[Editor's note: This is a sort of open letter to Dan Owens, who recruits players to play in the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic basketball game]
Dear Mr. Owens:
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk said to Commander Kruge in Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock, "I have had enough of you."
Your latest attempt to rabble-rouse for the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic has crossed the line from advocacy into an intolerable display of bad manners and worse sportsmanship. I am not inclined to rebuke your every utterance, but will you kindly, for the love of the game and its sponsors, stop trying to set Kentucky fans against each other, and stop trying to frighten UK's recruiting class into thinking that the Bluegrass is full of madmen with nothing better to do than attack the quite rational decision of young men and their families?
Many Kentucky fans in Louisville, like myself who have lived here since 1988, have attended the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic game many times. I have personally had a relationship with the KDF Classic on other projects, a relationship I value and appreciate. I love the Kentucky Derby Festival, the basketball game, and the excitement it generates in the River City.
What I do not love is your continued unethical offensive on the University of Kentucky for not having players attend this year's game, at least so far. Your outright attacks on the University in general and Head Coach John Calipari in particular are reprehensible, over the top, and utterly odious. Every Kentucky fan in the city, including me, would rather have a Kentucky player on the KDF Classic roster. At this point, every one of us will be disappointed. But that doesn't mean we won't attend the game.
John Calipari has continually told you and anyone who would listen that he isn't interested in involving himself in the decisions of our 2011 recruits. Whether or not he ever did so before is utterly and completely irrelevant, and at minimum, decorum requires that you accept his decision whether or not you agree with it. You have previously made your disagreement publicly known. When is enough enough?
Mr. Owens, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported today that you referred to former NBA star Michael Jordan, presumably in connection with the Jordan Brand Classic, thus, in an email to the University of Kentucky:
Regarding Jordan, Owens wrote, “He plays golf, gambles and butchers the King's English.”
Whether or not this is true is irrelevant. It is offensive ... no, unconscionable ... for an official involved with a class affair like the KDF Classic to attack another event in this way. This is the sort of rhetoric I have come to associate with the worst kind of sports fans and political hacks.
This reference to John Calipari is also far beyond offensive:
Owens also referred to Calipari associate William Wesley, also known in basketball circles as “World Wide Wes,” and his relationship with Gilchrist and Gilchrist's mother. Owens later sent an e-mail that he said was “a retraction of any false or defamatory comments.”
Mr. Owens, the familial relationships of the Gilchrist family are none of your bloody business, sir. Retracting your comments does not remove them, especially when what is required is an abject, self-abasing apology for this execrable rhetoric.
I regret having to say this, Mr. Owens, but in your zeal, you have beclowned yourself, and embarrassed the Classic and the Kentucky Derby Festival, and arguably the city of Louisville and Commonwealth of Kentucky. At minimum, I call on you to make a sincere and public act of contrition for this insensitive, narcissistic and utterly bellicose behavior.
Glenn Logan, Managing Editor
A Sea of Blue (aseaofblue.com)