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Stoops to fans: “We have to get people on the same page.”

Mark Stoops wants Kentucky fans on the same page. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mark Stoops wants Kentucky fans on the same page. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just think what might have happened on Mark Stoops’ weekly radio show if Kentucky had lost to South Carolina.

Early in his show, he had a caller tell him he was a “good coach” but that he would rather have Tommy Tuberville of Cincinnati come  to Kentucky because he had “coached in the SEC” at Auburn.

“What am I going to do after I lose, Tom?” Stoops said to show host Tom Leach after the call.

Of course, rumors were rampant Saturday about Stoops’ future before the Cats did win and his players said after the game it was for him. He even joked about how quickly news spread on social media during his weekly press conference Monday afternoon.

Stoops said during his radio show that negativity in the fanbase was not helping the team.

Stoops had spoken earlier in the show about how the program couldn’t have a fragmented fanbase and how the negativity wasn’t helping the team in any way. He said during his press conference that his team had to avoid distractions.

“I was proud of the team and proud of their focus and the way they executed this past week. When the season doesn’t start the way you want it to, there’s always going to be a lot of outside noise and distraction. I was very proud of the team and the coaching staff of focusing on the task at hand,” Stoops said about the win over South Carolina and the game preparation.

To end his radio show, Stoops made a plea to UK fans.

“At some point, the great fans that we have, we’ve got to get everybody on the same page,” Stoops said. “We’ve got to get positive. I’m the first one. You don’t need to throw criticism up, I’ll run myself over with a bus when we don’t play well, and fully admit it.

“But we’ve got to get people on the same page. We’ve got to be positive. This has been going on in our history a little bit, right? So we’ve got to change it. Everybody on the same page, pulling in the same direction. And we’re going to do this. I’m not discouraged one bit. We’re going to keep on plugging.”

10 comments

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  1. OldFan

    Stoops is right about the negativity, when it comes to personal attacks, lies, and destructive criticism. However, I do believe every fan has the right to ask “Why” this is being done or that is being done. Fans have the right to question or comment on a teams effort or lack there of. I know it is sometimes bad for these things to happen during the season, but that is the only time the fans have to actually see what the team is doing. It makes no sense to make comments about how a team plays before the season starts. After the season, many players will be gone and new faces coming in, so when it’s over, there is very little point in making comments at that time, either. Some fans go too far; especially, when they get personal, but every fan has the right to question decisions made during a game, comment on how a team has improved or regressed from one year to another, and how individual player development is progressing.

  2. TheProfessor

    The BBN’s football fans are great!! These fans have stood with this program through thick (not much of it) and thin (nearly a steady diet) over decades. Coach Stoops accepted this job 4 years ago, promising to build this program into one that is competitive in the SEC, and that simply has not happened, at least not yet.

    Criticizing the fan base is a show of weakness, and Coach Stoops frankly should be bigger than that. There are a growing number of BBN football fans who believe that Stoops is not capable of fulfilling his SEC Competitiveness promise. The reason for the fan doubts, such as they are, can be found in the way his teams have played in the 3 years and 4 games that Coach Stoops has been the leader. Whether it was the emotional no show in the first game of the Stoops Era against WKU or the emotional no show in the first game of this critical season, and countless inexplicable events on the field in between, these are the reasons for the fan defections regarding Coach Stoops.

    Yes, some fans, and a growing number of them, are defecting, but make no mistake, they are defecting from their support for this coach, not from their love and support for this football program. Coach Stoops must man up and simply either get the job done or resign at the end of the season. He still has a team that can achieve the seminal goal for the 2016 season, 6 wins and a bowl trip, but that will only happen with a sharp focus on those things that can accomplish wins over Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Georgia. Those things are the players and the coaches, not the fans.

    Accomplish this fundamental goal for the season, and the fan defections will not only stop, but probably reverse.

    Focus on the right things Coach Stoops!!!

  3. Grant

    UK just has been horrendous with sec opponent’s for quite a while. As far back as I can recall. Winning cures alot.

  4. Larry Pup

    Just get some wins Coach, that’s the best remedy!!!! You are a head football coach in the SEC, act like one!!!

  5. RJ

    Ya know coach, most of the people that post on this page have been KY fans longer than you have been alive. We listened on the radio as Rick Norton QB’ed. We attended Stoll field when some pretty good coaches were around but still could not get it done. And we are still here. And guess what, we care about this team enough to comment when its playing lousy football and we are gracious in our praise when we play good football. You want to know what it’s like when we are all on the same page?!? Go back and play the video replay of the Vanderbilt game and empty seats that got coach Phillips fired… Somehow, I don’t think you want that.

    1. RJ

      Oh, and by the way coach. This is Kentucky. Spats among family members is sort of a right of passage around here. It’s ok for family members to spat but when game day comes, it’s us against them – all the time. We are all family.

      1. Norman Einstein

        Well said Mister.

  6. Norman Einstein

    Heaven knows I’ve voiced my displeasure with the progress of this team but Stoops is right about the fan base. Just remember what 07 felt like when we finally quit cringing in the 4th quarter because we knew those guys were going to pull it out somehow. As a fanbase, we need to find that magic again. Unfortunately, that magic was generated by the players who chose to BELIEVE they could be better and dud exactly that.

    1. Norman Einstein

      At this point, I couldn’t give a rat’s patutie whether the chicken ot the egg cane first. I’m gonna try to find tickets for the Vandy game and do my part.

      GO CATS !!!!!

  7. William

    I understand and respect that everyone has a right to their opinions. There are more than a few things I think need improvement. I am just as disappointed and frustrated as most watching us get out backsides handed to us. I admit I’m more of an optimist than a pessimist. I’ve never known negativity to accomplish anything. Still, there is a point where negativity crosses the line for me. When the same criticism is made again and again and again without end. Personal criticism of the coaches and/or players that attack their character is too much. Starting baseless, malicious rumors, and the use of derogatory language is classless. The fan base doesn’t do this. Particular individuals who call themselves fans do this, and then try to justify it by saying they are fans and support our teams. I don’t think many would walk up face to face to a coach and tell him he was garbage, or worse. I suspect if someone posting was required to sign their statements with their real name then there wouldn’t be quite as much of this going on. You don’t think someone is a good coach and can give the reasons then I have no problem. I may or may not agree but that doesn’t upset me. Spats among family members is a given. But I know who is saying what to whom and if someone doesn’t watch their mouth it can get physical … only when you’re a kid … hopefully. This fan isn’t going to defect.

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