A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

University of Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne leaving Cats for job with New York Knicks

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kenny Payne is stepping up to the next level. A fixture on John Calipari’s coaching staff at the University of Kentucky, Payne accepted an offer from the New York Knicks to become an assistant coach under recently hired Tom Thibodeau. Payne, a former standout at the University of Louisville, spent the past 10 seasons with the Wildcats, including the past six years as...

Alabama, Ole Miss fill out UK’s 10-game football schedule; SEC sends Wildcats to Tuscaloosa

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference has announced the remainder of its football schedule, and Kentucky will visit Alabama and also play host to Ole Miss as part of a 10-game slate this season. The season will begin on Sept. 26 and teams will play 10 games in a 11-week period through Dec. 5. “The two SEC announcements today – the medical protocols and the addition of two...

UK golfer Cullan Brown dead at age 20; battled osteosarcoma past year, inspired golf community

University of Kentucky men’s golfer Cullan Brown, who battled osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer in his left thigh, died on Tuesday. He was 20. “Our hearts are simply devastated over the loss of our brother Cullan,” Kentucky head coach Brian Craig said. “I have personally never known a more special or amazing young man. He was simply the most gifted person I have ever coached....

With Kentucky game nixed by SEC decision, Louisville faces non-conference scheduling dilemma

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference’s decision Thursday to play only conference football games this season leaves Louisville with a major hole in its schedule and athletics director Vince Tyra with another massive headache. Louisville was scheduled to host Kentucky in the annual Governor’s Cup game in the regular-season finale on Nov. 28. Now that game won’t happen...

SEC football teams to play league-only schedule starting Sept. 26; UK game with Louisville canceled

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference will be starting the season later and with a league-only schedule in football, the conference announced Thursday. The league presidents agreed to a 10-game model and Sept. 26 start in wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has altered the fall sports scene. “This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational...

Kentucky baseball star T.J. Collett to return in 2021; senior takes advantage of NCAA eligibility relief

University of Kentucky senior first baseman T.J. Collett will return for the 2021 season, taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling on eligibility relief for spring sports student-athletes whose season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He joins fellow senior Zeke Lewis in returning to Lexington for a final season. “Four years ago, (Big Blue Nation) welcomed me with open arms,”...

UK volleyball standouts Skinner, Stumler navigate challenging circumstances during pandemic

By Tim Letcher University of Kentucky The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people around the world do everything. And that includes college student-athletes, who had to stop in the middle of their regular schedules and adjust to the new way of the world. University of Kentucky volleyball senior Avery Skinner said that the changes that happened in the spring left herself, and the team, with...

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...

UK linebacker Jamar Watson named to Bednarik Award watch list; recorded 6.5 sacks in 2019

University of Kentucky senior outside linebacker Jamar “Boogie” Watson has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list. Presented by the Maxwell Football Club, the award honors college football’s defensive player of the year. Watson is considered one of the Southeastern Conference’s top returning pass rushers, having totaled 18.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks through...

National media exposure for Western Kentucky football in 2019 valued at nearly $35 million

The Western Kentucky University football program’s turnaround season in 2019 brought tremendous exposure to the athletic department and university. A new analysis has valued that media/marketing exposure at nearly $35 million. The study completed by Joyce Julius and Associates, Inc. – which takes into account national television, television news coverage, print media, internet news and social...

UK punter Max Duffy named first-team preseason All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation

University of Kentucky senior punter Max Duffy has been named a first-team preseason All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He is one of 13 players on the preseason list who also earned Walter Camp All-America recognition in 2019. UK punter Max Duffy has been named a first-team preseason All-American.Duffy, a native of Perth, Australia, was an key player for the Wildcats in 2019. Kentucky...

Southeastern Conference to move forward with football media days using virtual format

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference is moving forward with its annual Football Media Days but will feature a different format this year. Because of COVID-19 concerns, the league announced Wednesday it will go the virtual route instead of a three-day event originally scheduled for July 13-16 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The dates and times will be announced...

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...

Nine UK football players named to Athlon Sports preseason All-Southeastern Conference teams

Nine University of Kentucky football players have earned a spot on the 2020 Athlon Sports preseason All-Southeastern Conference teams. Senior center Drake Jackson and senior offensive tackle Darian Kinnard were named first-team offense, while senior punter Max Duffy is a first-team specialist. Senior offensive tackle Landon Young and guard Luke Fortner landed on the second- and third-team offense,...

UK standout John Rhodes named national co-Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball News

University of Kentucky freshman infielder/outfielder John Rhodes has been named national co-Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball News. The publication previously named him a third team All-American last month. Rhodes shared the national honor with Virginia’s Chris Newell. He is the Wildcats’ first freshman to be named an All-American from a national outlet since Zack Thompson in...

Calipari: UK basketball players to be in ‘pretty good bubble’ upon return to campus in June

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky head coach John Calipari expects things to be different, much different, when players return to campus for voluntary workouts in less than two weeks. The Southeastern Conference paved the way for players to return to campus on June 8. It will mark the first time students have been allowed on campus since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the SEC...

UK’s Barnhart says ‘safety’ major priority as SEC gives green light to campus workouts starting June 8

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference has given member institutions the green light to allow student-athletes back on campus beginning June 8. University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said the school will work with local and state officials to make a final determination when student-athletes can return to the school and resume voluntary workouts under “strict...

Already an NCAA and NBA champion, former Wildcat Nazr Mohammed wins new title — UK graduate

By Guy Ramsey, Amy Jones-Timoney and Brad Nally University of Kentucky Twenty-five years ago, Nazr Mohammed left Chicago to enroll at the University of Kentucky. Mohammed chased his dreams as a basketball player and a student, and embarked on a journey that has seen him succeed at every turn. First came a pair of national championships and All-Southeastern Conference honors during three years as a...

UK softball standout Autumn Humes to return in 2021; using extra year granted by NCAA

University of Kentucky softball standout Autumn Humes on Tuesday announced her plans to return to the Wildcats for 2021. Humes was a senior in 2020, but with the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA, the Arkansas native has decided to play for Kentucky again in 2021. Humes has appeared in 90 games for the Wildcats during her career as a pitcher and designated player. Humes this past season...

UK’s Stoops hopeful college football season will start on time, wants fans in the stands this fall

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops is proceeding with caution. The University of Kentucky football coach is hopeful the college football season will start as usual and won’t be delayed by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Many professional football teams in various states have taken steps to begin preparing for the upcoming season, and Stoops thinks some form of normalcy will resume in the near...