Isaac
Isaac to Attend Sunday’s Game?

Just in time for Sunday’s 3:30 kickoff, Isaac should be showing up for the game!

Remember all that trash UL fans talked about attendance and UK returning 2000 allotted tickets? I expect to see the Pizza Bowl crammed full of people in red ponchos.

Please, disappoint me.

Richie-Farmer-KY
Richie Farmer Has Had Better Days

Former Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, UK fan favorite and basketball great Richie Farmer had a rough Monday. The results from a state audit conducted by the Department of Agriculture were released and it cast Richie in a not so flattering light. The report revealed what it called “a toxic culture of entitlement and self dealing at Kentucky taxpayers expense.” Some of the things the report allege:

  • A culture within the agency that provided a hostile work environment that punished employees for trying to do the right thing.
  • State employees on State time took Richie hunting, shopping, built a basketball court in his backyard, mowed his lawn, and chauffeured the family dog from Louisville to a family home.
  • A state employee drove Richie hunting where he illegally shot a deer from a state vehicle. He then directed the employee to field dress the deer for him.
  • Hosted “an extravagant conference” for less than 200 people that cost Kentucky  taxpayers $96,000.  Farmer ordered 13 rifles, rifle cases, knives, cigar boxes, shopping mall gift cards and watches for the conference.  He took most of the items home after the conference.
  • Using a Department of Agriculture worker to reserve hotel rooms near the state fair in the names of two employees that did not use the rooms.  The rooms were used by Farmer’s family members and cost taxpayers $4,257.
  • Misappropriation of $43,000 of state funds away from a ginseng program to purchase animal enforcement vehicles.
  • The Department of Agriculture purchased two 60 inch tv’s and wall mounts.  One was installed in a conference room and the other in Farmer’s office.
  • Farmer paid a former employee and friend more than $70,000 for work that was not performed.
  • Farmer paid his ex-wife’s cousin state money and provided use of a state vehicle. This person did not work for the state.
  • Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel, dinners, drinks and cigars.

This is just a few of the findings of the 187 page report. The audit has been sent to the Kentucky Attorney General, Executive Branch Ethics Commission, IRS, Kentucky Department of Revenue, Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Personnel Board. Criminal prosecution has not been ruled out.
Link to the full report

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Successful Season for UK in 2012?

What will constitute a successful season in the mind of Kentucky fans for the 2012 season?  After two seasons at Kentucky, Joker Phillips has compiled an 11-14 record and is squarely on the hotseat coming into the 2012 season.  Which got me thinking…How many wins will it take to get Joker off the hotseat and retained for next year?  How many wins (or losses) would get him fired in 2012?  Is there any middle ground?

Kentucky’s schedule is stacked again with its normal 8 game slate of SEC games.  Along with the six East teams on the schedule, UK will be playing Mississippi St. and Arkansas from the SEC West.  Playing only two SEC West teams this year is a change from the past.  With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the conference, the Wildcats will only be playing two teams from the West instead of three.  Add a Louisville team to the docket that is beginning to come of age under Charlie Strong and you get a schedule that doesn’t provide much room for error.

I think we can all agree that going to a bowl game in 2012 would all but secure Joker a follow-up season in Lexington.  Conversely, I think that 4 wins or less from the Cats this year will lead to a changing of the guard.  However, things become more subjective over 4 wins.  Strength of victories and losses will need to be considered.  The 5 win zone is a gray area that will require a decision to be made.  It will not only keep Joker on the hotseat but also warm the chair of his boss, Mitch Barnhart.  The last thing Barnhart wants to see is a 5 win season that forces him to make a decision about the future of Kentucky football.