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Image 9 of The Cats' Pause, December 24, 1988

Part of The Cats' Pause

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December 24, /yo°o° Quiz time! Lets try to answer questions about Jerry Shouldn't kids have a chance to be kids'/ Questions, wo have questions: l.What does Jerry Claiborne's contract extension as head football coach mean to the University of Ken- Earl Cox Cats' Pause Columnist tucky? 2.Will it do any good? 3DoeS the extension mean that President David Roselle is satisfied with 5-6 records as long as Claiborne retains his Mr. Clean image and his players earn degrees? 4 After the UK basketball mess is cleaned up, will Claiborne be more likely to allow his football players to help out in what surely will be some lean years for basketball? Answers we may not have, but here's a try: 1. Claiborne's extension at this time was almost a necessity if UK hopes to have a banner recruiting year. It is a year in which the best quarterback prospect in years (JeffBrohm of Trinity) has a father who played at the University of Louisville and a brother who is a receiver at U of L. There are more college prospects in Kentucky this year than ever before, and U of L coach Howard Schnellenberger vows that while he has not hurt UK before he will sign a lot of this year's crop. 2. Yes, the new contract has to help convince some recruits that Claiborne will be at Lexington to coach them through most of their careers. 3. Yes, the contract extension means that Roselle is happy with 5-6 records just so the players behave themselves and are graduated. 4. Gaiborne will never allow his football players to play basketball as long as Eddie Sutton is the basketball coach. You can quote me on that, and you can go to the bank with it Claiborne does not approve of the way the basketball program has been run, and he does not want his football players to be associated with it Gaiborne is a good man. He is almost impossible not to like. No one respects him more than the players he played with during the Bear Bryant days at Kentucky. Still, there's something lacking that keeps him from competing in the Southeastern Conference. He won't cheat Is that what dooms Kentucky to the also-rans of the Southeastern Conference? I don't believe that, and I hope that it isn't true. And, let it be known that UK is now officially an also-ran in the SEC. The Wildcats are so labeled by none other than that noted football expert, LSU athletic director Joe "Strang Music" Dean. Asking for a change in SEC football scheduling, Dean said, "As it stands now in the league, you have six haves and four have-nots - Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. We're thinking you should play three of the strong teams and two of the have-nots each year." That would help Kentucky, which had to play all six of the haves this past season. And it doesn't get any better next year when the Cats will face this schedule: Indiana, North Carolina, at Alabama, Auburn, Rutgers, LSU, at Georgia, Cincinnati, at Vanderbilt, at Florida, Tennessee. But the SEC schedule changes again in 1990 when the road gets easier. The Cats will open at Commonwealth Stadium with Central Michigan (thank you one last time, GiffHaganj. After that, it's at Rutgers, Indiana, at North Carolina, at Ole Miss, Mississippi State, at LSU, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Florida, at Tennessee. There is no truth to the report that Joe Burch, acting A.D. at UK, is about to announce the 2021 schedule. I investigated and learned that he's only up through 2019. Getting back to Gaiborne: He exasperates some of the so-called non-revenue coaches at UK because he won't let his football players engage in other sports. I think back to earlier this week at Fairdale High School, which put on the King of the Bluegrass basketball classic. Fairdale has a basketball coach named Stan Hardin, who literally leads cheers for the school's outstanding football team. Several of his basketball players are football standouts - and Hardin loves it. "Kids ought to have a chance to be kids," said Hardin. When it looked like Fairdale would advance so far in the football players that the basketball team wouldn't have enough players to open its basketball season, Hardin told football coac h Mike Fletcher, "Just keep winning. Well play with four players if we have to!" Coach Gaiborne, are you listening? After an 0-10-1 record in his first season after moving from Maryland, Gaiborne has directed his UK teams to records of 6-5-L, 9-3-0, 5-6-0,5-5-1, 5-6-0 and 5-6-0. Don't ask what his record is against SEC competition. President Roselle, after announcing Claiborne's new contract, said that prospects would be more apt to sign with Kentucky now that they know that Gaiborne will coach them throughout their collegiate careers. I hope Roselle is right, but I rernember a prediction he made to me at halftime of the L^-Villaiiowa basketball game in the Southeast Regional at Birmingham. "My man," he said, "you are going to see one of the alltime great comebacks in the second half." SEC ATTENDANCE - UK finished seventh m football attendance, averaging 48,282. As you might expect, Vanderbilt (40,883), Mississippi State (34,752) and Ole Miss (32,667) brought up the rear. Tennessee, despite its 5-6 record, led the conference with an average of 91,946 for its home games. Georgia was second with 80,234 and was followed by LSU at 77,334, Florida at 73,860, Auburn at 72,756 and Alabama at 71,440. BOWLS -- Alabama will increase its national bowl-appearances lead when it plays in the Sun Bowl. The Tide has played in 40 bowls, seven more than Texas and nine more than Southern Cal. Tennessee is fourth with 29. Two SEC teams, Georgia and LSU. are tied for sixth with 27. Ole Miss is 12th with 20 - oh, yes, the Rebels used to be tough. Auburn is 14th with 20 appearances and Florida is tied for 20th with 16. CATS IN 7 BOWLS - Kentucky is 2-1 in the major bowls, losing to Santa Clara 21-13 in the 1950 Orange, and then beating Oklahoma 13-7 in the 51 Sugar and TCU 20-7 in the 52 Cotton. The Cats are 3-1 in minor bowls. BIG FOUR - Georgia and Alabama, as well as former SEC member Georgia Tech, and Notre Dame are the only teams to win all four major bowls CRose, Sugar, Orange and Cotton). GOTTA RUN - And now I'm off to have breafast with Joe Burch; 111 tell you about the acting UK AD. next week / T • ! 4k I With new extension, Claiborne and his crew can look forward