xt7qrf5kb17r https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qrf5kb17r/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1987 Volume 11 -- Number 24 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 (1986-1987) coaches Sutton, Eddie players Blackmon, James Jenkins, Cedric Smith, Adrian University of Kentucky Football (1987) Logan, Phil Claiborne, Jerry recruiting statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  "February 21, 1987" text The Cats' Pause,  "February 21, 1987" 1987 2012 true xt7qrf5kb17r section xt7qrf5kb17r Chapman Keys 'Cats lb Miracle Finish Against Ibis. .
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Kentucky Basketball: One Of A Kind
Florida Columnist Gives His Views Of UK
This is a special day that comes around once each year. No, for basketball fans hereabouts, it isn't Valentine's Day. It's the day the Kentucky basketball team performs here.
Kentucky is to college basketball what Notre Dame is to football, what Santa Claus is to Christmas, what bourbon is to a highball.
UCLA and North Carolina? Nice basketball programs but not like Kentucky's. Have UCLA and North Carolina ever won the Olympic Games? Kentucky has. Who has the record for the most career victories and the most consecutive home victories? The late Adolph Rupp of Kentucky. Where does the nation's No. 1 ticket scalper live? Lexington, Ky.
Sun sports editor
Reprinted with permission from Gainesville (Fial Sun
Just what is Kentucky basketball?
? It's the Birmingham hotel that's Southeastern Conference Tournament headquarters, the lobby packed to the rafters with Wildcat fans, each one holding a basketball in one hand and a pen in the other, hoping to get a Kentucky player's autograph if one should appear.
? It's Chuck Noe, then the VPI basketball coach, weeping after a last-second Sugar Bowl loss to Kentucky, while Rupp stands a few feet away, telling the media that they should go back to their offices and write editorials condemning Noe's type of slowdown basketball.
Rupp coached forever
? Kentucky basketball is being told by several Wildcat fans during one of Rupp's rare off years that the Old Man is over and done with and will be gone shortly, and then Rupp comes back to win another seven SEC championships, including five in his last five years.
? It's Rupp being given a Cadillac for having a great basketball program, and the late Bear Bryant, then Kentucky's football coach, being called to the same podium to be honored for having defeated national champion Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, and Bryant is presented with a cigarette lighter.
? Kentucky basketball is the late Harry Lancaster, Rupp's longtime assistant and later UK's athletic director, telling how he conducted all the practices for Rupp and provided most of the game strategy (former Kentucky players have confirmed to me that Lancaster did most of the coaching, although Rupp was, for sure, the supreme boss) and how, if Lancaster's bench strategy worked, Rupp would tell the media, "I decided to do that because. . .," and if it didn't work, Rupp would say, "That was Harry's damned idea."
? It's the aging Rupp, one of the alltime great coaches, in the Mid-East NCAA finals in Columbus, 0. against Jacksonville University, sitting quietly on the bench (perhaps affected by medication of some kind), while assistant Joe B. Hall runs the team. (Kentucky was rated No. 1 in the nation going into that game, but Artis Gilmore and JU defeated Dan Issel and Co.)
Just one NCAA title?
? Kentucky basketball is high-powered Wildcat fans constanty plotting to get rid of Hall as their coach because he won only one national championship  and, many suspect, finally succeeding in their mission when Hall "resigned."
? It's most SEC teams over the years celebrating when they lose to the Wildcats in a close game.
? Kentucky basketball is me looking at my hands in the second half and seeing them drenched  the only time ever  with nervous perspiration. (The occasion was Tulane, the basketball team I was covering on a regular basis at the time, shooting for its only win ever over Kentucky. Down to eight players after academic losses and with no starter over 6-4, Tulane managed to win the game. A year later, 1958, that same Kentucky team won the national championship again. To this day, Tulane's victory total over Kentucky is one, and the Green Wave no longer even fields a team.)
? It's Kentucky often having more fans for a UK-Florida game at old Alligator Alley than the Gators had.
? It's 10,000 Wildcat fans turning out for UK shooting practice in the morning during the SEC tournament.
? It's Harry Lancaster, reminiscing again about Rupp, saying Rupp couldn't sell hail insurance (a sideline of his) to Bourbon County farmers, then rasping on the drive back to Lexington, "Harry, what these people need is one damn, big hail storm!" (Lancaster and Rupp feuded when Lancaster became athletic director, but just before Rupp died, Lancaster visited him at the hospital, and the two old friends made up.)
? Kentucky basketball is a 38-year-old Norm Sloan coaching Florida to its first win over the Wildcats in 31 years in early 1965. (It was a televised Saturday afternoon game, and I can recall the Gator starters without looking them up: Gary Keller, Dick Tomlinson, Jeff Ramsey, Brooks Henderson and Tom Baxley).
? It's defending national champion Louisville being heavily favored on its home court and getting blown out by a sensational Wildcat freshman, Rex Chapman (Dec, 1986), and it's Alabama being knocked out of the SEC lead on its own court by Eddie Sutton's Wildcats (one week ago today).
? Kentucky basketball is Sutton, Chapman and all the rest being at the O'Connell Center today, this time to play another Sloan-coached Florida team that has a chance to win, this game also on Saturday afternoon and also on TV, like 1965, this time the Gators being led by Vernon Maxwell and Andrew Moten.
This is just another stop out of thousands for Kentucky basketball and its people, soon to be forgotten by them. But it has a chance to be one of those rare, precious memories for the Gators and their fans... a win over Kentucky. The Best And Worst. . .Of Many Topics
Kentucky football coach Jerry Claiborne may have achieved a rare first for a Wildcat football coach as he compiled what folks may rate as both his finest and worst recruiting efforts of his era in Big Blue country.
It was his finest crop of signees because Claiborne signed the largest number of Kentucky blue-chippcrs in recent memory. There is little question he inked more quality players last week than any other class in the past decade or so.
The bad news is he lost more quality blue-chip Kentucky seniors than he has ever failed to sign during his previous five years at Kentucky.
Claiborne landed 15 Kentucky prepsters including such star athletes as Phil Logan. Jerry Bell and Billy Swanson. but lost prep All-Americans Frank Jacobs (to Notre Dame) and Jeff Ellis (to Ohio State).
Kentucky also lost a pair of All-Americans out of CincinnatiVinnie Johnson and Carlos Snow to Ohio State after the two earlier, according to one report, had told UK coaches privately that they were going to attend Kentucky. But that story appears to be a recurring one with players from that part of Ohio. They keep UK hanging until the end and the Wildcats end up being the proverbial bridesmaid.
You can put the recruiting harvest in perspective by saying that Claiborne did, indeed, enjoy his best recruiting season since his return to Kentucky.
But you must temper the enthusiasm with the fact that Kentucky did not have a great recruiting year, one which was certainly within reach because of the rare abundance of top-notch national talent located within the Bluegrass state.
While the cries ring far and wide about this being a basketball state and that the commonwealth does not produce large numbers of prospects, this year was certainly the exception.
And no doubt there were numerous long faces around the UK coaches' offices last week when Jacobs and Ellis decided to leave the state. Had they opted for UK, the Wildcats would have enjoyed practically a clean sweep and most likely a Top 15 ranking in the national recruiting derby. Now, UK earns a mere honorable mention.
* * *
While Kentucky didn't get the "super" recruiting year Wildcat fans were longing for, there might be some consolation in knowing that the 'Cats certainly didn't lose any ground in what some media types around Kentucky predicted last year as an annual battle with Louisville.
More than one writer had predicted that Howard Schnellenberger would start having a big impact on UL's ability to sign Kentucky players outside Jefferson County.
Well. UL signed only two Kentuckians, and surprisingly, none out of Jefferson
Louisville reports last week quoted UL officials as saying they had their "best recruting year yet" and better than Schnellenberger's first two classes when he was at Miami.
But those recruiting experts around the country say UL's crop, while better than previous seasons, is not considered that good.
What about Kentucky's comeback last Wednesday against Tennessee after being down 10 points with just 1:13 left in the game?
Several thousand of the 23,000 fans left long before the 'Cats fought back and won the game 91-84 in overtime. Rex Chapman's shot in the final seconds of regulation sent the game into overtime where the 'Cats won going away.
The comeback probably makes that particular win the most memorable victory for Rupp Arena which opened its doors for the first time in 1976, and erases UK's phenonmenal comeback against Kansas in 1978-79 as the most exciting comeback.
There may have been greater victories, a couple over Louisville, the one over Houston in 1984, several over LSU, Alabama and Indiana. But the two most memorable are the big comebacks.
The win over Tennessee also kept Kentucky's hopes of a high finish in the SEC race alive.
Kentucky's recent streak came to a halt in Gainesville Saturday when the Gators put a 74-56 loss on the 'Cats and for all practical purposes leaves UK fighting for a third-place finish at best.
Although Kentucky would have preferred a victory in Gatorland, the defeat certainly wasn't the end of the season either, just as it was anything but an 18-point game.
If Kentucky can post homecourt wins against Vanderbilt and Ole Miss while upsetting either LSU or Georgia on the road, it would set the stage for a big regular-season finale against Oklahoma on March 1.
Ironically, a win over Georgia may be more important to Kentucky's final standing in the SEC than a victory over LSU. The way the league race is shaping up, Kentucky and Georgia could be neck-to-neck by the end of next week.
After the weekend games, Alabama led the SEC with a 12-2 mark followed by Florida at 12-3 with Kentucky and Georgia tied for third at 8-6. Auburn and Ole Miss were tied for fifth at 7-7 with LSU seventh at 6-9 followed by Vanderbilt and Tennessee at 5-9 and Mississippi State at 1-13.
Both LSU and Vanderbilt were dealt serious blows in their drives to get NCAA tourney invitations this past weekend when LSU lost at home to Alabama. 60-52 and Vanderbilt was upset by Georgia. 75-59 in Nashville.
LSU is now 16-12 overall while CM. Newton's Commodores are 14-12 overall. Although Vandy has upset both Indiana and Notre Dame, the Commodores aren't likely to get an invitation unless they win the SEC Tournament in Atlanta. Ditto for LSU.
Tickets to the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament are still available, but the event is likely to become a sell-out just any day now.
If it does, it will be only the second pre-tourney sell-out since the event was reinstated back in 1979. In 1984, the tourney was a sell-out in Nashville.
The two tourneys staged in Lexington (1982 and 1986) still hold the No. 1 and 2 attendance records.
Four schoolsKentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Georgiahave already sold their allottments for the tourney.
Three other schoolsAuburn. Alabama and Floridareportedly had less than 100 tickets each remaining early last week.
Only LSU. Mississippi State and Ole Miss are not expected to sell out their allottment.
Ticket books are $75 each and each book is good for one admission to all games.
More information can be obtained by writing or calling: Southeastern Conference, 900 Central Bank Building, Birmingham. Alabama 35233, The telephone number is (205) 252-7415.
* * *
Kentucky coach Eddie Sutton rarely misses a trick and the Wildcat boss left some Florida fans calling for the return of Joe B. Hall last Saturday in Gainesville.
Gator fans are known nationwide for their verbal attacks on the opposition and rarely does an opposing coach escape the rath of these misfits. Such was the situation with Sutton during his initial visit to O'Connell Center last season, but Mr. Perm was all set for his second tour of combat last week.
As those fans behind the UK bench gathered to launch their verbal assault, Sutton began passing out Valentine cards signed by him, to them, leaving one to say "you're making it awfully tough to hate," and causing another to comment, "we wish Joe B. was back here. He was more fun to hate."
Prior to the game, Sutton had sent a manager to a local store to purchase the Valentines and then he signed them before heading to the arena.
"I kinda got a kick out of it," admitted Sutton.
* * *
HITS AND MISSES . . . Kentucky's November recruiting crop of six signees continues to perform very impressively ac-#
cording to reports. LeRon Ellis. John Pittman and Eric Manuel are enjoying spectactular final seasons while Kentucky products Deron Feldhaus and Sean
Sutton are having banner years for their respective teams. Both are candidates for Kentucky's famed Mr. Basketball. The balloting should have Feldhaus, Sutton, PRP's Desmond Porter, Paintsville's John Pelphrey and Washington County's Kevin Ellery among the finalists, but don't look for Sutton to win the honor. Being the son of UK coach Eddie Sutton will wipe out any possibilities. Some media types around the state have been taking pot shots at the younger Sutton all season long. This isn't to say he should be Mr. Basketball, but obviously he can play the game or how else can you explain Henry Clay vaulting to the state No. 1 ranking since Sutton is the only returning starter from a year ago? Sutton had one of his finest stretches of the season over the weekend when he scored 39 and 21 points respectively against .Ashland and Boyd County, both on the road. Henry Clay defeated Ashland but lost to Boyd Country. Strangely, instead of staying overnight in Ashland on Friday, the Blue Devils returned to Lexington and then drove back on Boyd County on Saturday and suffered an upset as Brace Stai led the way for the Lions with 24 points. While Henry Clay was ranked No. 1 prior to the Boyd County loss, district rival Lafayette also is considered one of the top contenders for the state title. However, one of the two won't last beyond the first game of the district. The two clubs will play in the opening round with the loser going to the sidelines. Lafayette, led by star guard Prince Stewart, was the preseason favorite to win the 11th Region title. This game, in all probability, will be the top district game in the state. One of the preseason favorites, Hopkinsville's LaMonte Ware is out of the running, having missed much of the season because of injuries . . . Kentucky's fine assistant sports information director, Brad Davis, was in College Station, Texas, earlier this week interviewing for the head sports information director's position at Texas A&M. Davis made the trip at the request of A&M assistant athletics director Ralph Carpenter, who at one time was at Ole Miss. Although Davis made the trip, it's unlikely he'll leave Kentucky where he has a bright future, but you know how Texas is when those Texans decide they want something . . . The Louisville Courier-Journal published an entire page on the recruiting process of Kentucky signee Phil Logan, who kept a daily diary of the weeks leading up to his decision. Logan, in his own words, told his side of the story and how his visits went at such places as Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, and Tennessee. Logan said he probably would have signed with Alabama had Ray Perkins not left the Tuscaloosa school. In his opening comment on UK, [Continued On Page 22]
N tishv 11 to f77ie (jots' &ause
{February 2f, (9$7
Claiborne Signs 24 Future 'Cats
Although Kentucky didn't land three of the state's "Big Four," Jerry Claiborne and staff did sign 15 in-state prospects to go along nine out-of-state commitments. And as of presstime Kentucky's overall count was holding at 24 signees.
"I'm not worrying about the ones that are gone someplace else, Claiborne said in reference to Frank Jacobs (Notre Dame). Jeff Ellis (Ohio State) and Eddie Thomas (Indiana). "We can't do anything about that. We like the ones that bleed blue, and that's what these do."
Louisville Holy Cross' First-team all-State represenative Phil Logan signed with the Wildcats last week as the national signing date senior prospects kicked off on Feb 11. Logan, considered one of the commonwealth's top four prep prospects, is a crafty wide receiver. The 6-foot-2. 180-pound Logan started for three seasons at split end and safety. Logan's final two choices came down between Kentucky and Louisville before he decided that Lexington was the best place for him.
"We think we got some football players that can play and win in the Southeastern Conference," said UK's head coach. "Whether they are going to do it this year or next year. . .but we think they can commence to mature and be good players.
"We were trying to recruit 18 in-state players and we got 15 of them. We think they are going to be 15 good players. Maybe some of them will mature faster than others, but we think some of them have a chance to help us now while some of them will help us in the future.
"We're definitely glad to get all 15 of them."
Before the initial day of this season's gridiron period, Kentucky was considered in the hunt for Jacobs, and Ellis' services, while Thomas had announced earlier that he attend IU. Apparently, Kentucky was Thomas' second choice.
In regards to Division I talent, the prep scene in Kentucky was at a all-time high during last season. And while UK could only lure one of the "Big Four," potentially Claiborne may have signed his best recruiting crop during his previous seasons as a Wildcat coach.
Overall, UK's list breaks down like this: 14 in-state signees; former Lexington Henry Clay standout Jim Graves will join the Wildcats after a season at Tennessee Military Institute; two junior college transfers; six out-of-state commitments; and Greg Hunt of Richmond, Va., coming to the 'Cats from Fork Union Military Academy.
But Logan is not the only talented in-state signee for the 'Cats.
In fact, Kentucky's in-state signees-have some interesting prep careers. For instance, defensive end Jerry Bell is a two-time all-State performer. Is quick for a man of his stature6-3, 260 pounds. Bell has not passed, in accordance to Proposition 48, his ACT exam. However, Bell is awaiting his results from his Feb. 7 test. A very strong individual and could contribute as early as the '87 season. . .Joey Couch is a 6-2, 225-pound linebacker from Paintsville. He led his squad in tackles during three of his four seasons as a Tiger gridiron star. Considered Army, Louisville, Navy and Vandy before deciding on the Big Blue. Is also in his fourth season on the Tigers' hoop squad. Captain on both football and basketball teams. All-State honorable mention during all four seasons. . .Runningback William Dishman rushed for 1,568 yards on 165 carries last season. That's an average of almost 10 yards per attempt. Overall, he racked up almost 3,500 yards during his three years as a Defender. Selected First-team all-State last season. Derrick Thomas is another signee from
[Continued On Page 6]
Confidence is a must for any shooter. When he has that confidence, no shot looks too tough. When the confidence slips away, even a layup is a difficult task.
Kentucky's James Blackmon has never been more confident of his shot than he is now. And a confident James Blackmon is quite a player.
When I play intense and confident, I play my best," said Blackmon, who recently had a career-high 27 points against Auburn. "Right now I'm into the flow of things and my shots are falling. My defense has been good and so has my
Deja VuBlackmon Making Late Charge
Like Last Year, UK Guard Finishing Strong
	Larry Vaught Cats' Pause Columnist
'I've been playing well in practice and that helps. I've always had a great deal of confidence but I just have to keep working for things to go my way."
Things have not always gone Blackmon's way at UK. He came to Kentucky with great credentials after a brilliant career at Marion, Ind. He averaged 32 points per game as a senior and was runnerup to Steve Alford for Mr. Basketball honors.
Alford blossomed into an All-America performer at Indiana. Blackmon didn't do the same at UK. He averaged 3.8 and 5.4 points per game, respectively, his first two years under Coach Joe Hall. Often he thought of leaving.
Last season, though, he averaged 9.4 points and four rebounds for UK's 32-4 squad. His shooting and defense improved as he finally began to fulfill earlier expectations.
"Last year you just didn't notice James as much because we had Kenny Walker and Winston Bennett," said UK guard
Blackmon Now Playing With Confidence
Ed Davender. "Now James is our senior leader and he's playing the way a senior is supposed to at the end.
"James can do the job. He can do more than shoot, too. He has learned how to shut his man down defensively and he has a great attitude about the game now."
UK Coach Eddie Sutton never doubted Blackmon. His senior had only 14 points in UK's first three games. Sutton didn't consider taking him out of the lineup.
Blackmon didn't score a point against Boston Univ. Again, Sutton stayed behind him. The same thing happened when Blackmon had just two points and two rebounds in a loss to Mississippi. He came back with 18 points against Mississippi State and 27 against Auburn.
"Coach Sutton never lost confidence in James," said UK assistant coach Dwane Casey. "It would have been easy not to stick with a senior when he was struggling. But Coach Sutton kept giving him the green light instead of putting him on the end of the bench.
"Now James has regained his confidence. Shooting is
automatic for him again. When you shoot well, your whole game picks up. It's like taking a sugar pill. You don't know why it helps but it does. It's the same for a shooter when a few shots drop."
Sutton talked privately to every player before the Auburn game. He told Blackmon to drive to the basket more and to keep shooting, especially when he had the hot hand.
"I have been forcing things," said Blackmon. "Now I am letting the ball come to me. Everything is coming naturally."
The Wildcats know Blackmon can play. They see his dazzling moves daily in summer games and practices when the season starts. His quickness and leaping ability often amaze even his own teammates.
"James was just unstoppable when we played during the summer." said UK freshman Rex Chapman. "Other players say he has been like that in the summer since he got here. We see him make great moves all all the time. He's a great player."
Now Blackmon needs to sustain a high level of play over a period of games.
Sutton said, "James can play this way. When he does, it really helps us."
Davender knows consistent scoring from Blackmon will give UK more wins. But he also wants to see Blackmon finish his career in a blaze of glory for another reason.
"James has had some rough times here," said Davender. "Me and him are real tight. He's like a brother and I know what he's been through. I'm going to do all I can to help him because I would really like for people to see him do the things I have seen for three years in practice."
'Cats Face Two Games In Two Days
TIPOFF FOR the UK-Mississippi game Feb. 28 has been changed from 7:30 p.m. to 12:05 p.m.
The change was made because UK will host Oklahoma on CBS-TV the next day at 12:05 p.m. Kentucky had asked Mississippi to change the game to Feb. 27 but the Rebels refused.
"I thought we had a gentleman's agreement in the SEC to move a game to help another league team," said Sutton. "We did that to accommodate Auburn but Mississippi re jected us.
"It's going to be hard on our players to play Mississippi Saturday and then play one of the nation's best teams the next day. I understand why Ole Miss wanted the extra day to prepare but I think conference coaches should try and give relief in a situation like this."
Of course, UK knew it had a game Feb. 28 when it agreed to play Oklahoma. However, the national TV lights and $300,000 were too tempting to turn down. But the bottom line is that UK made the decision that forces the Wildcats to play games on consecutive days.
Sutton said, "It is not easy to balance what is best for the players versus what is best for the overall program. A na tional TV game helps recruiting and gives our fans in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and other places a chance to see us play. It also puts a lot of money in the bank to help non revenue producing sports here. But it is unfair to our players to play back-to-back days."
Sharpless Hated To Lose lacobs
NO ONE was more disappointed when Kentucky lost 6-5, 232-pound tight end Frank Jacobs of Newport Central Catholic than UK assistant coach Rod Sharpless.
Sharpless watched Jacobs play 20 games the last two seasons but was always impressed by his athletic ability.
"He is just a superior athlete," said Sharpless. "He's one of those rare great players that you get a chance to watch play. He's mentally tough and aggressive, too. You don't find that in every great athlete."
UK made it clear from the start that it wanted Jacobs as a tight end, the position he prefers.
"Our number one priority this year was tight end and when we talked about positions I always assured him that we were recuiting him strictly as a tight end," said Sharpless "We were weak at tight end last year because of injuries That limited how often we could throw to our tight ends.
"But when we had Oliver White here a few years ago he was one of the best tight ends in the Southeastern Conference
[Continued On Page 22] f77i& (do&<'
Making Grade Is Tough Proposition
Barnes Pointing Kids In Right Direction
Mac Barnes is probably Mississippi's most successful high school football coach. His Meridian High Wildcats have won three state championships in the last nine years and he has sent some 55 players on to college scholarships. Here are more of his views on today's problems in athletics from the high school point of view.
Question: Now, in the second year of Proposition 48 are the kids paying attention to the requirements?
Barnes: They're paying attention, but I still don't think they realize the full impact of this. I think you're going to find very many high school kids this year that are not meeting Proposition 48. That would
	Stan Torgerson Cats' Pause Columnist
lead me to believe they didn't realize the strictness of that rule.
Question: If the rule stays on the books, and it certainly appears that it will, will it have the desired effect? Will it make the student athlete as much of a student as he is an athlete?
Barnes: I think it will do this. I think it will change the type of athlete being recruited. I have not ever seen as much indecision on the part of college coaches. I've never seen them in the dark as much about whom they're actually going to offer a scholarship or whom they're going to recruit. Usually by this time a coach can sit down and tell me "we've got 15 or 20 solid people right now we're going to sign." Now I say, "What's it look like coach?" and they tell me "I really don't know."
Question: Coaches tell me, particularly in the last year or so, that the first thing they do when they visit a school is go look at a kid's grades. Is that true?
Barnes: The first thing they do is come by the office and ask me who we have. Once they get those names they spend more time in the record office and the counselor's office than they do in my office.
Question: Well, do all colleges basically recruit alike?
Barnes: The ones who recruit us, that is come in here and really recruit our kids, I would say are almost identical. I'll tell you another situation that I see. Last year a lot of colleges took on five or six guys that didn't meet Proposition 48, then brought them on campus for a year to try to get them eligible. 1 don't see that taking place this year. I think the majority of those students with whom they tried that did not make it the first year and as a result I don't know of a school right now that comes in recruiting us that's looking at that marginal guythe one that's not going to make it. They don't say "We're going to take him anyway and try to get him eligible in a year." That's the biggest change from last year to this year.
Question: Now that Division 11 also is going to observe Proposition 48, it seems to me the high school athlete is under more pressure than ever to hit the books.
Barnes: I think he is. Stan, but I think there's a fallacy in the whole idea in that a lot of people assume the athlete is not making the grades because he's not trying. There are a lot of these kids who try hard. They're just not going to make a two-point average in your tough coursesalgebra, chemistry, physics, things like this. I have a feeling there are a lot of college graduates who, if you went back and checked their transcripts, they wouldn't have a two-point (average) in those major subjects.
Question: Is there more intense competition between certain schools for athletes, for examplean Ole Miss versus a Mississippi State or an Alabama against an LSU, compared to the attitude of the Florida recruiter if he came in here to check on a player?
Barnes: The competition is this. The young man who can play major college football and has a three-point average is premium right now. That means that with the network of the college recruiting system the great athlete who has the grades is going to be nationally recruited. The almost great athlete but with great grades has also become a premium. I have some coaches tell me that some of the schools are recruiting kids based not necessarily alone on what they can do on the football field, but also that they can become eligible and meet Proposition 48. Therefore, a kid that might have stayed in-state because the out-of-state schools three years wouldn't have been interested in him, now sees the out-of-state schools coming in to recruit him.
Question: From how far away are schools recruiting players in
Meridian, Miss.? Are we even getting interest from the California schools, for example