•  “How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor: A Smart, Irreverent Guide to Biography, History, Journalism, Blogs, and Everything in Between” by Thomas C. Foster (Harper, $27.99) is an interesting volume that attempts to teach us how to get accurate information in a rapidly changing 24/7 news cycle and become better readers, thinkers and consumers of media. The new 313-page hardcover is patterned...

Jamie Vaught: UK home game against Mississippi State — and head coach Mike Leach — should be fun

Unlike last season, when Kentucky featured three glamour football schools – Florida, Tennessee and Louisville – at Kroger Field, the 2020 Wildcats will see their seven-game home schedule somewhat lacking in the allure department. Since Kentucky will face the Gators, the Volunteers and the Cardinals on the road this time, UK’s most attractive opponents at home are South Carolina (Sept. 26),...

Jamie’s Bookshelf: Politics, family and religion, the latest non-fiction titles for your summer reading list

• “All This Marvelous Potential: Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Tour of Appalachia” by Matthew Algeo (Chicago Review Press, $28.99) is a remarkable story about RFK’s two-day tour of eastern Kentucky in early 1968. At the time, U.S. Senator Kennedy was a former Attorney General who was considering a presidential run. The 264-page hardcover provides a new portrait of RFK, a politician of uncommon courage...

Jamie’s Bookshelf: A rundown of recently-published sports books for your summer reading list

•  “Yogi: A Life Behind the Mask” by Jon Pessah (Little, Brown and Company, $30) is a definitive biography of Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees icon who won a record 10 World Series championships. Berra, who died in 2015 at the age of 90, was a second-generation immigrant from a working-class, Italian-speaking family in St. Louis who left school after the eighth grade. The Hall of Fame catcher...

Jamie Vaught: UK non-conference football schedule features Louisville — and three (blah) cupcakes

When you look at the University of Kentucky’s non-conference football schedule for 2020 (if there is a pigskin season), it’s really nothing special to talk about. Just like the past, the school’s non-league slate is not very attractive. It’s blah. Except for the showdown at Louisville to end the regular season, the Wildcats – who finished last year with an 8-5 mark, including a Belk Bowl...

Jamie Vaught: UK great ‘Wah Wah’ Jones played for legends Bear Bryant, Adolph Rupp — at same time

(Editor’s Note: During our national COVID-19 crisis, longtime sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest and fifth book, titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey,” was released in late February 2020.) It has been...

Jamie Vaught: After sassing Adolph Rupp, Hall of Famer Louie Dampier believed UK career was over

(Editor’s Note: During our national COVID-19 crisis, longtime sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest and fifth book, titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey,” was released in late February 2020.) Long before...

Jamie Vaught: Remember the UK guy picked before Michael Jordan? Sam Bowie always a class act

(Editor’s Note: During our national COVID-19 crisis, longtime sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest and fifth book, titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey,” was released in late February 2020.) It was national...

Jamie Vaught: Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Pelphrey appeared Vanderbilt-bound until UK called

(Editor’s Note: For the next few months during our national coronavirus crisis, sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest and fifth book, titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey,” was released in late February...

Jamie Vaught: Tubby Smith says senior leadership propelled ‘Comeback Cats’ to 1998 NCAA title

Editor’s Note: For the next few months during our national coronavirus crisis, longtime sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest and fifth book, titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey,” was released in late...

Jamie Vaught: Nearly 35 years later, Cotton Nash still gets autograph requests for Sports Illustrated cover

(Editor’s Note: For the next few months during our national crisis, longtime sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest book – fifth one in a series – was released in late February 2020.) Cotton Nash, a three-time All-American...

Kentucky by Heart: Nobody is ‘crazier about the ‘Cats’ than long-time sports writer Jamie Vaught

By Steve Flairty NKyTribune columnist If you are a Kentuckian or have been around these parts for a long time, to be “crazy about the Cats” is an expression that likely resonates. Most often, it refers to the abiding love that fans have for the Kentucky Wildcats college basketball team. It might also refer to UK’s football or other of their sports teams as well, but most often, it’s a hoops...

Jamie Vaught: Legendary UK star accomplished much, but never took Cats to Final Four

With Kentucky’s regular season ending this weekend with a Saturday afternoon contest with Florida in Gainesville, there has been lots of discussion about who is the top basketball player in the Southeastern Conference. Many folks like Kentucky standouts Immanuel Quickley and Nick Richards as among the leading candidates for the SEC Player of the Year honors. And that certainly reminds me about one...

Jamie Vaught: Former UK star Maci Morris adjusts to life overseas as pro basketball player in Italy

Just like her college days at Kentucky, Maci Morris is shooting the lights out as a professional basketball player in Italy. A two-time All-SEC performer who was one of the best shooters in Kentucky women’s hoops history, Morris is leading her team, USE Scotti Empoli, in scoring at 15.6 points per game while shooting 3-pointers at a 41 percent clip as of mid-February. She also received Player...

Longtime sports columnist Jamie Vaught set to release book spotlighting UK basketball Feb. 22

A college professor, who also moonlights as a longtime credentialed sports columnist in Kentucky, has written another book about University of Kentucky basketball. The new 256-page paperback by Jamie H. Vaught, a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Middlesboro, is titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey.” After writing four books about UK hoops during...

Jamie Vaught: Calipari asks media, ‘What did you learn about my team?’ after scare from Vanderbilt

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari loves teaching his players how to play and respect the game. He really enjoys his role. Instead of Coach Cal, we perhaps should start calling him Professor Cal. And he probably couldn’t resist an opportunity to teach the media folks a thing or two like he did after 13th-ranked Kentucky’s 71-62 comeback win over Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena Wednesday...

Jamie Vaught: Despite tougher schedule, Kentucky’s odds for winning 2020 football season look strong

The football Wildcats, who are coming off an electrifying Belk Bowl victory over Virginia Tech in Charlotte, now have posted four straight winning seasons. Will they have another victorious campaign in 2020? I think so, although the schedule may be a little bit tougher. But UK will have some experienced weapons coming back and that helps. In addition, the Wildcats have more talent than in the past...

Jamie Vaught: Just like Coca-Cola’s 1970s marketing campaign, UK football is now the ‘Real Thing’

Like the old Coca-Cola’s marketing campaign back in the 1970s, UK football is now the “Real Thing.” Yes, coach Mark Stoops’ Wildcats are becoming a regular threat in Southeastern Conference battles. They are now winning against the mid-tier conference schools along with a chance to beat SEC (and national) powerhouses like Florida and Georgia. And Kentucky has won against the bowl veterans...