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Steve Forbes backtracks on comments made about UK’s academics

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Says he didn’t mean the comments as a putdown.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - East Tennessee State v Florida Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Right before Olivier Sarr committed to Kentucky, new Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes made national headlines by taking a shot at Kentucky’s academics in an attempt to convince Sarr to stay.

“I think the most important thing is, why would you go to Wake for three years, put all that time in for a prestigious degree, and end up getting your degree at a place like Kentucky?” Forbes said on The Drive.

That day, the comments spread through the BBN like a wildfire, and then the comments made national headlines. The jab that Forbes took was even the lead topic on an episode of Pardon The Interruption back on May 6th.

This week, Forbes went on both The Adam Gold Show and The OG to backtrack on the comments he made about Kentucky. Lauren Brownlow had the comments on WRALSportsFan.

“Olivier told me that one of the reasons that he was really considering coming back was because he really wanted to get a Wake degree,” Forbes said, via WRALSportsFan columnist Lauren Brownlow. “I said to him, ‘Hey look, why would you put three years of work in academically at Wake and then go get your degree at a place-‘ and I said Kentucky, but I could have said any school. I didn’t mean that in any way as a putdown to Kentucky at all. “I was just saying, ‘Listen, we’ve got this great education.’ Kentucky and all the other schools in the country are always going to recruit to their positives, and that’s what I was doing. I was pointing out a positive in our direction.”

After he made the initial comments, Forbes said he faced a “complete frontal assault” from Kentucky fans all over social media.

“I didn’t realize – maybe I’m living like the boy in the bubble back in the 70s. Then Thursday night that week, I got a call from Nick Nurse, who’s my really good friend, and he said, ‘Man, you’re the lead story on PTI!’ I said. ‘No way! Come on.’ Then I looked at my Twitter and Lord have mercy, I was under a complete frontal assault from the Big Blue Nation,” Forbes continued. “They were going at me. They were in predator mode. They were coming me. So, I learned how to block a bunch of people, which I’ve never done before.”

A completely different attitude than what we saw from Forbes back before Sarr committed to Kentucky.

Do you believe that he didn’t mean any disrespect to Kentucky?