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Friday Headlines: Should Mitch Barnhart be on the Hot Seat?

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A solid portion of the Kentucky fanbase has called for John Calipari’s job. But what about Mitch Barnhart? Calipari’s struggles have been commented on all the way up to a national stage and are certainly real. But the case can be made that Barnhart is also not the most beloved figure in the UK athletic department — and not just to the UK fanbase.

The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker shared information regarding the poor relationship between Barnhart and Calipari, which bares the question of should Barnhart being on the hot seat. Fans have been quick to go at Calipari for his lack of success on the basketball court over the last few years. And Barnhart hasn’t exactly had many victories himself, including his relationship with the school’s decorated basketball coach.

  • Calipari has reportedly received $30 million in pledged funds for the university to build an upgraded practice facility but Barnhart won’t sign off.
  • Barnhart has denied Calipari’s requests to add more staff members to assist with scouting and game-planning, which Kentucky could clearly use more manpower on.

These are just two conflicts we know of and just two conflicts that involve Kentucky basketball. There is also the issue of providing an equal opportunity to purchase alcohol at football games to legally aged attendees and the current state of the baseball team (yikes).

Barnhart has managed to keep football assistant head coach Vince Marrow in Lexington and has had a few small victories over recent years, but those are heavily outweighed by the conflict detailed above and not-so-great hires during his tenure with Kentucky. His relationship with Calipari and a majority of UK fans and is not in the best of shape, either.

Should Barnhart join Calipari on the hot seat? That’s a tough call, because you have to hope that either of their replacements are able to come in and have success. But even if that progress takes time, it may be a relief to rip off the bandaid with both and start fresh.

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