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UK Replaces Ring Of Honor, Bruises Some Egos

This year, Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington has a new look.  A video ribbon board wraps around the upper deck of the stadium… just as others do at most large stadiums in the country.  The video boards run some “fire ‘em up” messages during games, but their prime mission is to deliver advertisements.

Well, the new ribbon at Kentucky replaced a Ring of Honor that once listed the names of 45 ex-UK greats from Bear Bryant to Tim Couch.  And that’s not sitting well with some of the guys whose names were on that wall.

A sampling…


Sam Ball:  “I feel like me and the other 40-plus football players that paid the price to build Kentucky’s football program and paid the price to be Wildcats are now just about forgotten.  It’s almost disrespectful.”

Mark Higgs:  “(It) was like a slap in the face.  Now, they’re advertising Coke and putting on a laser show.  It’s terrible, just terrible.”

Joe Federspiel:  “You see your name, see all the good players who have played at the University of Kentucky, it’s a real honor.  What they’ve done now is sort of a slap in the face to former players.”


Wow.  Now maybe UK did step out of line by taking down the Ring of Honor.  If nothing else, the school dropped the ball by not alerting the ex-Cats honored on the wall that their names were coming down.  But shouldn’t these players let someone else do the complaining for them?

Not all schools have a Ring of Honor.  So from the get-go it was a nice gesture on the part of UK.  Nowhere is it written that a few ex-Cats must have their names on the wall at Commonwealth Stadium.

A slap in the face?  Really?

This is just my take, but even if I felt that way, I’d leave it to someone else to say it.  It strikes me as being a bit arrogant for anyone to say, “Hey, I want my name on the stadium!”

Kentucky officials point out that they have posted the names on flags around the stadium and twice per game they show the names on the video ribbon board.

Apparently that’s just not good enough.  We expect to see a new Ring of Honor created somewhere else inside the stadium by next fall.  The only way to quiet bad press like this is to yield to the complaints.

 


8 comments
TX Volum
TX Volum

Of course it's a slap in the face. Also I'm sure they were asked what they felt about it, and they gave their honest opinion about it. I don't get what's wrong with that. It's an honor they are proud of, and have every right to be. These are older players that didn't play when money, and advertising trumped traditions.

John, your opinions are usually pretty decent, but your off on this one. Though I'm glad to know that you won't say anything if the recognition of your proudest accomplishment just "goes away" with no heads up. Your a bigger man than most....

Joe Schmidlap
Joe Schmidlap

Well, nyo, I think this is, ah, wrong because, well, Joe Federspiel whipped some fannies on that field.

sec_fan
sec_fan

If they had taken down Payton Manning and General Neyland there would have been a riot. That is he problem with being a football star at a basketball school.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

sec_fan...

Not sure how this got to Tennessee, but I'll play along.

I doubt Peyton Manning would complain publicly -- which was the point of the above piece -- though he probably would complain privately.

But I'm 100% certain that you wouldn't hear a peep from Robert Neyland these days.

Thanks for reading,
John

RattlerGator
RattlerGator

They didn't wipe out their names, they made their space more flexible so as to provide more utility. Unbelievable bitching and moaning.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I'm not sure it is that arrogant to complain about something like this. If you are going to have a "Ring of Honor" or some type of hall of fame then I do think it is inconsiderate to just wipe all that away just to put up ribbon boards. I have no problem with adding ribbon boards, but they should have put something in place either inside or outside the stadium. I know they said they were putting up some flags, but that is a poor replacement. Maybe they should have done some sort of monument park like at Yankee Stadium?

Removing someone from a hall of fame type recognition should be reserved for a situation when that person does something very wrong.

AtlVol
AtlVol

UK must not be getting much in the way of donations from their former "Ring of Honor" members. Let us not forget that the Almighty Dollar is the driver for most all of the changes in college sports.

FourThinInches
FourThinInches

I remember going to games and seeing Shipwreck Kelly's name on the ring. Such a cool name, Shipwreck. Im sure the school will have a section with their names somewhere. Our stadium is getting old and only sits 70,000 people with really no Luxury suites. Change is needed.

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