Guest post: Why does football get a pass on so many transfers?

Mikel Horton is the most recent Cat to announce he would transfer. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mikel Horton is the most recent Cat to announce he would transfer. (Vicky Graff Photo)


It seems odd to me that Matthew Mitchell has six players leave and athletics director Mitch Barnhart has a sit down with Matthew Mitchell about areas he needs to change and improve or start looking for another coaching job whereas Mark Stoops has nine players transfer from one class of 28 (all highly rated but couldn’t get on the field) and it seems like it is treated as “business as usual.”

I feel like if players were being developed properly they would get on the field and not see a need to transfer. We lost two of our three returning quarterbacks last year and it seems like a revolving door at some of the other positions.

I don’t understand why football seems to get a pass whereas other sports don’t.  I’m sure if Calipari had more than 30 percent of one recruiting class transfer out there would be a lot of questions asked.

As a football coach I don’t think it helps to have your number one coaching asset be that you are a good recruiter if you can’t get the players on the field. All of a sudden your top 25 recruiting class drops down into the 50s or 60s and you cannot compete in the SEC with that level of talent or you are always having to play freshmen to fill the gaps. ( sounds familiar).



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  1. 3 weeks ago, when the depth chart for the Florida game was released, I spent some time looking at the experience of this team on the 2 deep and the entire roster. I was surprised that in year 4 of the Stoops era, there are only 11 seniors (Class of 13 or redshirts from class of 12) on this entire squad. Nearly all of them (9) appear in the 2 deep, and if I am not mistaken, only 1 of these 11 is a redshirt leftover from the Joker era. There are 26 listed as Juniors (Class of 14, or redshirts from class of 12), 6 of which are either transfers or JUCOs, leaving 20 having been recruited in either 2013 or 2014. There are 32 Sophomores (Class of 15 or redshirts from 14), and 42 Freshmen (class of 16 or redshirts from 15), 11 of which are identified as redshirt Freshmen.

    While I cannot locate the number redshirts from the classes of 13, or 14, the numbers alarmed me for the reason Mr. Peel is pointing out here. Where have all the flowers gone, to borrow from a song from my youth?

    Mr. Peel is right that if this were happening to Calipari’s program, it would be huge news, and if you will recall, this was happening during the Tubby Smith era, and it was a huge issue and a major piece of evidence about why he was not getting the job done that the BBN demanded.

    I believe Stoops should be asked to explain (1) why these highly touted recruits, who chose to play for him at UK, have first not been able to find their way on the field at their position, and (2) why these players decided it would be better for them to find another home to play football rather than work their way on the field either at their position or at another position.

    To be sure my post is not read as indicating I want Stoops gone, I do not want that, but I do want Stoops to be held accountable for the results. The press should be pursuing these roster issues with him. I believe that the missing information about redshirts, and the distribution of players by recruiting class should be determined before asking the key questions, and a comparison of the recruiting ranking of each player who has made his way into the 2 deep vs those that have left the program.

    1. It might be telling if we look at how many (and who) from the offense transferred and defense. If its a matter of getting game time, that’s one thing. But if it is player development, then that’s another. Most all of these players maintain a relationship with their high school coaches and other advisors that they trust. While these players are young and usually impatient, the older folks they talk about this stuff to, have been around for a while.

  2. Right on Keith. Stoops deserves to finish out the year. If he wins 6 or more in 2016, I say keep him for the immediate future because of his costly contract clause. If he has another losing season in 2016, Barnhart has to pull the plug IMO. That is one more year than they gave Joker, one of UK’s very own. You tell me that’s a fair shake. Stoops has no better record really, and with many good athletes leaving the team not even seeing the playing field at UK, and from a recruiting class that was ranked in the top 30 in the nation by all the experts in 2014. It’s either these players were over hyped, or its coaching. No other SEC school would put up with this sort of dismal record in a football driven conference. All you football experts on VV’s know this. Stoops is a nice guy, but so far UK ain’t getting their money’s worth, and he’s getting paid big bucks to deliver. No Fortune 500 company would put up with a CEO with these kind of results, producing these kind of results for their stockholders.

  3. It would be interesting to know how the transfers are doing at their new schools. There are so many variables that it’s difficult to reach too many conclusions … for me at least. I know we’ve had two quarterbacks leave. This isn’t unique to UK. Texas A&M has had a couple-three highly rated QB’s leave. An argument could be made that the fall of Les Miles could be attributed in large part to not being able to find a capable and consistent QB. I think we should not count those that left for violation of rules or academic problems. Horton is a fine athlete and I hate to see him go. Could he have been offered an opportunity to shift positions? Go to the defensive side of the ball? Then again, maybe he didn’t want to change positions. We did lose 3 OLinemen and I’m not sure what happened there. Then I look at who they are competing against. The freshmen LT is doing an amazing job. No one is ready to replace Toth or Stallings right behind him. So maybe if you’re looking at being 3 deep it could have become discouraging. It may be that my sense of being discouraged at the slow development may be my impatience. Patience is a virtue I struggle with at times even though I’m trying to improve. I understand the bottom line. Winning! The season is still young so we’ll see. It’s one game at a time for me.

  4. Well. Let’s do the math. If the basket ball program loses on player in 12 that’s 12% or so per year. Therefore the football program could lose 6 players every year and be equal to the basketball program. What do the real numbers show?? They may be closer than you think.

  5. This answer is real easy. Football is unique. It’s not basketball or baseball or softball or soccer or volleyball or tennis or golf or rifle or gymnastics or swimming or diving. If it takes more explanation than that… you don’t know football.

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