xt7gth8bgt7n https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7gth8bgt7n/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1989 Volume 14 -- Number 14 athletic publications  English Wildcat News Company Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. The Cats' Pause UKAW University of Kentucky Men's Basketball (1989-1990) coaches Pitino, Rick players Brassow, Jeff athletic directors Newton, C.M. University of Kentucky Football (1989) Claiborne, Jerry statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  December 9, 1989 text The Cats' Pause,  December 9, 1989 1989 2012 true xt7gth8bgt7n section xt7gth8bgt7n Player reactions, Claiborne's accomplishments pages 3A, 4A
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The Cats' Pause
Newton: 'Be quick, but don't hurry,' in finding successor
by TCP managing editor Russell Rice
The unexpected resignation of Jerry Claiborne, 61, as University of Kentucky football coach on Tuesday,
Nov. 29, caught all interested parties by surprise and immediately set into motion speculation on the choice of his successor.
Claiborne, who compiled a 41-46-3 record and took his teams to back-to-back Hall of Fame Bowls during an eight-year tenure at UK, explained at a Tuesday-afternoon press conference that he made the decision during a bumpy plane ride somewhere over Ohio on Monday night.
After his Wildcats lost the season finale to Tennessee for a 6-5 record and no bowl invitation, Claiborne had prepared to hit the recruiting trail, wondering privately if he had the heart for one more rugged campaign.
He expressed his doubts to UK athletics director C.M. Newton on Monday morning, then later joined assistant Chip Garber on the flight to Youngstown, where Claiborne was to speak at a banquet.
"The weather was rough," Claiborne said, "and the plane was bouncing around. I didn't know if we were going to hit the ground, or what we were going to hit. I started thinking, this is kind of stupid."
The resignation, which Claiborne emphasized was his own, "under no pressure from anybody," caught practically everyone by surprise, although there had been some speculation that Claiborne might succumb to pressure from his wife of 40 years, Faye, and family and hang it up in the near future.
Despite his teams finishing on the short side of the won-loss ledger, they were competitive, and the players had endeared themselves to UK president David Roselle and the academic community for outstanding performances in the classroom.
The most recent accomplishments included the 1989 College Football Association's Academic Achievement Award for highest graduation rate (90 percent) among its members, and just recently a record 17 members on the Southeastern Conference's All-Academic football roll, bringing UK's total to 68 during his tenure.
Newton said the university would accept Claiborne's retirement, but would honor the four remaining years on the coach's contract.
"As a student-athlete and 40 years as a football coach, Jerry has always been a great role model for his peers, players and everyone involved," Newton said in a (Continued on page 2A)
3 Page 2A
The Cats' Pause Extra
December 9, 1989
Claiborne suprises everyone with retirement announcement
(Continued from front cover)
prepared statement. "I admire Jerry for having enough courage to make his decision on his own terms and at his own time.
"Speaking as an alumnus of the university, I really admire the discipline, the stability, the academic achievements and the comp-petitiveness that he, his coaching staff and players have brought to the University of Kentucky."
Dr. Roselle, also present at the media conference, called Claiborne "a man of undisputed character and demeanor," and said the coach later would select from several positions at the university.
When questioned later about hiring a new coach, Roselle said the university would follow the same procedure as that which brought Rick Pitino to UK as head basketball coach last summer, which meant that Newton would head up a committee to screen applicants for the position.
"I'm going to plod along exactly like we did in hiring a basketball coach," Newton said. "I'm going to do it my way. I'm going to be a plodder and probably hack everybody in the world off in the process, but we're going to do it right and get the right guy."
Noting that football coaches were allowed to make home visits on Friday (Dec. 1), he said he hoped to find someone quickly, "but rather than get the wrong guy in here, I'd give up a recruiting class. We want to get the right person for this job."
He reiterated Roselle's statement that there would be a screening committee, no search committee.
"I'll hire the coach," Newton said, "but I don't have any candidates in mind. And if I did, I wouldn't tell you."
Newton stressed that he wants Claiborne to remain at UK in some capacity.
"Coach (Paul) Bryant used to use the word class," Newton said. "He said he couldn't define it. If you can't recognize class in Jerry Claiborne, you know there's something wrong. He exudes it."
The athletic director emphasized that he would take all the time he needed time to get the right person for the job. In other words, "alumns aren't going to rush me. Nobody's going to rush us through this thing. We're going to be quick, but not hurry."
However, speculation on who would fill Claiborne's shoes started almost before the ink dried on Newton's statement. The most immediate names dropped were that of Eastern Kentucky coach Roy Kidd, Louisville coach Howard Schnellenberger, former Atlanta Falcolns coach Leeman Bennett and Pittsburgh head coach Mike Gottfried.
Meanwhile, Newton met with Claiborne's staff on the day after Claiborne's resignation and encouraged the current assistants to apply for the head job, noting however that it was reasonable to assume he would start the search by looking for a person with head coaching experience.
"I encouraged them to apply for the head position here or as an assistant here or anywhere else," he said, "and I would do anything I can to help them."
Newton said it was natural to assume that he was likely to start with experienced head
coaches, but that wasn't to say he would rule out assistants.
"There might be a top assistant out there with college experience," he said, "but I don't know yet, because we really haven't had time to think about it."
Kidd, who has led Eastern to two Division 1-AA championships, was interviewed for the UK job before Claiborne was hired eight years ago. He also has been rumored as a candidate for the Florida job.
Hoever, he immediately said he was unsure of his interest in the UK job and he had not been contacted by anyone from Florida.
Schnellenberger, a former UK Ail-American, also talked to UK eight years ago before taking his name out of contention. During his three years at U of L, he had posted a 22-31-1 record going into a Japan Bowl appearance against Syracuse.
The Cardinals have posted two straight winning seasons, going 8-3 last year and 6-5 this year.
Most of the speculation concerned Gottfried, a Crestline, Ohio, native who played at Morehead. He coached at Murray State from 1978-80 before leaving for jobs at Cincinnati (1981-82), Kansas (1983-85) and Pitt, where he has been head coach since 1986.
In addition to being a close friend of Rick Pitino, who was on the sideline during the Pitt-Miami football game this year, Gottfried also was best man at the wedding of UK strength coach Ray Oliver, who was then strength at Pitt.
According to several news sources, Gottfried's agentwho is also Rick Pitino's
agentwas in Lexington over the weekend. And ESPN football analyst Beano Cook, said on the air Saturday afternoon that his sources had indicated that Gottfried had been offered "around $600,000 a year," for the UK job.
Bill Baldridge, who resigned this season at Morehead because of health problems, roomed with Gottfried when both were students at that school. Baldridge was on Gottfried's staffs at Murray, Cincinnati and Kansas before returning to Morehead.
Wildcat assistant Jake Hallum is among the list of candidates for the head coaching job at Morehead, where he was head coach from 1968-71, compling a four-year record of 22-17-1. The Eagles were 3-6-1, 6-4, 6-4, and 7-3 under Hallum.
Hallum left Morehead to join Claiborne's staff at Maryland and has been with Claiborne, coaching offensive guards, since.
Another Wildcat assistant, Greg Nord, also is a candidate for the Morehead job.
Two current 'Cat assistants considered viable candidates for the UK job are Jerry Eisaman and Terry Strock, the unofficial offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.
Other names being bounced around on the local scene include Ohio State coach John Cooper (a former UK assistant who was a candidate for the job eight years ago), Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry, Indianapolis Colts assistant George Catavolos (another former UK assistant), Baylor coach Grant Teaff, North Carolina State coach Dick Sheridan and Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Dan Neal (a former UK player).
?MEMORIES: (Clockwise, top left) Claiborne along with TE Oliver White showcase Hall of Fame trophy captured against Wisconsin; the UK coach instructs QB Randy Jenkins; and in '82, Claiborne with All-SEC defensive wiz Andy Molls._ HS junior Chris Harrison commits to UK early
The Cats' Pause
page 10
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Push any button for Wildcat news
This will be like one of those 900 numbers you dial when you want to know a lot about a particular subject, but will probably feel like you really didn't learn what you thought you would.
^ If you want to read about Jerry Claiborne's retirement, push button No. I.
islf you want to get the gossip on the football coaching vacancy at the University of Kentucky, push button No. 2.
>sIf you want to read about "Pitino ball" and how it sent 25,000 or so Indiana Hoosier fans home worrying about the future and not being able to enjoy a two-point victory, then push button No. 3.
is If you want to read about the status of UK president David Roselle and his chances of remaining on top at the University of Kentucky, push button No. 4.
>slf you want to read about how UK's brash new, but well-experienced coach out of the NBA has already served notice that he'll not be intimidated by Bobby Knight, even in front of 25,000 home-standing puppets, push buttom No. 5.
slf you want to panic, push the operator's number (on our 900 system we can afford only five programs, we just haven't reached Jose Canseco's phone yolume yet) and ask for assistance in dialing either Arizona's Lute Olsen (you remember him , don't you?) who is at the bottom of the Pac-10 standings with an 0-2 mark and it's not even January, Dean Smith for being upset by Alabama or Dale Brown trying to explain why his Tigers lost to Kansas.
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Let's begin with button one. Two dollars for the first minute and $1 for each additional minute please.
Jerry Claiborne surprised many folks last Tuesday by announcing his retirement, saying he no longer felt up to the recruiting wars and wants to spend more time with his family.
It was a gracious decision and one in the best interests of both his family and the university. But don't confuse this move as meaning Kentucky will immediately begin throwing 80-yard touchdown passes and winning eight or nine games a season.
But it will give Kentucky a new look and new hope, perhaps a mirage, but at least a change.
What Claiborne accomplished here in eight years will not be fully appreciated for many years. We all tend to take things for granted that are expected in life. One group of people that won't have to wait 20 years to benefit from Jerry's presense are his players.
The scene, according to several players, when Claiborne met with the team was an emotional one, one in which they openly expressed their affection for the man who truly cares for his people.
As one assistant noted at the Commonwealth Stadium offices while Claiborne was announcing his retirement across campus, "Coach could have been
more popular with the fans had he wanted to sacrifice some assistants, but that's what so special about coach. He has tremendous loyalty to his staff. He's a great, great person and he'll be missed." The coach making those comments was one who abilities have not been questioned by fans or media.
Claiborne later said he came to Kentucky with a clean understanding of how tough the job of rebuilding Kentucky would be. He said his immediate goals were to build facilities and restore respectability to the program. He obviously succeeded in both.
Jerry also said he felt UK could compete in the SEC on a regular basis if Kentucky could keep all the state's top prospects at home each year. He pointed to this area as one in which he and his staff had not been totally successful.
And that, of course, has been and always will be the problem with Kentucky football. No coach in America could come to Kentucky and sweep the entire recruiting crop every year. Heck, that's not likely to happen two out of three years because there are too many variables. It's just unrealistic.
But for all those out there who believe the Kentucky football problem is rooted in the heels of Jerry Claiborne, well, they'll have to turn their attention to another direction. And if past history is any account, look for basketball and Rick Pitino to be the center of attack.
But today, we take our hat off to Jerry Claiborne, a man of great moral philosophy and one that I hope continues to have a strong relationship in some capacity with the University of Kentucky. There are far too few Jerry Claibornes in college sports and we'd be mighty fortunate to keep him around these parts.
Thanks Jerry. It was a job well done.
' ? '? ? Button two please.
Who's going to become the new Kentucky head coach? At first there were two, now many and the list is growing although athletics director CM. Newton says there is no list, not a short one nor a long one. But two names have been prominent.
Mentioned most often are Howard Schnellenberger of Louisville and Mike Gottfried of Pittsburgh. Toss in names ranging from Earle Bruce, ex-Ohio State coach now at Colorado State, to former Wildcat and current NFL assistant Dan Neal to Northern Illnois Jerry Pettibone to EKU's Roy Kidd.
Perhaps it wouldn't be fair to eliminate any of those since that's a task for Newton and his screening committee, but the fans and media will, so here are a few of those opinions floating around.
Let's go in reverse order.
Kidd's name has been mentioned before, eight years ago when Claiborne was hired and the time before when Fran Curci was hired. It's doubtful he'll be given serious consideration, given the
passover the other two times.
Pettibone has good bloodstock and through third parties has indicated his interest in Kentucky. He has done a tremendous job in turning the Northern Illinois program around in such a short time.
Having been associated with the likes of Bud Wilkinson at Oklahoma (as a player) and Tom Osborne at Nebraska (as a coach), Jerry has quickly earned his stripes. Age 50 would be a drawback in some quarters except the fact that everyone's frontrunner in this case is also past the 50-mark.
Jerry has Kentucky ties, going back to when he played with Jim McKenzie at Oklahoma, but those may not be close enough. Kentucky could certainly do much worse, and his Nothern Illinois team ranked high in the national offensive statistics this season, but he's a longshot at best.
Gottfried was (perhaps still is) one of the early frontrunners. His ties are obvious, once a coach at Murray, turned programs around at Cincinnati (for a short time) and Kansas before going to Pittsburgh.
UK basketball strength coach Rock Oliver is such a close personal friend that Oliver and his wife named their son after Mike. Pitino and Gottfried are close friends and Pitino even made a trip to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and caught the Pitt-Miami game as a guest of Gottfried.
But almost as soon as the camera lights went off on Claiborne's press conferense, Mike's name surfaced and critical reviews took over. The press has been particularly tough on Gottfried the past year. Various national media people at the Big Four Classic in Indianapolis had less than glossy remarks about Gottfried.
There is no question Mike is interested in Kentucky. Reasons from wanting to return to Kentucky (some say his wife would like to return) to getting out of Pittsburgh. But today, Gottfried's star is not as bright as it was a week ago.
Neal is the longshot with local ties, an alumnus and a young coach looking to make the big leap. His candidancy is apparently being pushed by a small group of football die-hards including a vocal group that now lives in Florida.
Neal thus far has refused to talk about the Kentucky vacancy, saying the Eagles are in a race of their own and he doesn't want to detract from the NFL season at this time. A longshot at the beginning, Neal could move up.
Which brings us to Howie, a former UK great who almost became the UK coach eight years ago instead of Claiborne. And it came at the height of his coaching career when he was coaching of national champions Miami.
Howard toured the Kentucky facilities according to some, was ready to take the job except that there was a personality conflict with then-athletics director Cliff
(Continued on page 3)
 (Continued from page 2)
Hagan. The latter, some say, is debatable.
But it was no secret Howard wanted control of his own program, much like he had at Miami and how he has operated his program at Louisville, at least until recently.
Given the problems during the Curci era, Kentucky was reluctant to turn over the program entirely to Howard, so he returned to Florida before going to Louisville a few years later. When Howard went to Louisville, circumstances were different. First of all, he was without a job. He had left Miami and signed a lucrative deal with a Florida businessman who was supposed to get a pro franchise, but the deal fell through and Howard took the UL job as the best available.
What's important to remember now is that despite his differences of opinion with Hagan and/or other UK officials, Howard never lost his love for UK. Where others give lip service, Howard's action spoke loudly.
Over the past few years Howard has:
?Urged Louisville fans to unite behind the Cards and show their strong support, but when not playing they should root and support UK. He made those comments although such compliments of UK is not appreciated in some UL quarters.
?When Jerry Clabiorne came under some intense heat from UK diehards the past two seasons, Howard was one of the first to come to Claiborne's defense and without any coaxing from anyone.
?On at least three different weekends when Louisville wasn't playing, Howard and his wife attended UK games in Lexington.
?Prior to the current season, Howard was behind a goodwill billboard in Louisville wishing Claiborne and Kentucky well in 1989. The billboard said, from the "Louisville Cardinals."
The question is obvious, was Howard's goodwill a genunine message of developing more harmony between the two schools or was it a means of placing himself in contention for the job should Clabiorne leave? Or was it a combination?
Only Howard can truthfully answer those questions, but there is no doubt Howard has a loyal and deeply-rooted love for his alma mater.
There are some who say Howard's major ambition was/is to someday coach Alabama because of his association with Bear Bryant and because he would have an excellent chance at a national championship. There are some who say the desire is just as great to be at Kentucky because he played for the Bear here although he may never be able to win another national title.
When the news originally broke of Claiborne's retirement, Howard was in Japan with his Louisville Cards, preparing to take on Syracuse. His only remark concerning the vacancy was, "Haven't you heard, I just signed a new five-year contract."
To diehard UL fans, that was a complete denial of any interest. You be the judge on that.
Howard was supposed to sign a new contract before the season, but the negota-tions dragged on and on and were only finalized a few weeks ago. Some say the new pact is as lucrative as the initial deal, but the university has exercised more control over the football program, a move Howard does not appreciate.
When Schnellenberger came to Louisville he made more than a few waves because he brought more than just assistant coaches with him. He brought a support staff which he considered to be vital in building UL into a national power. That did not sit well with some in
the city.
One, however, cannot deny that Howard has made some significant inroads where others have failed. It could be that he has worn out his welcome, especially across campus where basketball had enjoyed total monopoly until his arrival. The fact that Howard has always had kind words for UK has also upset some of the Big Red Rooters.
If he should decide to return home, he'll be more than welcomed, it says here. And guess who would be one of his biggest fans? None other than Jerry Claiborne.
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Push button No. 3.
Pitino ball. Fasten the seat belts and hold on. King's Island has nothing on the "Little Yankee" when it comes to daring excitement.
Pitino and his crew gave Bobby Knight and the Hoosiers the scare of their life and almost the embarrassment of the year when UK came within a bucket at the Big Four Classic.
After a so-so victory over Ohio University, not many folks gave the Wildcats any chance of even staying close to the Hoosiers. It was going to be a matter of struggling for respectability.
In the end, it was Indiana that struggled to avoid total embarrassment.
The 'Cats came out of the gate with fire in their eyes, even held an 11-point lead in the first half before talent finally overtook emotion.
After falling behind by 10 in the last half, Kentucky refused to quit, kept coming back time and again and even had a shot to tie at the end before Sean Woods' jumper failed to go at the final horn.
Pitino has often insisted there are no moral victories but after the battle Saturday, the "Little Yankee" said he was willing to make an exception to his philosopy.
Said Pitino, "I don't think I've ever been prouder of a team I've coached, not at Providence, not at Boston, not at New York."
The Indiana fans were stunned. Only three times during the course of the game could they allow themselves to "get into the game."
"That was important in a place this big," Pitino said, "our kids did a great job of keeping their fans out of the game." That, they did.
And as the Hoosier fans filed out of the massive Hoosier Dome, you could heard them bemoaning the future and what Kentucky opponents will have to deal with in this new-found excitement called, "Pitino Ball."
? ? ?
Please push button No. 4
This may not be the sports pages for you, but one of the hottest topics around UK concerns the future of its president, Dr. David Roselle.
As this issue was going to press, Dr. Roselle was on his way to Newark, Del., for an interview with the presidential selection committee for the University of Delaware.
Believe you me, this is not just a friendly call on behalf of Roselle. This may be the beginning of the end.
You're well aware of Roselle and his clashes with everyone from Gov. Wallace Wilkinson right on down to supporters of the athletics program and the controversy over whethere or not Roselle acted properly in the NCAA basketball investigation.
Clearly, there were no perfect actors in the mess. There's plenty of blame for everyone. But Roselle is guilty of one major misdeed in the basketball mess.
He never did fully explain the con-
troversy which surrounded the Eric Manuel ACT test score. Whether it's right or wrong, fans and the public deserved to know the details of that test because the entire history and reputation of the Wildcat program is being judged on this one aspect.
The $1,000 Emery envelope is certainly critical, but nothing compares to the academic integrity of a university and I have a great deal of trouble accepting the philosophy that Eric Manuel cheated alone. And I knew of thousands of other Kentuckians who feel the same way that I do and they are allowing this one issue to affect the way they feel toward Dr. Roselle.
There are those close to Dr. Roselle who insist people should forget the Manuel case, that public knowledge of the case isn't important, but Roselle and his people are very wrong. Other than the fact that the public deserves to have this information, Dr. Roselle and his inner circle should remember that voters control legislators who in turn control the man Roselle fears most, and that is Gov. Wilkinson.
Not helping matters any for Dr. Roselle is the Lexinton Herald-Leader's constant and almost daily putdown of the Kentucky citizenry as it relates to public education. The newspaper is to be admired for its role in trying to upgrade education, but the approach is all wrong.
Instead of tearing down athletics, officials should be using athletics as a base to upgrade education. It wasn't unusual over the past decade or so for the UK Athletics Association to net as much as $3 million in profits in a single season. That money could be used to help other parts of the university.
Fact is, most academic communities at major universities would love to be in a situation where an athletic program has to take no money from academics to pay the bills. Kentucky has succeeded in this mission for several decades.
As soon as Dr. Roselle arrived, he immediately pulled some $4 million from the athletic revenue for high salaries for faculty and staff. Some resented that in athletics and I'm sure you can understand why. But Roselle may have done his professors a strong disservice. Sorta like the separation of church and state in governmental matters.
Taking the money from athletics set a precendent of mixing the two. Everyone now knows the UK athletic program is going to be in a real financial struggle for the next three to five years. I'm sure it didn't seem all that difficult to Dr. Roselle a couple years ago, but we all learn something new each day, don't we?
The question remains, will Dr. Roselle stay?
His popularity is high among those in the academic community, the state's two largest newspapers and some so-called intellectual circles. Unfortunately for Roselle, all those groups don't represent more than five percent of the Commonwealth's voters. And politicians from Frankfort on down to the little wide spots in the road listen to voters, not newspapers and professors.
Dr. Roselle has indicated his decision on staying at UK for the long haul will depend on the state legislature's funding of the university. If he sticks to that criteria, he will either move on or begin realizing he must be more honest and forthright with the average Kentuckian, whether that person has a college degree or leans on the handle of a hoe.
After all, in America we're supposed to be equal, regardless of race, color, religion, wealth, and yes, education.
For starters, Dr. Roselle could begin to win some new-found respect from one segment of this state and that would be to
clean his name in the Eric Manuel mess by telling us what really happened.
And the question still remains, will Dr. Roselle stay?
I hardly doubt it.
? ? ?
Please push buttom No. 5 Dear Mr. Knight,
This is a warning. You will not intimidate officials in a Kentucky-Indiana basketball game without being challenged. I may be small in size, but I carry a heavy punch and I don't have to scare anyone by acting like a spoiled brat and slinging a chair halfway across the state of Indiana. Let today be a lesson.
By the way Mr. Knight, enjoyed the game today, didn't you? It's what college basketball is all about. Look forward to seeing you again.
Rick Pitino Manager
Kentucky "Pitino Ball"
Above is what Rick Pitino probably would have written to Knight had he penciled his thoughts to the Hoosier boss after Kentucky's battle last Saturday. Twice, Knight tried to bait the officials and each time Pitino refused to yield his rights and betray his team's own rights.
The great news is that Kentucky has a coach who will stand up to this childish, unsportsmanlike person who once again, this time by a simple notice distributed before the game, snubbed his own invitational showcase by refusing to show up for a post-game press conference.
But would one expect anything else?
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HITS AND MISSES...The more times change, the more they stay the same. And in this respect, guess who has become Rick Pitino's personal legal counsel in Lexington? Why, none other than well-known Lexington attorney Terry McBrayer's firm. McBrayer, who is a close personal friend of former Wildcat coach Joe B. Hall, also represented former UK coach Eddie Sutton last year during Sutton's controversial exit. To say the Sutton saga strained the relationship between McBrayer and some UK officials would be an understatement. McBrayer declined to discuss the relationship, but friends say Terry is not high on Dr. Roselle's Christmas card list. Could this be another sign to consider when thinking of Dr. Roselle's situation...Word is that the Southeastern Conference presidents will interview a select number of candidates during the NCAA convention next month for the successor to Dr. Harvey Schiller. Several names have been mentioned and some have said they have no interest, but two local names continue to make the circles in Birmingham. They are former UK president Otis Singletary and current athletics director C. M. Newton. Singletary privately says the presidents would never be interested in him, but don't count him out as a draftee. Newton has said publicly and privately he is very happy with his present situation and has no interest in leaving UK. He recendy also told a staff meeting he had no interest, but there are some highly placed sources in Birmingham who still insist he might not resist a draft. Newton was one of several University of Kentucky employees to speak out at a campus rally last week, urging Dr. Roselle to remain as president of the university. Newton's decision to come to Kentuckky was influenced no small part by Roselle. Should Roselle leave, would that have an effect on Newton? C. M. says no. **u ir a ' r*     i ii'ii Sophomore guard Sean Woods dogs Ohio guard Dennis Whitaker