Some unofficial reports from Atlanta indicate that the University of Kentucky may have used its position to prevent the University of Louisville from being considered as a possible member of the Southeastern Conference.

If this is true, is anyone surprised that UK would block another institution in the commonwealth from joining the SEC? It’s the kind of backward thinking that has impeded education in Kentucky for decades. The inclusion of U of L, having two universities in the SEC, would have been a major step forward in terms of perception of the state — as well as a much-needed economic boost in a rotten economy.

Current SEC members apparently have the ability to blackball members from their own states, blocking their entry into the conference. That’s apparently the reason Florida State and Clemson never gained traction, getting vetoed by the universities of Florida and South Carolina. In the world of competitive sports, it would have made more sense to have excluded them from voting for or against fellow state insitututions.

Meanwhile, the University of Missouri has been extended an invitation to join the SEC, there being no opposition.

No surprise, if this is true. UK has once again failed to deliver for the state. We would have been shocked if the school had taken any action that benefited the University of Louisville. Conference expansion provided a unique opportunity for UK to rise above its petty, selfish mindset and they failed to take advantage.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

26 thoughts on “Kentucky blows opportunities in not backing UofL to SEC”
  1. LOL… UofL fans pissed about not getting into the conference they have mocked for years… IRONY.

    1. Most U of L fans like the SEC….don t be judgmental!!! It is about the money Universities receive…Business

  2. Louisville entering the SEC would enhance the competitiveness for sports in the SEC. It would increase recruitment for U of L. It would allow U of L to compete for a National Title in football. I hope no other schools follow the advise of UK. SEC say, YUM…YUM for U of L…..

  3. Really, Texas A&M, home of the school that gave UK Billy G. would be chosen by UK over Little Brother ? I know Cat Fans and UK administrators are worried to play UL twice a year home and away, as they know what We bring to the table in a conference UK dominated for years in Basketball. Also They don’t want to add a potental loss in the SEC standings after Fl,Tn,LSU,Al,Ga,Ak,Sc,Au in Football, not to mention our Baseball,Soccer,Womens basketball,Vollyball,Golf teams get done with them .Anyway, UL would bring a lot to SEC, Big 10 or ACC in ALL Sports, not to mention a large traveling fan base.

  4. So if Louisville splits from the state and forms the state of Louisville, does this mean that we could get in the SEC? Not to mention the fact that something like 40% of the states tax revenue goes up in smoke, and could be kept here at home. 51st state here we come 🙂

    1. This just shows how much UofL wants to b like big brother still trying to ride uk coat tails and whining again maybe they would have a better chance playing in the ovc at least there they may not b the bottom feeders every year

        1. Maybe UofL and the rest of the rejects no one else wants should reform the metro conference it may not b a bcs conference but then again none of those schools r bcs caliber

      1. By bottom feeder are referring to UK’s football program?…and excluding the past year UK basketball really hasn’t been too impressive either…UofL is fine just where they are now, if they were to switch conferences the Big 10 would be a better fit…

    2. I’m all for it Dave. Or maybe instead of a whole new state, just maybe something like a district, kind of like DC.

  5. Surely everyone realizes that Chuck Oliver at Chuck’s Big Blog is wrong when he says that the whole SEC wants Louisville, but that UK has used its overwhelming power to block the addition of UL. The powers that be at the SEC can’t justify adding a school to the SEC that has a fanbase smaller than Vandy. On the flip side, there’s no way that UK could get the SEC to give UL a membership that will generate in excess of $20 million a year just because UK says that’s what UK wants. UT, AL, GA and all the other SEC schools are looking to protect their intere$t$, too.

    I’d love to see UL join a conference that generates big bucks for it each year. The Big 10 will likely do better than the ACC. I’d recommend that UL apply to the Big 10, where UL’s will be immediately admitted based upon its merits.

    1. Could we meet the academic standards of the Big 10? I am not familiar with them, but heard recently that would rule us out.

      1. UofL could not qualify academically for the B1G. The B1G requires a school to be a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) to enter the league. Considering geography, the only schools the B1G could add would be Iowa State, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Rutgers, Vanderbilt.

  6. Football rules. If WVU can’t get accepted into the SEC…what makes us think we at UofL warrant a look? Looks like the BIG EAST will survive…adding either service academies, Memphis and/or East Carolina or whatever is left from the fallout of the BIG 12.

  7. This is a false rumor. Mitch Barnhart was on Western Kentucky Star FM radio 94.3 this morning and was asked about the rumor. He said it’s not true and implied that UK had no veto power; only the Commissioner (Slive) of the SEC has that power, which makes sense. He further said decisions are made collectively and not by one school. If the SEC wanted UL, collectively, the other schools would vote them in; thus, over ruling another school’s dissenting vote. Sounds like a democracy to me. But, some UL fans will believe this story as opposed to Barnhart’s comments – even though his comments are more sensical. Some UL fans will continue to believe that UK weilds that much power and will keep UL out (if their ever invited). What a compliment to UK.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Actually I think what probably occurred was that the four schools with potential candidates in their states — Florida (Fla. State), South Carolina (Clemson), Georgia (Georgia Tech) and Kentucky (Louisville) — stuck together, voting as a block of four against any of the candidates in their shared states. That way any one school can deny they were responsible.

  8. Paul has it right. If the football of WVU was not attractive enough for the SEC, UL has no chance. This theory that UL is a shoo-in for SEC membership defies common sense. The simple fact is, if UK wanted in to the SEC today, it would not be accepted for membership. UK is lucky to be there. If there is any truth that the SEC offered to admit UL some years ago is true, UL should have accepted and joined then (and why didn’t UK block UL that time?). Truth is, TV revenue has changed the landscape so much in the last 10 years that nothing is what it used to be.

      1. Several times recently I’ve read on message boards that such an offer was made. The argument goes like this-UL was good enough to get an SEC offer years ago, and thus UL is good enough for an SEC offer today, so UK must be blocking the offer. I have no idea if there ever was an offer, hence, I said “IF there is any truth that the SEC offered….”

  9. This is not Kentucky’s fault. Louisville will not be in the SEC because it is not yet at the SEC level. As fans we are able to see future success. The SEC sees a program that has won only 8 conference games in four years. We celebrate a victory over Kentucky. The SEC sees a program that had lost 4 years in a row to a SEC bottom feeder. We are proud of our expanded stadium, but the SEC sees a stadium that ranks in the bottom three in their league. We are proud of Lousiville’s basketball history. The SEC doesn’t care about basketball. This is why Louisville is not in the SEC, not because of Kentucky.

    1. Louisville basketball is exactly why UofL should prefer the Big XII over the SEC. And our Olympic sports would have a better home in the Big XII too.

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