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BREAKING: AD issues dreaded "vote of confidence"

Sensing (and perhaps reading) the Big Blue Nation's collective groan in regards to the state of the men's basketball team, University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhardt today issued a press release that, if taken at face value, gives head coach Tubby Smith some support.

"Kentucky Basketball is important to all of us who are a part of the Big Blue Nation. I know that the fans, coaches and players are disappointed with the results of the season up to this point, but it's important to wait until the most critical part of the season is complete before reviewing the program.

"Our fans' lofty expectations for this program, which I share, have not changed. However, history tells us that the college basketball season can change quite a bit between February and March. If the close games we've lost in February become victories during the tournaments, then this team has a chance to play up to its potential, which is what all of us as Wildcat fans want."

The underlying message, however, is that the Athletics Department -- and no doubt its deep-pocketed donors -- aren't blind to the trending before them.

Barnhardt is right that making a ruckus right now accomplishes nothing except all but guaranteeing a flop end to this season.

But also conspicuously absent is any mention of Smith by name, or any sort of comment on his job status, the job he's doing or anything else Smith-centric.

What does that mean for UK hoops? Too soon to tell. But it was wise for the A.D. to get out in front of the issue, as ignoring it was clearly not going to make it go away.

Especially not with our classy fanbase spreading false rumors, idiotic youtube videos, songs, vitriolic message board posts and a healthy dose of schadenfreude around the nation.

Update [2007-2-27 1:12:21 by JL Blue]:

And in all fairness, the Courier-Journal posted Bozich's latest. It's a fair read on the "It's time" P.O.V. I don't agree with the writer's posture, nor his ends. But the bigger picture argument I do agree with.

I guess I voted for Tubby Smith before I voted against him. Clear?