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Trish Varney

Trish Varney

By LARRY VAUGHT

Trish Varney, 40, was raised in Jackson County and currently lives in Pikeville with her 13-year-old daughter. She works as a community liaison for a community/public relations company.  Like many other Kentucky football fans, she’s been distraught over what has happened to the football program this season. That’s why I asked her to share a few thoughts about this season to give the perspective of someone who wears blue and spends money for season tickets to back up that passion.

Question: How long have you been a Kentucky football fan and what made you start coming to games?
Varney: “Always a ‘casual’ UK football fan, I attended my first game in Commonwealth in 2006. I was hooked. I’d always loved football at every level of the game. But there was something different about the college football atmosphere. From that point, I rarely missed a home game.”

Question: Why have you not been going to games at Commonwealth Stadium this year?
Varney: “As a single mother living 140 miles from Commonwealth Stadium, I simply refused to make the trip each week, in a recession, to watch a bad product being put on the field. In addition to the travel expense, I simply felt like I was punishing myself by attending. The end result, week after week, became depressing.”
“In addition, I was very displeased with Mitch Barnhart’s comments towards the fan base. UK football has a very loyal fan base when you consider the product that has historically been put on the field. I felt some of his comments reflected an arrogance that screamed ‘You do not matter’ to the fans. Many of these fans have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars for decades to support what has, at best, been a mediocre product.”

Question: How disappointed are you in what has happened to the football program this year?
Varney: “It has completed altered the way I have spent my fall weekends. The enjoyment that I always felt walking in that stadium has disappeared. My disappointment reached a new level on Saturday when Vandy…VANDY, had so little respect for this team that they went for it on 4th and FIVE in an early game situation. Vandy, a perennial bottom feeder of the SEC, was, in all essence, mocking us. At that moment, I knew that we had reached rock bottom.
“I wanted Joker Phillips to succeed as much as anyone. Nothing would have pleased me more than for him to have had success as the head football coach at UK. But it was not to be. The change had to be made.”

Question: What will it take in a new coach for you to start coming back to games?
Varney: “Optimally, I would LIKE to see a coach instill some inspiration to an offense that has been sorely lacking since Andre Woodson’s departure. However, I think that the crucial factor in the new hire will be defensive strength. There is no way to truly compete in the SEC without an aggressive defense. All in all, I want to see a staff that instills discipline, demands respect and is able to make our players believe they can be more than they ever dreamed possible. I want to walk out of a game and think, win or lose, that my team left it all out on the field.”

Question: Do you ever remember a time where fans just gave up on UK football like they have now and will the coaching change make fans feel differently?
Varney: “I can’t recall a time that fans have ‘given up’ on UK football. Our fan base is historically loyal.
“I do believe, however, that our AD’s smugness has contributed to the mass exodus in Commonwealth as much as anything. Fans felt the only option was to send a message in the only way they felt our athletic department would listen: DOLLARS. The fans had to abandon their team to send a message to the administration.”

Question: Will you now come to the game Nov. 17 against  Samford?
Varney: “I will be in the stands on Nov.r 17th. I will be there to let the players know that we, the fans, support them and always have supported them. I also hope to be a part of a classy sendoff for our embattled coach. Even though it didn’t work out as planned, he is and will always be one of us.”

8 Responses to Fan Trish Varney explains why she has not been at football games but will now be back for Samford

  • Jim says:

    I have no faith in Mitch Barnhart’s ability to make a great football hire. What has he done, for the two money programs at UK? Should Mitch get a pass for hiring BCG? No! How great have the football hires been? Do the players and the fans deserve chance to be a part of a winning program? Yes! If UK wants the fans to pack the stadium they need a coach that can win games in the SEC. Petrino is the only viable choice. If Mitch refuses to offer Petrino, maybe UK should look for another AD.

  • Wes says:

    Ms. Varney shares a lot of the same frustrations that thousands of other UK football fans have. I hope this time Mitch can swallow his pride and hire Petrino, the right hire for the right program at the right time. He has to get this done.

  • Katdaddy says:

    Petrino would be hire worse than BCG.

  • Mike Flannery says:

    Petrino is a proven head Coach that has won in the SEC, his wife and family have forgiven him, that was important for him! He would be a “home run” hire for Mitch, hopefully, UK will give him a shot, he is much better than most of the candidates being discussed. He will throw the ball and produce an exciting offense and right now is available……

  • john4uk says:

    Ms.Varney has an sxcellent perseption of UK football.I applaud her for her stand,a stand that fans unfortunately had to take.
    And i can’t agree with Mike Dlannery more.Petrino is available,and many of the names being bantered about are not.Go for the proven guy that is available and get UK back on track to being competitive,and beating the likes of WKU,Vandy, and UL again.
    No way should UK have fallen as far they have the past three years.

  • Dr.Mark Stephens says:

    This year has been a disappointment but we are playing with a 4th string quarterback,the majority of the team are soph’s and freshman. When coach Brooks was here his first few years were very tuff.The fans wanted him fired this guy was good enough to get a stadium named after him , coached in the nfl but not good enough to coach at UK?When we were going to a bowl every year people complained it wasn’t a big enough bowl. I hope we get a good coach,I hope we can beat LSU,S.Carolina and Georgia once in a while and yes even go to a bowl even if its not BCS bowl. But I’ll wait to hang banners and win championships for Basketball Season

  • shinny says:

    Please don’t hire Petrino you people are crazy!!!!!!!!!

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